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Let It Go!

annie downs let's all be brave book

Sometimes we just let go because we were supposed to let go. Not because something better is in view. God just makes it clear that the time has come.

Letting go like that is the hardest. And the days after, when you have to stand by what you know is right – that’s when courage has to bubble out of you. It’s then that my insides have to be like steel. And all the times that God has been right before, in the Bible and in my life, were on a movie reel through my mind, reminding me of His faithfulness.

I watched it, that film on repeat in my head, because I had to know and believe He knows what He is doing (Philippians 1:6).

It may be a relationship or a job or a city or some money or old hurts. When it is time to let go, you know it. Your hands long to ungrip, but your heart begs them to hold on. But only in letting go are your hands free to grab on to the next thing.

Courage doesn’t tell you to let go when you know what to grab next. Brave people let go when it’s time to let go. And so I turn these empty hands skyward, trusting they are better off this way.

Please let go.

Please be brave enough to empty your hands without seeing the next monkey bar. Sometimes you have to let go of things that are bad for you – addictions, abusive relationships, sinful habits. That takes courage too. It doesn’t matter if the thing is good for you or bad for you; if it isn’t the best for you, you have to let go.

Do you know what I know about you? I know that if you are meant to let go of something right now, your heart is beating out of your chest. You don’t have to ask yourself what it is – that thing is blazing on your insides:

  • You see the picture of the relationship that isn’t right.
  • You see the dollar sign telling you that giving away that money, letting go of it, is the bravest thing you could ever do.
  • You see the addiction in its ugly, slimy form.
  • You see what you’re supposed to jump away from even if you don’t see what it is you’re jumping into.

It brings to mind a favorite verse that, if you are right on the end of that plank, will make you absolutely insane. I’m sorry in advance:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5–6

I let go of someone close to me because I chose to trust God with all of my heart and not lean into what I understand. I flew away from Nashville to live in a foreign country because I knew that was what submitting to God meant. For all the moments when I have missed courage and chosen the easier path (and my friend, there have been many), I got these two right, and my life will never be the same.

I don’t know how, and I can’t put the right words to it, but I know the courageous sacrifices are always worth it.

So, friend, let go.

Excerpted with permission from Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs, copyright Zondervan, 2014.

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Your Turn

In what ways do you need to be brave today and just let go? Is it a relationship? Control over an area of your life? An unhealthy habit or addiction? A certain way of behaving that is causing others pain? What do you need to let go?