What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Maybe it was starting a business, moving across country, or, if you’re certifiably insane, jumping out of an airplane for fun. (WHAT?)
For me, the bravest thing I’ve ever done was walk away, not just from a relationship but from an entire life I created with someone. This was someone I had invested in for over ten years. During the last several months, I considered myself brave for holding on and fighting. I considered it strong to stay, in spite of the circumstances.
Here’s what I realized though. I wasn’t being truly brave. I wasn’t being brave because I was choosing to live in ignorance. I was choosing to hold onto a perception over reality. It just hurt too much to let go. It was too scary.
How was I to recreate an entire life? To be a single mom? To find a new place to live? Would I have to find a new career in order to support my son? And the big one: who on earth was ever going love someone who had so much “baggage”? No one would want me. I was choosing to be half loved because it hurt too much to come to the realization of not being loved at all. It was too much to deal with. It was too much to face on my own.
Here’s what happened: I realized that in spite of my circumstances, in spite of my so called baggage, in spite of all of the unknowns, I was not just loved but TREASURED by the same God who created the heavens and earth and all of the galaxies. He loved ME perfectly. ME. Little, lost, damaged me.
This realization is what gave me the bravery to stop attempting to repaint the picture and to accept it for exactly as it was. Because I experienced His love, I knew love. Because of how He viewed me, I knew exactly who I was. Because of His strength, I was able to surrender. I was able to let go.
You see, I think many of us view bravery as going to battle. We view it as this raw, bruised up and battered version of ourselves that runs relentlessly into danger…but what I’ve learned is that the first essential step in being truly brave involves letting go and surrendering.
I mean, think about it. Think about those crazy people who skydive. What do they have to do? They have to jump out of that plane and LET GO. I am certain that those first moments are frightening but once you realize you aren’t going to die (not sure when/if that happens), you can see the beauty beneath you. As you fall, you will continually see the world in a different perspective and eventually, (in this case, hopefully) you’ll land, gracefully (or perhaps not so gracefully) right where you need to be. There is so much beauty in that!
Life can be so hard and so hurtful. It can feel nearly impossible to let go of whatever it is that you have experienced or are currently experiencing–but when you allow your hands to let go, they will be freed to embrace so much more.
Jesus wiped out everything I was holding onto because I chose to hold onto Him. One year later, I can sit here and say that I have experienced many things I could not have ever even dreamed of, things I didn’t even know were possible, all because of the courage to let go.
So if the grip you have on something in your life continues to cause damage, it may be a little too tight. Try loosening your grip, then let it go, give it to God and indulge in your sweet surrender.