Hi, thank you for joining me today!  I’m Debbie Wallace, and this is Girl Church. 

Today we’re talking about HOW TO LET IT GO.  How to let it go.  I know some of you are thinking, “Oh Debbie, if you just knew what I’m dealing with!”  But you know what?  I think we’ve all been there at one time or another.  I know I have.  Personally, I have been there more than once.  As they say, I’ve been there, bought the t-shirt.  I have been there.  So speaking from a position of some expertise today, I’m gonna share some things with you that I think might help you when you need to let it go, get over it, and move on.

First of all, I think we need to understand WHY we need to let it go.  Before we start talking about HOW to let it go, why do we need to?  Why is it such a big deal?  Well, if you look at the answer to that, the best thing to do is just look at what will happen if you don’t.  

What will happen if you DON’T let it go, and you hang on to it?  You know, I was married for 27 years and got a divorce.  Those of you who know my story… I did not want to get a divorce, I thought I’d be married forever.  It was the only marriage I’d ever been in, and I thought it was a forever thing.  So finding myself single after 27 years of marriage was a bit of a shock.  And I realized at that time I was dealing with a whole lot of anger — you might be too — and I had TWO CHOICES.  One is, I could GET OVER IT and be happy, or #2, I could HANG ON to the anger and be miserable.  Because being angry about something, and being frustrated and disappointed with people, it hurts YOU.  It hurts you, it doesn’t hurt them.  They can sleep at night.  You might not.  But they can.  And I really had a vision of myself — not a real vision, but just a picture of myself in my mind — I visualized, what is my life gonna be like 20 years from now?  Am I gonna be a wonderful, happy person?  Are my grandkids gonna remember me that way?  Or are they gonna remember me as an angry, bitter old woman?  Because see, when you have anger that’s not resolved, that anger will turn into BITTERNESS.  It will.  

                                                                 bitterness = unresolved anger

And I didn’t want to be an angry, bitter old woman.  I didn’t want that.  I wanted my family to enjoy my company, and I wanted to have friends that enjoyed being with me.  I wanted to be a pleasant person — not an angry person.  And I have to believe that’s what you want as well.

There are FOUR REASONS, I think, where we struggle with letting go.  And I want to share those with you.  I think the first one is that we’ve:

1.  MADE AN EXPENSIVE INVESTMENT.  Now this is particularly true when you’ve had a failed marriage, especially a long-term marriage, a long-term relationship, or a failed business.  You’ve got an expensive investment.  It cost you something.  It cost you your time, it cost you money, it cost youlots of work, and your whole heart is involved.  And breaking this thing off your life is like tearing off a piece of your soul.  You’ve made an expensive investment, and it’s painful to say, “I’m not gonna go forward with it.”  

2.  UNFINISHED BUSINESS.  It’s hard to let things go unfinished.  Most of the time, whether it’s a marriage, a project, a business, we have future plans for that thing.  And you want to see those plans manifested.  You want to see it come to fruition, to see this thing finished.  

3.  DON’T UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLE’S DECISIONS.  We have a hard time understanding other people’s decisions.  Now, we know we cannot control others.  We should know that.  Many people keep trying to control others, it just doesn’t work.  But when someone comes to you and says “I want out,” or maybe you’ve been offered by someone who is just an acquaintance, and they’re hateful and mean to you, maybe they just do something awful… I shared a story recently in Girl Church, about a guy that flipped me off at the red light, and I’m like — I don’t understand that kind of behavior.  I’m indignant!  So whether it’s a small thing or a big thing, we can be indignant when we don’t understand why others do what they do.

4.  PERCEIVE “LETTING GO” AS A THREAT.  I think letting go can be perceived as a bit of a threat to us.  We can look at it as quitting.  And really, it might be quitting.  You might call it quitting.  But I am here to tell you now that knowing WHEN TO QUIT is the smartest thing you could ever do.  Now, I believe that we should not quit on marriage, but if someone else decides that they’re gonna walk, you know, you have to get over that.  You have to allow them to take responsibility for their life, and then you have to take responsibility for yours.  I know it’s not easy.

So what can you do when you’re forced with having to deal with LETTING GO when you really never planned on having to let go?  And that’s whole challenge of letting go, anyway.  We’re dealing with things that we planned on not letting go of.  You know, when someone was ugly to you, you didn’t really ask for that.  If your heart’s broken, you didn’t really ask for that.  So what do you do when you’ve got this thing sitting in your lap, and you’re gonna have to let it go, and you don’t know how?  I’m gonna give you five things today, real quick.

1.  ACKNOWLEDGE IT.  That means that you’re not in denial.  Do not make excuses for the other person!  Do not do that.  Don’t talk about how wonderful they are, and they didn’t mean anything by it, and you just know that they are gonna come back… Sometimes people are not ever gonna come back.  You need to acknowledge that. 

2.  EXPRESS IT.  Find someone to talk to.  Please don’t tell everybody!  Don’t be crying on everybody’s shoulder.  And don’t be publishing it on social media.  Find someone — a good friend, a mentor, a pastor — find someone that you can talk to that you know you can trust, and express your pain.  Let them know how you feel, tell them what happened, and take responsibility for your own life.  Like, “I know I’m gonna have to deal with this, I’m trying to deal with it, I don’t really know how to go forward,”  Just talk to them about it.

3.  ACCEPT IT.  This is a big one!  Accept it.  You have to accept that what happened, happened.  And chances are, it may be permanent.  It happened.  You know, you have to let yourself feel, too.  As you accept things, and you say, “Ok, this is what it is, I didn’t ask for this, but this is what I’ve got, and my heart is broken,” don’t mask the pain.  With anything.  Just let yourself feel that.  I know this is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s very important that you do it.  Someone said, “You can’t heal what you can’t feel.”

                                                    “You can’t heal what you can’t feel.”

I want you to let yourself feel it.  I know it hurts, but do it.  Because it won’t last forever. You feel like your kinda in the fire right now, it will pass.  Just accept it.  

4.  FORGIVE THE PERSON THAT HURT YOU.  This is whether it’s a little thing, or a big thing.  A little thing or a big thing.  It doesn’t matter what it is, you have to forgive them.  The Word says that we should bless our enemies, so I want you to pray for them.  You know the best revenge that you could ever get is praying for somebody?  Praying that God will show them the road on which they should go…and that God’s perfect will be done in their life…and pray that God will give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.  Yeah, that’s a prayer right there.  You know, that’s the best revenge you could ever get, because it that ever happens, their eyes will be opened and they will see where they’ve been wrong.  So I’m just telling you, if you really want to get revenge, forgive them and pray for them.  And let it go.  And then later — it may be years down the road — if they come to you and say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong about what I did,” you can’t punch ‘em!  You can’t say, “Yes you were wrong and I’ll never get over it” — because you have gotten over it!  You have to be gracious, and you have to say, “Ok, yeah, I knew that you were wrong at the time, but I forgave you, and I wish you the best.”  

5.  FOCUS ON THE PRESENT.  This is a big one too.  Focus on RIGHT NOW.  Don’t be focusing on the past, about what happened.  And you know those little movies that go around in your mind all the time, when you’re really dealing with regret and pain, they kinda play in your mind…when you find yourself doing that, cut it off right then.  Stop it, and pray, and ask God to help you.  And don’t be looking at things in the future about what would have happened.  “Oh, this is what I had planned for us,”  “This is what I had planned for that business,”  “This is what I had planned for that child that didn’t finish college,” or whatever it is that you had plans for.  Don’t do that.  Live in the moment.  It’s fine to have plans for tomorrow, but not about the things that you’ve had to let go.

I want to give you a scripture.  

Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Now, ladies, this is a big one.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  You know what, doing all those things that you need to do, you need God’s strength.  Because it takes faith!  It takes faith to acknowledge… it takes faith to express things… it takes faith to accept what happened and allow yourself to really feel the pain… it takes faith to forgive… and sometimes it takes a lot of faith just to live in today.  But I know you can, because you have the faith.  See, you have the faith.  God has given you the faith to do whatever it is that you need to do.  You have the faith for that!  And I know that you can do it, because the Word says right here, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.  You may be in a lot of pain right now, but God will get you through.  And as you do this, I want you to really rest in God’s love.  If you ever get to a place where you feel totally overwhelmed — and it’s easy to get that way, especially when you’re dealing with heartbreak or deep disappointment — if you ever get to where you feel like you just can’t make it, you’re overwhelmed, just rest in God’s love.  You can just pray and say, “God, I’ve done my part.  I’ve done these things.”  And you know what, you don’t have to feel good about them.  You don’t have to feel good when you forgive other people.  You don’t have to feel happy about any of this.  Just being obedient will get you through it, and there’ll be a day when you do feel better.  And you’ll look back on it, and you’ll see it in a whole other light than the way you see it now.  But just let God love on you, and if you feel like you’re not gonna make it, just rest in His love, and know that YOU’VE GOT THIS.  And you do, because GOD’S GOT YOU.  

Thank you for joining me today.  I look forward to seeing you next week!