You know letting things go – past hurts, people you love, plans you create, places you long for – is freedom. But HOW do you let things go and live by faith? These tips are inspired by a question a member asked in our She Blossoms Facebook Group.
First, here’s the quote about letting things go that inspired her question: “If we let go of our personal preferences, we free ourselves from win/lose thinking and the fear that feeds on it,” says Dr Rachel Naomi Remen in 5 Books to Help You Blossom Into the Woman God Created You to Be. “The less attached we are to what we think we want out of life, the more alive we become. The less preferences and fewer expectations we have, the more deeply we can participate in a joyful, peaceful, free life.”
The secret to letting things go and living by faith is to humbly accept what God allows into your life. But HOW do you do this? I’m glad you asked, because I have several ideas to share!
So right now — the exact moment I write this — I can hear my little dog Tiffy throwing up on the couch. Excuse me for one second.
“This is so not what I want to be happening right now,” I mutter as I stomp downstairs to clean up the sofa. Note that my dog managed to NOT throw up on the blanket, which is there for that purpose and which I could easily wash. And she thoughtfully puked right on the edge of the sofa, so it flooded down to the carpet.
“Honestly, this is NOT what I want to be happening,” I tell Tiffy as she watches me clean up her barf. “But it is, and I’m letting go of my disgust, frustration, and ideas of how I should be spending my time. Instead, I’m learning how to let things go and live by faith.”
And that, my friend, is how it goes.
5 Tips for Letting Things Go and Living by Faith
The less attached we are to what we think we want out of life, the more alive we become.
1. Write down exactly what you need to let go of
Tell me, what specifically are you trying to let go of? Your first step is to get to the bottom of it. Write it down, because writing will give you clarity and insight. Writing will help you think through your problems and move you a step closer to peace, freedom, and joy.
In your life, you’ll have a variety of quick short-term frustrations (eg, a dog throwing up on your sofa while you’re trying to write a Very Important Blog Post on how to let things go and live by faith) and serious long-term problems that can’t be cleaned up with a few disinfectant wipes and a flush of the toilet. Whether you’re struggling with the idea of letting go of the past so you can heal or emotionally detaching from someone you care about, you have to pinpoint your problem before you can start living by faith.
2. Consider the idea that you don’t know how things “should” go
Have you been struggling to let go of something or someone for a long time?
It’s because you’re choosing to hold on. You’re scared to let go, because letting go means you have to change. You don’t really want to let go because it’s more comfortable and safe to hold on to how things “should” be. You don’t want to live by faith and let God control your life because you think you know better how your life should go, and be.
You don’t know how to let things go because you think you know best. You can’t live by faith because you believe your way is better. And you don’t trust God to work all things together for your good because deep down you really believe you know what’s good for you, for others, for the world.
3. Humble yourself
Guess what? You have no idea how things “should” go. You think your life should follow a certain path and you’ve been praying for a certain outcome for weeks or months or years because you think you know best…but the truth is you are a teeny weeny fragile vulnerable speck in a vast universe of mystery and unknowns.
If you believe in God — and you’ve accepted Jesus into your life and heart — then you have to be humble before your Creator. Don’t you understand how big, glorious, powerful, and mighty He is? If you really knew Him, you would be walking around on your knees. You wouldn’t have time to search for tips on how to let things go and live by faith because you’d simply be living in peace, freedom, joy, and grace!
4. Use your God-given brains to live by faith
Ok, it’s time to get tough: instead of living by your emotions (“but I thought I’d have this by now or we’d be together forever, so I’m sad and lonely”) and following your feelings (“I just can’t help myself, I feel so empty and unmotivated, I know I’ll never get over this”), start using your brains.
You are smart. You understand what I’m saying to you — but it’s hard to actually put it into practice. I know! I totally get it. Even though I’m on a mission to live my life in freedom and live by faith and let go of things and trust God to work all things together for my good because I believe in Jesus….I often find myself disappointed, frustrated, and judgmental. I am very emotional, very sensitive. But I’m also sick and tired of being a slave to my emotions! So, I choose to trust God, receive His grace, believe that He loves me so much He sent His son to DIE for me, and clean up the puke in my life.
I choose to flush the puke, and fix my eyes on Jesus. I CHOOSE this all the time. And that, my friend, is how I let things go and live by faith. I choose it with my brains.
5. Practice letting things go
My dog Tiffy just licked my face, and now all I smell is throw up. I can either wash it off and move on…or I can keep smelling it and holding on to the disgust I feel. Which option — if you were me — would you choose?
It really is as simple as that. Learning how to let things go CAN BE as simple as washing it off and choosing to change what you focus on. Learning how to live by faith CAN BE as simple as keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus! Don’t rely on willpower, or trying not to think something.
The key is to replace your longing for something or someone with your faith. How? By refocusing your thoughts as soon as the worry, anxiety, or fear comes up. How? By figuring out what works for you: a piece of Scripture, a song that helps you live by faith, a prayer. What works for me is simply lifting my eyes upward and opening my heart to the Holy Spirit. I literally fix my thoughts on Jesus and shrug off the puke. I don’t care about the puke, I don’t want to live in puke! Puke is gross. God is good.
Help Letting Go and Living by Faith
In Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live Tracie Miles – a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who inspires women to become who God called them to be – describes how to replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the “captain of your thoughts.”
In this book, Tracie also discusses the fact that true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances. She describes how to overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps (which will help with letting things go and living by faith!). Tracie will help you stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead.
When you change the way you think, you change the way feel…and this will help you completely change your life.
Tracie Miles is also the author of Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future and Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World, and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
How do you feel, what do you think? Write it down! Write about the things you’re struggling to let go of. Get to the bottom of them, learn what’s driving your fears and attempts to control your life. Then, find something better to fix your eyes, mind, heart, and spirit on.
And that, my friend, is how you will learn how to let things go and live by faith. And it’s how you will Blossom into the woman God created you to be. Amen, and amen!
P.S. Read 5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Him and Start Moving On if you’re struggling to let go of an ex-boyfriend after a breakup or ex-husband after a divorce. Pay attention to the comments section; you’ll see the disaster zone of allowing a man to control your emotions, thoughts, and life.