To let go of people we have loved is one of the hardest things to do. Your heart became connected, your mind identified that person as important in your life, and your emotions became tied. However, some people are not supposed to stay in your life. This letting go does not mean you are abandoning someone, being disloyal, or a bad person. Letting go means you are able to do what is best for you so that you may move forward to live the life God has for you.
In my life I had to let go of the earthly father I didn’t really have. Sometimes those we love are more of an illusion than a reality. We may identify them with who we want or need them to be. However, they are not always going to be those things. The dad I wanted was one who loved me unconditionally, kept me safe, was able to be trusted, and treasured me as his daughter. The dad I really had was one who abused me, as well as, my mom, brother, and sister. When I was little he read to me and practiced spelling words. When I was older he cheered at my swim meets. I wanted that to be all of who he was.
Sadly, the reality was those were only an illusion. He was also the man who kicked in the side of my car, threatened me, physically abused every member of my home, and abandoned me. He tried to buy back my trust, but this was not going to be a real dad. Time and time again I tried to give him another chance as I thought that is what I was supposed to do. Every time I was hurt again. Sometimes physically, but every time emotionally. My heart was hurt and my spirit was broken.
My Heavenly Father gave me the peace to let go of my relationship with my dad and embrace my God as my Father God. I will always pray for my dad and I won’t forget him. However, I had to let go of that relationship. Letting go meant gaining hope, being healed, and living a life with a heart that could love others and live for God. A broken heart and spirit cannot do those things.
In my life I also had to let go of my first husband and the life I thought I would live. My identity became a wife. My students called me by my married name everyday. I signed that name and answered to it. However, this man who I thought would love me became another man who would abuse and hurt me. For five years I held onto the good I saw in him and the husband I thought he could be. I felt I was wrong to leave and that kept me trapped in an unhealthy home. As my heart was hurt again, my life began to go downhill, and my health suffered. I realized this was another person I had to let go of.
How could I let go of my identity though? We had a home, I was Mrs. not Miss in my title of second grade teacher, and I didn’t believe in divorce. My God gave me peace again to let go. He whispered my name, promised to love me, and told me He had plans for me. At first I thought I was a failure, but then I realized God was with me all along. My dad and my husband at those times were chapters in my life. Those relationships made me who I am, but they were not really my identity.
My identity was a child of God, a daughter cared for by her Heavenly Father, and a woman of hope. My story became one to share with other women and to resemble God’s amazing love and power. Letting go of those past hurts and people was painful and terrifying. I had so many doubts and fears. What if I was wrong? What if I made a mistake? What if I was sinning? Through every doubt and fear I heard God. He allowed me to ask all those questions many times and never left me. He heard my cries, accepted my hurts, and healed my heart.
Letting go means gaining more than we can imagine. By letting go I had room in my heart for what God had in store for me. I had room to be healed and room for my new husband. I spent too much time worrying about what would happen or how to get out. However, with God’s help I got out and He showed me that He is the one that helps us to make up for what we might think is lost time. That too is something to be freed from. I am now healed and loved as God intended. I have a dad in my Father God and I have an amazing husband. I have gained much and it started with letting go of what kept me in chains of fear and hurt. My God held me through each scary step and loved me through all of those times.
I see others bound by unhealthy relationships and I know God is loving them right now. My prayer is they too will know Him as the Gentle Healer, Giver of Life, and Father to all who will accept Him. When we call He answers, when we cry He hears, and when we take a step of faith, He walks beside us.
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