The Art of Letting Go

A trapeze artist, a friend explained to me as I asked her for wisdom, has to completely let go of one bar before they can grab hold of the next bar. For a moment they are suspended in mid-air, hands spread wide, not holding onto anything.

The audience watches from below, holding their breath. Two thoughts go through the minds of the spectators: “They must be crazy’ and “rather them than me.”

As you read about my current situation, you will probably have the same reaction as the onlookers.

We have just sold our house. In four weeks time the movers will arrive with their truck and we have no idea where we will be living next. We will be hanging mid-air like the trapeze artist.

I don’t need a house, I just need a bigger suitcase,” I commented to my son recently, making a reference to the travel my husband and I were about to embark, visiting his twin brother on one continent and his sister at college on another continent half-way around the world. It’s a lesson in be careful what you wish for.

At that time our house had been on the market for six months with little interest. “The market in your price range is dead at the moment,” said our realtor.

“Then if our house sells, we’ll know it’s God’s doing,” I thought.

With God all things are possible.

I wrote about the pain of wanting to move on in a recent article When God Says No, and complained as I pondered why God didn’t want the same thing. “How many years did the children of Israel wander in the wilderness?” I’ve been know to ask despondently.

“We’ve lived here for twenty-one years, does God wants me to stay for another seven?” I considered as I reflected on God’s ways. In the Bible, seven is the number of God’s completeness and perfection. I hope this doesn’t make me sound superstitious.

If this is the year, it will be a God thing.

Then, suddenly, our house sold. I shouldn’t be surprised.

A buyer offered a low price. We wouldn’t budge. They moved up more. We counter-offered a little below our asking price.

“I never ever thought they would accept your offer,” said the realtor. God again.

I have learned something between the wilderness and the stagnant market.

God wants us to let go of the old trappings. We need to release what we’re holding tight.

If this is the year it will be a God thing. I have learned something between the wilderness and the stagnant market.  God wants us to let go of the old trappings. We need to release what we’re holding tight.Open hands represent the attitude of our hearts—a willingness to be vulnerable and available for God.

Then we are free to grab hold of the new delights he has planned for us.

I had to let go of a ministry. God had been nudging me to do this for a while. But I clung on. I had helped build it. After all, it was my ministry.

But, then I realized it wasn’t.

I had to let go of guilt. I didn’t deserve to move on, I had to pay for my grumbling.

But, God is full of grace.

I had to let go of friends—people I have grown to love. I should put others first, the Bible teaches.

But, God must be my first love.

God wasn’t keeping me stuck—it was me!

So, I’ve let go. And now I’m poised mid-air waiting to grab onto what God has for me next.

What are you holding onto? Or are you, too, poised in mid-air?

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