The Unavoidable Principle of Letting Go (Part One)
Author: Susan Thomas
Category: Counseling, Family, Relationships
As biblical counselors, the principle of letting go is unavoidable, whether addressing the issue with our clients or facing this personal reality ourselves.
“Where has the time gone?” “My how time does fly!” “It goes by quick!”
Every parent hears or says these quotes and all parents feel this reality. As moms and dads, we remember bringing home our little babies. Before we know it, we watch them walk across a stage to receive their diploma. Pretty soon they are moving out of the house to make a life of their own.
You and I are confronted with the reality of letting go, not only in parenting, but in all of life. Seasons, birthdays, health… life is filled with letting go.
While there are some stages and moments we’re more than happy to say “adios” to, we want our goodbyes to be on our terms! We want to be the ones to move on or make changes. But that is not always our decision to make.
As biblical counselors, and as people, we are confronted with the reality of letting go. Whether addressing the issue with our treasured clients or facing this personal reality ourselves, the principle of letting go is unavoidable.
Jesus talks about letting go.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35
Maybe you have heard the term “white knuckles.” White knuckles occur when we grip something so tight that the blood rushes away from our knuckles and they become pale. This action is usually a response to intense fear, anxiety or anger.
Will you try something with me right now? We’re going to have an interactive blog moment here. Make a fist with both of your hands. Hang on to this grip for at least ten slow seconds. As you grip, what are you feeling? Are you beginning to feel uncomfortable? Tense?
Do we ever do this in our own lives? People, dreams, possessions, desires, jobs, habits. Now release your hands into your lap. What do you feel? Relief and rest.
It feels good to let go. You need to let go. You cannot sustain your grip long term. You will become exhausted! We were made by God to let go.
I believe you and I often live “white-knuckled.” We have an idea and hope for how we want our lives to look. And when we come across the thing or person we think will help us arrive to that happy place, we grip.
Jesus is saying, “don’t hold tightly to the life I give you; hold tightly to Me.” Don’t grip on to the gifts God has given you, grip God. Instead of spending your life trying to build your life, let go and let God build your life.
As a professional counselor, one of the most valuable things we can do for our clients is to help identify the areas where they are living “white-knuckled.” What are they gripping on to? What gift has been elevated to a place that only God can exist? What desire or dream has moved from God-given to life-gripping?
In our next post, we’ll look at specific signs of white-knuckled living and consider how our faith, focus and first-love not only exposes deep roots, but helps us find freedom that only comes in letting go.
Posted on May 13, 2016