A Lesson in Letting Go

Out of nowhere, you’re brought to your knees again by a cruel turn in life. You’re emotionally winded and spent. You’re in pain and confused. You realize finally that something has to change; something needs to be let go of.

“Pain is God’s megaphone to a dying world.” C.S. Lewis

And now you’re listening loud and clear.

Change is uncomfortable, good or bad. Letting go is always a change. Something is being removed so that something else can take its place. The past is more familiar and comforting to you than not knowing what will happen when you let go. When you let go of something you want very much, the change is even more dramatic.

Letting go is changing how you see yourself. The deeper the desire was­­ for a job, girlfriend/boyfriend, vacation, you name it­­, the more it became a part of you. The bigger a part of you it was, the more incomplete you will “feel” when you let go of it.

Perhaps the words we use are deceiving; ‘letting go’ seems to mean that your desire is something you were simply holding, but the pain you feel tells you that in some big way it is a part of you, and that you are actually “cutting out.” I think the difference between these words is important.

As Christians, our desires are meant to pull us closer to God- to want to please Him and be more like Him. We will always feel incomplete in one way or another until we allow God to be our biggest desire. He needs to be the desire that shapes all of our other desires. He needs to be the biggest part of who we are. He alone knows how to complete us. Life provides us with many things that our natural, fallen selves crave to complete us instead of Him. Many things promise to fill that hole, but they are just shadows and lies that will always fall short unless they come from God.

Sometimes our desires are timed wrong. Just as you do not give a baby solid food, God does not give us things that we cannot handle responsibly yet. Not all things we must let go of are timed badly however. Some things are just pure ugly for us to have as a part of how we see ourselves. They’re toxic to who we are. They consume us until there is nothing left of us to give to God. {Smoking comes to mind, but so does the habit of careless talk.}

Just the same, relationships that don’t respect both you and God bring you down in the long run. They distract you from the purpose He has made you responsible for. A healthy relationship does just the opposite of that; it glorifies God grandly and brings you deep satisfaction. If wanting a relationship becomes all you can think about, just the same as being in a toxic one, you are driven to distraction.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:11­-13

We are made to desire. Desire leads to love. The cool thing about God is that love is who He is. Before the world was, God was love perfectly within the trinity. Out of love, He created the world. Out of love, He created us to freely have a relationship with us. He saw that as something good. The same love that the Father pours out on His Son Jesus is the same love that the Father has made for us.

Think about that for a second. The way God loves Jesus is the way that He loves you. Draw close to Him and He’ll see to it that you become more and more complete through Him. He desires you; all of you, like no one else ever could. He wants your mind, your soul, your strength, and your spirit. He’s got all the goodness you need in your life, and He delights in bringing you to it.

Bring your heart and your desires to Him, and He promises you two things:

a) That He will give you a new heart, not one of stone but one that lives profoundly and fully.

b) That with this heart from Him and for Him, He will give you the desires of your heart; the desires that will truly bring peace, joy, and abundant life to you. By taking Him at His word, you glorify Him greatly.

Letting go, or cutting out, hurts. There is no way around it. It’s a process that doesn’t just happen overnight. How we learn to see ourselves and God in that process however determines how well we heal. Do we leave our broken heart to its own devices, or do we go to the Doctor? Do we hobble around in prideful, self­-pitying pain, or do we get things set straight? He has the cast, the proper alignment, and the plan to keep us strong, healthy, and happy. Take every loss to the cross, and turn your heart to the One that makes it beat.

I dare you; it’s the most exciting and fulfilling thing ever.


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About the Author: Tony is endlessly curious, and one adventure away from being on his next adventure. He takes longer than average to finish a meal, and is statistically better than random at ties in rock, paper, scissors. At any given moment, he busies himself with thoughts of psychology, sociology, or theology. He loves writing, and his passions come together in the form of his blog. See the latest on his website at http://northbyseven.com. Follow him on Twitter at @northbyseven.


    • This is so good and exactly what I needed. I’m rereading it just to get it to sink in❤ Thank you for sharing


  1. This is, seriously, a wonderful post. EXACTLY the words I needed to read. I had to read this twice! We often turn to material things or even other people (such as a potential significant other) to fill the void in our lives, so I’m really thankful for posts like this that remind me of how exponentially greater God is than the things or people we believe are enough to complete us. This blog is amazing.

    Great post, Tony Zerbin!

    -from a fellow Canadian 🙂


  2. God is always on time. I recently ended a 1 1/2 year long toxic friendship/relationship and it has been tough. I’d been praying for some comfort and guidance during this time of healing and your blog post has become a part of the comfort and guidance I’ve been praying for. May God Bless you.


  3. Absolutely Beautiful piece! Two things stuck out to me — “God does not give us things that we cannot handle responsibly yet.”… HOW TRUE!! I’ve finally started to understand this as I grow closer in my walk to God. HE will not give me anything I cant handle. He knows me BEST!! My strengths, my weaknesses and failures. We need to train ourselves to align our goals with God’s will.

    “The way God loves Jesus is the way that He loves you.” gave me goosebumps. The Human mind will never be able to fathom this sentence until we meet Jesus face to face. His Love is beyond overwhelming. Such Lavish and Extravagant Love. So Pure and Refreshing. May God bless you guys as you encourage us with posts like this 🙂 x


  4. I think these words just broke me…in the best way possible: “Sometimes our desires are timed wrong. Just as you do not give a baby solid food, God does not give us things that we cannot handle responsibly yet.” Thank you, as always, Lauren.


  5. I truly needed to read this. I lost focus the past couple days due to slight communication with an ex. Thank you for writing this. Also for reminding me that He is first and the most fulfilling love I could ever find.


  6. Truely an amazing article. I really needed to read this.. Been having such a hard time letting go so many things.. Thank you so much for your encouraging words


  7. Thank you for encouraging so many people including myself. I needed this encouragement every word was just for me. Now I know that I can let go and let God take his way. Trust, Faith and Endurance.


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