Better than Yesterday
Let Go to Live
Women have heard the saying “let go to live” repeatedly, but the question is, how do I do that? What does that even mean, and where do I start? How does one let go when it feels much better to hold on to what we carry? Often, we refuse to let go because what we carry starts to feel normal. It’s comfortable and natural. But it’s a trap that keeps you from moving forward to live the very life God has planned for you.
Normal? How is that? You carried it so long it became part of who you are. You forgot bitterness, blame, and frustration are the fruits of unforgiveness because they were camouflaged by your comfort. I can relate. I have held on to hurt and constantly processed the very mistreatment I received from others. Regularly, I would press the rewind button in my mind, play the negative scenario all over again and hit pause. In those moments, I would meditate on the facts of the situation as I knew them. Often, I couldn’t let go because I couldn’t figure out the “whys.” I would repeatedly ask myself, “What did I do now?” I would try to make sense of it all. I didn’t realize I was feeding a victim mentality, wrapping and re-wrapping myself in an emotional security blanket.
Often, we think speaking our release is enough, but hurt and the remnants of mistreatment are rooted in our mental state. Being mentally and emotionally fragile forces us off balance and sinks us into a sea of self-pity. They cause us to hold onto past hurts and miss the blessed opportunity to live today. We hold on because somehow, we feel justified in holding on. Justified, yes! We continue to look back, rehearsing the hurt, replaying events over and over in our thoughts.
[Being mentally and emotionally fragile forces us off balance and sinks us into a sea of self-pity.]
My reality was that I wanted to release it. I did. I knew it was not healthy for me. The problem was I didn’t know how. I did not fully realize at the time I was falling into the enemy’s trap. I bit the bait. I was dwelling on the message he wanted me to dwell on. He wanted me to get caught up in mind games, his prevalent scheme. The enemy takes pleasure in this strategy because it keeps us imprisoned by the hurt of yesterday. Nonetheless, I was reminded of the compelling story of Lot’s wife. Deep within my spirit, I refused to be her. I refused!
So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:17, 26 NKJV).
Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32).
Lot’s wife looked back. She disobeyed God’s spoken command to keep her focus ahead. Looking back caused her to turn into a pillar of salt. This message in Luke was a warning to believers of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine what Lot’s wife was thinking before she chose to look back? Maybe she was contemplating what she was leaving behind. Did she have regrets? What was pressing in her mind? Perhaps, she was second-guessing her decision to leave.
In your life, you will reach a point when you know it is time to let go. However, moving forward can be challenging when your past continuously calls you back. I’m sure before Lot’s wife made her decision, she had questions about her past. The scripture does not tell us the details but just imagine. Imagine how many of us hold on because we feel we have the reasons and the right to do so. We hold on because our minds continually lock us into a painful cycle of rehashing the past. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to rehearse the hurts of yesterday and wallow in them. Furthermore, because the person on the opposite end did not own the wrongdoings, I continued to hold on because I felt I had every right to. Unfortunately, I continued to speak life into the wound and instead of it healing, it got worse. At times, I was close to recovery, but I would open the wound again as I shared my feelings with others and meditated on their opinions. Not only was this infecting the gaping hole that was once so close to healing, but I was sinking deeper and deeper into self-pity and hopelessness. That was a place I did not want to be in. It was such an unhealthy place.
As I grew older and wiser in my faith, I began to understand if I wanted to live, I had no choice but to let go. Ironically, what was so simple to understand, yet, challenging to accept was that people continued to live – really live – when I was stuck and stagnant in my walk with God. Letting go was a choice. We have a choice. You don’t have to stay stuck! My healing was in my release. How did I do it? I began letting go of stuff, old, insignificant junk that was of no benefit to my life or my relationship with Christ. I stopped looking for people to own and validate my heartache and chose to own it myself. I acknowledged my pain and took responsibility for how I felt.
Dr. Hart Ramsey said it best, “Embrace the growing version of yourself. You have to grow thru to get to.” I desired to be a better me and chose not to be a victim. I chose not to be a reflection of the pain I experienced. I refused to be a victim. I chose to grow. Mature. I chose to live.