The Loudmouth Protestant

October 12, 2008

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Filed under: God,life,love,relationships — nickisym @ 11:26 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve never known how to leave well enough alone. This dates all the way back to high school, when the first boy I think I ever loved started to turn against me. We were very close friends for years and then once he realized that I liked him as more than a friend–though it would seem to the external eye that he felt the same–he started to treat me unkindly. He was mean to me and condescending and tried so many ways to hurt my feelings. Despite all of this, I still hung on thinking there must be some hope left. All could not be lost from someone whom I had shared a friendship with. It hurt me deeply while he was doing this and I don’t know why I stuck around. I suppose because my good feelings about him far outweighed the bad ones he was putting me through that I just knew we’d make it through.

Well years have past since then and I’ve forgiven him for the way he treated me but I am also not friends with him now either because time and space has separated us. I brought this up because I was thinking this evening about how the heart is a funny thing. Or maybe it’s just my heart. It’s interesting when friends change on you like the weather. You don’t know whether you are to take it personal or whether you should just brush the dirt off your shoulders and keep it moving. For me, I rarely brush the dirt off my shoulders and always take it personally. Why? Because friendship is based on trust and honesty and if I call you a friend I expect you to be upfront and honest with me. I hate feeling like I am in the dark of a situation and worst of all like I am grasping at something that doesn’t want to be held.

That’s where I am now in life. I’m in this space where I fear I am grasping something that doesn’t want to be held and I don’t know how to stop reaching for it. Some would say that it’s okay to wait out for the thing to come back to you and others would say to just let it go. But, I’ve never been the kind of person who was completely ok with just letting things go–although I will for self-preservation’s sake. I’m a fight to the death kind of girl who will not throw up the white flag until I’ve exhausted all of my choices. But I fear this is all to my detriment particularly when I put it in God’s perspective.

A friend told me I should always be thinking about whether what I am getting is God’s best for me and if it isn’t, I shouldn’t waste another moment. I whole-heartedly agree with her, but there’s a silly, silly part of me that still wants to keep holding on. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid nothing else will come along. This is why many of us hold on to dead end jobs, deadbeat significant others, and the dead things of this life. But the stress that comes along with holding onto those things is just not worth it. That type of small-minded thinking blocks God’s ability to do amazing things in our lives. As I sat on my bed this evening, half watching a movie and half wracking my brain in order to rid myself of some ridiculous thoughts, I realized that I can’t spend another moment holding on.

Not being able to leave well enough alone is a sign of weakness, one that I don’t want anymore. I am tired of holding on to people and things that don’t want to be held. Particularly when I know I am 100% capable of obtaining God’s best for me. I am deserving of the best that He has for me. I am 100% percent of a good woman created for a good man. 100% of a talented writer, speaker and encourager. 100% percent of God’s creation created for his divine purpose and not just for a hope I will be accepted in this world.

There is someone reading this who deserves God’s best, but you’ve spent an inordinate amount trying to hold on to what you are supposed to let go.

To that end, I am reminded of a powerful sermon that I heard earlier this year entitled, “I Have to Give Up What I Can’t Afford to Keep to Keep What I Can’t Afford to Lose.” There are some things many of us are holding onto that are holding us back from getting God’s best. I challenge anyone who reads this to think about the things in your life that are holding you back from fully fulfilling God’s purpose in your life. What are those things you feel you are grasping at straws to hold on to but you sense they don’t want to be held?What are the things that are weighing you down? What or who do you need to let go of?

We should never spend more of our time grasping at things than we grasp for God because the truth of the matter is, we can’t beg for anything or anyone as much as we can beg for God and actually have him come to us.

Learn to leave well enough alone and better yet, learn to leave it in God’s hand.


  1. I am guilty of hanging on. I think that sometimes you are so determined to hang on, to not lose, that you forget to examine what is worth holding on to. And when you win the battle, and you hold on to someone that is not bound to you, you still lose the war. Any relationship, friends or more, should not require you to convince, cajole, beg, or manipulate. It should be easy. Anyone you have to struggle to have in your life is not worth fighting for.

    Comment by Kristen Copeland — October 14, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  2. I too am guilty of hanging on. I’ve held onto relationships with no definitive path. Some of which I’ve only recently let go. Loving myself and believing God has a better plan for me helps to sever those ties. Life experience matures the intuition. As women, we can sense bad intensions from a mile away. That said; I’ve taken an inventory and assessed myself against those individuals. Lucky for me, I have great family and true friends. The clutter in my life is certainly not needed.

    Comment by Donnika Carmichael — October 14, 2008 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  3. I have the same issues. Mine however started when I was in elementary school. I personally felt that I was the ideal friend. You know cool, fun and trustworthy. I couldn’t imagine anyone just not liking me. So from that point on I tried to make everyone my friend sacrificing my integrity at times just to fit into their world. Years later after numerous broken friendships, relationships and ordeals with family, I realize that I am still the ideal friend. I haven’t been the issue all along it was more or less the people I dealt with. I am a firm believer that one door has to close before another one opens. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blessing or not but a new opportunity or obstacle to overcome. I believe you have to work on any relationship but it should never be as difficult as pulling teeth. Also letting go and moving on is as easy as you make it.

    Comment by C Young — October 14, 2008 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

  4. C Young, it’s so true that letting go and moving on is as easy as you make it. I think it happens when you really purpose yourself to get on with life and acknowledge the good things you do have that you can confidently move ahead. For me, I can forge ahead when I realize that of all the things I grasp at, I have no more important thing than God. The Psalm that says “Whom have I in heaven beside you? There is nothing on earth I desire more than you.” I think about those words and how there’s only one person I could say it to who could whole-heartedly receive me in good times and in bad.

    I think far too many of us stay in bad situations because we think that’s the end all be all. The last good job we’ll get, the last good man we’ll get, the last whatever it may be. But we forget that in order to be open to new and better things in life, we have to be willing to let go of the things that would just be weights on us. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but once it’s done, you’ll feel free.

    Comment by loudmouthprotestant — October 14, 2008 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

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