I don’t let go easily.
If something is important to me, I hold on to it for dear life. Close friendships are one of these things. They are priceless, difficult to find, time-consuming to build and they take a lot of effort to keep strong. They are more valuable than diamonds, worth more than money can buy.
That’s also why I value relationships and people in my life far too much to just walk away when I’m hurt or to shut them out of my life. When a conflict arises, as they sometimes do, I will try again and again and again to work things out. I will work to the point of insanity to keep the peace. When I am in the wrong, I am usually the first person to go apologize and make things right. When I don’t think I’m in the wrong, I’m still search for something I did that I can apologize for, because I am a firm believer that there are NO situations where I act perfectly. Even if I physically did nothing wrong, in my heart there could be jealousy, or pride, or self-pity, bitterness, anger or frustration. And I can apologize for that because maybe the other person was sensing something in my attitude toward them that I wasn’t even aware of!
And most of the time it has been well worth it. Many friendships have been saved and many wrongs have been forgiven because of my tenacity. It’s hard work to hold on to friends!
” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love ALWAYS hopes, love ALWAYS perseveres, love NEVER fails…therefore I came to the conclusion early on in life that “letting go” was the opposite of love.
That is, until this year.
I desperately tried to find some way to mend a relationship I valued, but each attempt seemed to harden the person towards me more and more and more. Each attempt brought with it sleepless nights, days of working through hurtful words said to me and much heartache in forgiving them over and over again. And it was so tough! But I kept telling myself, “It’ll be worth it! Once they see my heart of love for them it will be worth every tear!” So I forgave and kept holding on.
I prayed for them, oh I prayed! I sent little gifts to show my love. I emailed encouraging words. I defended them when others spoke against them. Still, the person wouldn’t even respond to me. Finally one day I asked God what I could possibly do more for them to show my love…and very softly I heard the words: Let them go.
You know what’s harder than forgiving someone who’s hurt you? Letting them go.
You know what’s more difficult than working through the same issues over and over again with someone who has little regard for your feelings? Letting them go.
You know what’s more challenging than speaking kindly of someone who speaks harshly to you? Letting them go.
You know what’s more loving then holding on to someone who has set their heart against you? Letting them go. Because it feels like giving up. And love doesn’t give up! Ever! But letting go is not the same as giving up.
Giving up is hardening yourself to the situation…letting go is staying soft.
Giving up says, “I don’t care what they think!”….letting go says, “I care too deeply to let this go on.”
Giving up is making an enemy, letting go is preventing one.
Giving up says, “I will never let you hurt me again!” Letting go says, “When you’re ready, I’ll be waiting.”
Giving up is losing hope, letting go is hoping in God’s timing.
Why does life have to be so hard sometimes? Why can’t everything just fall into place if we try hard enough? Why?
I don’t have the answers.
I wish I had the ability to see into the future, and to see all the good that will come out of this. Oh, I wish I did! But I don’t…all I know is it’s time to let go. And it’s hard as hell.
But I can do it, because of one special promise written down just for me, just for a time like this…
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
In all things.
Ok God, I trust you. I’m letting go.