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“It’s easy to form an attachment to people and things. When you’ve formed an attachment to people and things, it can be a very painful experience and
feeling when you realized that it’s time to let go.
Even the mere thought of not having that
person or thing in your life just squeezes your heart in.

When my daughter, Candace, sent me this incredible picture from her weekend in Paris, all I could think was. . . what if we hadn’t LET HER GO? What if Rob and I, her parents, had not given her our blessing to spend time abroad? She would have missed the Eiffel Tower at dusk. Missed twinkling her toes in the Nile River. Missed her four hour train ride to Uhersky Brod, Czech to walk the hallowed ground of her heritage. Missed worshipping at Hillsongs London, where she met lifetime friends from New Zealand-a country on the other side of the world. Missed the fiords of Sweden, the opera in Estonia, the tulips of Amsterdam, the annals of history in Anne Frank’s house. . . and soooo much more. I could go on and on. 

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And then I think of Brooke. What if we hadn’t LET HER GO? She would have missed learning to live with girls of all backgrounds, personality types, belief systems and family dynamics. Missed new friends from all over world. Missed dynamic Christian teachers and speakers. Missed the opportunity to figure out life on her own. Missed opportunities to do mission work all over the world.

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And then there is Grant. What if Rob and I hadn’t let him go 14 hours from home to try life in the North . . . all alone? He would have missed the amazing opportunity to be far from everything familiar. Missed playing college soccer. Missed new lifetime friends. Missed the opportunity to seek God about the future of his life. Missed experiencing the angst of transition and the peace of being right where you should be. Missed knowing that sometimes the only guidance we get is knowing where we shouldn’t be.

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And then there is ME. What if I hadn’t LET GO? When I experienced my heart being squeezed those three Tuesdays in August, I seriously thought, at times, I wouldn’t make it. Even though Rob and I were having a blast, there was that deep pain in my heart. Nothing will ever be the same. But, honestly, do we want everything to stay the same? Yes, you might say, I like my sameness. But, when we walk with God, it is all about growth. Moving forward. New experiences. In August, I could never have imagined that I would be spending an entire weekend on a Youth Retreat with 45 high schoolers. This past weekend, I did just that. Boy, was I outside of my comfort zone. . . and boy, was I nervous!  But, on the ride home Sunday, all I could think was, “WOW, am I glad I let go of my fears, my anxieties, my ordered life and my creature comforts!” I would have missed staying up all hours of the night to listen to hearts share their stories. Missed singing “Since You’ve Been Gone!” in a very loud voice with teenage girls — laughing VERY OUT LOUD! Missed leading a small group of six young men and women, trying desperately to fight peer pressure, media onslaughts, parental conflict and sexual temptations. Missed the amazing opportunity to die to self in order to advance the Kingdom. Missed walking beside leaders whose passion infected me and brought me to my knees in contrition. I might be 49 years old, but my life has just begun.

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“Letting go of your old self and the process of letting the new you emerge can be one of the scariest experiences in your life. But by leaving behind your old self and taking a leap of faith into the unknown, 
it might just reveal what you are truly capable of becoming.”

In August, I couldn’t have imagined that anything could be more fulfilling than mothering. Honestly, I still can’t imagine it, but I have had several glimpses that there will be more. More ministry. More writing. More speaking. More love to give. More advancement of the Kingdom of God. 

One young girl shared with me that her mother was having a very hard time letting go. I encouraged her to be patient with her Mom. To try to understand that her Mom’s heart was being squeezed. Perhaps you are having a hard time letting go of something. Perhaps your heart is being squeezed and you feel like you can’t breath. Take a moment, right now, to fall to your knees. To ask Jesus to help you. It always helps me to clench my fists and then slowly open them. This physical act reminds me to live with open hands. 

Lord, help us to let go. To open our hands in order to receive 
everything new and fresh and wonderful that you have for us.
Help us to lift our eyes to heaven. Lift our hearts, even though they
feel as though they are being squeezed, to You.
Lift our hands and offer them in service.
We know that You have more in store for us than we could
ever think or imagine. Help us trust. In Jesus’ name, amen.