The wind was blowing against my face as I stood there, trying not to look down. The harness was fastened securely to my body. The guide tied the rope around an enormous tree and then his 5,000 pound pickup truck, assuring me I was safe.
The rope was not going to break.
The tree was not going to uproot.
Everything was ready… the rest was up to me.
“Now, all you have to do is let go and lean back,” he said, shrugging his shoulders as though he wasn’t really asking much. Didn’t he know we were standing on the edge of a cliff, several hundred feet in the air?
The last thing I wanted to do was let go and lean back!
He must have noticed my white knuckles gripping the rope, because he went on to remind me of what would happen if I didn’t listen.
“I know your instinct is to hold onto the rope and hug the side, but trust me, you don’t want to do that. If you lean forward, you’ll slam into the rocks and it won’t be pretty. This is what you came here for! Just trust me; count to three, let go, and lean back, parallel to the ground. I won’t let you fall. Trust me!”
I could feel the sweat on my forehead. I was about to either throw up or chicken out (or both), when a verse popped in my head:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight.”Proverbs 3:5-6
Friends, have you ever found yourself having a hard time letting go?
Honestly, this has always been a struggle for me. I hold onto:
- Friendships and relationships
- Momentos- objects that remind me of the past, of things I don’t want to forget
- Traditions- they are the heart of our celebrations!
- Expectations- both of myself and others
- Regrets/past mistakes- I am pretty quick to forgive others, but not so easy on myself.
Are there things on this list that sound familiar to you? Maybe you have a hard time letting go of control or fear or anxiety. Whatever it is, we all know what it’s like to struggle to let go of something we really want to hold onto. It’s not easy, for sure.
Which brings me to this weekend.
Tomorrow morning we are going to pack up our Yukon (with half a Target store full of matching dorm decor) and make the seven-hour drive to take our oldest daughter to college. We are so excited for her and so grateful she actually has the opportunity to go, given the ongoing pandemic!
She’s my baby.
She’s the one who first made me a momma, the one we prayed about for years before the test finally came back positive. She’s the one that “mothers” her siblings and runs to the store for us and raps Hamilton songs in the Chick-fil-a drive-thru with me.
How am I supposed to let go of my baby?
How do you take your heart out of your chest and just drive away?
(And I thought teenage break-ups were hard! Sheesh!)
So, I find myself returning to these verses in Proverbs. I have prayed them over her strong-willed heart since she was little, and I will probably pray them over her every day of her life. But especially now, on this new adventure, these are the verses I’m praying.
For her, yes.
But also for me.
Because it is not my natural instinct to let her go. No, my instinct is to hold her close, to protect her, to keep all my little birds gathered together in my nest, tucked safely beneath my wing. Why should she fly away when she can stay here with us?
Oh, wait. She was born to fly, wasn’t she?
It’s the reason we’re here. It’s the reason we’ve spent the past 18 years training her, discipling her, parenting her, and guiding her. We didn’t do all that work so she could stay home and watch Youtube!
We did it so she could shine, so she could bring light to a world so full of darkness.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
Standing on that cliff, I knew it was time. The guide smiled at me and nodded encouragingly. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, let go of the rope and leaned back. I took one step, and then another, slowly gaining confidence that I wasn’t going to fall. Before long, I was pushing back from the mountain, leaping and laughing, embracing the freedom and living my best life on the way down.
I trusted the guide. I believed the rope was going to hold me.
He was right; this was what I came here for. I was made for this!
And so is she.
It’s time to trust the Guide and let go.
What is it you need to let go of? Expectations? Fear? Control?
I’m praying God will give you the strength to do it, and that you will find joy and freedom as you do.
And if you think about it, will you ask the Lord to fill my momma-heart with an extra dose of peace on Monday? And pray for Jeff… I’m not sure a daddy ever really lets go of his little girl.