Letting Go Is Hard

Letting Go Is Hard

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A few weeks ago my twenty-something son headed off with friends on a backpacking trip in Yosemite. The logical part of my brain was delighted that he had this opportunity to explore such a beautiful spot.

The maternal part of my brain immediately began to consider all the potential dangers: grizzly attack, hypothermia, lightning strike, bad fall, broken bones…

My son called from the airport (his flight was delayed by thunderstorms) and I didn’t hear from his again until he was back in Philadelphia. I could have spent the whole time worrying or getting upset that he didn’t call to let me know he was OK. I could have sent multiple texts asking for updates.

Instead, I made a conscious effort to let go of the whole situation and trust that God was in control. I practiced taking captive my worried thoughts and turning them into prayers of faith.

This was just one son on a short trip. You and I face plenty of other concerns each day. Concerns about our career, home, loved ones and ministries. We’d like to feel in control of these situations. We’d like to ensure the outcomes are the ones we want. We’d like the security of knowing the plan ahead of time.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way.

You and I are not in control of much that happens in life. (Sad, but true.)  When we try to hold onto the control of situations we often make things worse—for ourselves and others. And yet, letting go can be really, really hard.

It’s hard, but it’s by far the best choice.

Because Jesus told us not to worry (about all the stuff we wish we could control) but instead to bring all our concerns to him.

Because God has a better plan than we do, and knows how it will be accomplished.

Because when we refuse to let go, we are saying we trust our puny efforts rather than God and his sovereign plan.

I like being in control. But I’ve learned that giving up control and trusting God to accomplish things in his way and his timing is the better choice.

What are you struggling to let go of today? Maybe these verses will help.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11 TLB

Your Spirit is everywhere I go. I cannot escape your presence.
If I go up to heaven, you will be there.
If I go down to the place of death, you will be there.
If I go east where the sun rises or go to live in the west beyond the sea,
even there you will take my hand and lead me.
Your strong right hand will protect me. Psalm 139:7-10 (ERV)


About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the church or library, she blogs about intentional living and writes historical mysteries.


  1. I sure needed to hear this today. Thank you!

  2. Letting go is a life-long struggle, isn’t it? And it’s good to know our sisters struggle (and succeed) alongside us.

  3. Laurie Driesen says:

    So true Lisa, and you explained it so well. Thank you for this post!

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