Featured Post: "Stages of Letting Go", Marian Amo

When a blooming relationship in my life ended in disappointment and confusion, I walked away with a bucket full of lessons and some holes in my heart. As the days passed, I saw a common thread in the counsel I received. Over and over again I was told to “let go and let God” because God had a plan and he was in control. As helpful and true as that advice was, it really didn’t offer me any idea of what to expect in the days ahead. Was letting go simply not thinking about the issue or was it not feeling hurt?

    One of the biggest mistakes I made was to try to fast forward my healing.  I wanted to feel like I was “over it” as soon as possible. After all, the joy of the Lord is my strength, how could I walk around looking depressed? It took me a while to realize that God wasn’t going to rush away the feelings I needed to work through.  It took me even longer to admit that I didn’t want to let go. I was still holding onto some false hopes about the relationship. Secretly, the motivation behind my “surrender” of that relationship was so that God would be moved and give it back to me. It wasn’t about God it was about me. Before we can truly let go and let God, we first need to admit that there are parts of us that are still holding on.  Then we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to allow God in every area of our hearts.

    There is no set list of all the stages you go through in your healing process. Each person is different and depending on the situation, some stages require more time than others. For me, I found that six chains had to be broken in my release of the situation. The first chain that was broken was the attachment I had to my idea of the relationship. Sometimes we imagine in our heads things to be bigger than they are. Sometimes we fall in love with the concept and idea of something impractical. When God showed me that I had made an idol of the idea of being in a relationship with a guy, I was able to see why everything in my head was exaggerated and why I tried so hard to maintain that false image. After one conversation, I had convinced myself that our connection and similarities were astronomical; a clear sign from God that this was meant to be. I was in- love with the idea of meeting someone that felt like a soul-mate.

    The second chain that was broken in me was my attachment to the person. I stopped liking the person when I stopped depending on him to feed my need for attention. It became clear that my feelings were quite shallow and that I didn’t know much about him at all. My feelings were a combination of attraction and assumed connection. When I saw the lack of substance in my own feelings and stopped dwelling on my imaginations, it was a lot easier to get over him.

    The third chain that was broken was my attachment to the memories. Memories are sometimes the hardest things to get over because they replay in your mind at the most random moments. Because they are locked inside your head, they have the ability to resurface any residual feelings you have attached to them.  However, God revealed to me that the significance we place on certain memories give them their power over us. I kept replaying the moments he said hi to me, the way he looked at me during our conversations, the way he hugged me. I relished the effect I thought I had on him. So the memories became secret placebos for me. Something I’d run to when my ego felt bruised. When I took the memories off the pedestal I had them on, they no longer controlled my mood.
    The fourth chain that was broken was a lie that was lodged inside my head. I believed the lie that people could fulfill me more than God. Although I sang often “He is my all,” I didn’t understand that human-to-human relationships complement our ultimate relationship with God. We need people, we were created to be in relationship with people, but people can never take the place of God nor fill the void in our hearts. My greatest healing came from truly feeling loved by God when I trusted God to complete me and meet my deepest needs.

          The next lie that was broken was the belief that I should keep feeling embarrassed over my mistakes. I didn’t feel like I was allowed to be at peace until I fixed everything. It soon became clear to me that there was nothing I could fix on my own. Apologies help, but it is the Lord who heals. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to not fix something you’ve messed up on. Somehow the explanations didn’t feel enough. I wanted to fix his opinion about me. I wanted to fix any negative feelings he had towards me. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it became. God had to help me understand that only he can restore what we break.

    The last chain that was broken was my lack of understanding who I was in Christ. For too long, I let others determine my worth. I sought my acceptance from people rather than trusting that I was fully accepted in Christ. As I began to renew my mind with the Word, I began to gain a clear understanding of my identity in Christ. The more I chose to believe what God said about me, the less I depended on others to affirm me. As a result, my self-esteem was restored as well as my sense of worth.

    I woke up one morning and the heaviness that rested on my heart was gone. Slowly but surely, God put my heart piece by piece back together, gluing each piece with his love. There was a resurgence of faith as the truth of his word replaced the lies and the wrong attachments that I had. It took time. Letting go meant renewing my mind, rearranging my priorities and learning the real meaning of “guarding your heart.”
Every day is a new opportunity to give God the reins over our lives. It may feel risky at first but I have found that it is the safest place to be.

Marian Amo, a prolific writer of poetry and creative nonfiction is a student of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer's Guild with a certificate in publishing and working towards an MFA. Her spiritual insight can be credited to the power of God's word, her personal experiences and her personal relationship with Christ. Marian grew up in New York City and has been exposed to a wide range of cultures and ideas, which have often challenged her faith. The consistency of the word of God shown true in a plethora of different circumstances has made her capable of delivering biblical insight that is relevant and practical.