Day 25: Letting go

Back to the early months of this year, and as I journeyed through Lent a realisation was dawning on me. My hands were tightly grasping many things – hurt, unforgiveness, anger.  If your hands are full of things it is impossible to take hold of anything else without letting go. I couldn’t hold on to good things, new things, because my hands were full already.

I didn’t know how to let go, but with Easter approaching I kept coming back to the the phrase I’d often heard about ‘laying things down at the foot of the cross’. I hate Christian jargon however I began to think about it more carefully; less about the particular clichéd phrase, more about the theology of the crucifixion and what accepting it fully meant. It was transactional in nature, and it seemed to me that there was a transaction which I needed to undertake in order to accept and enjoy its full significance.

I wrote this :

Letting go

of the pain , which feels bodily and causes gasping for breath when it suddenly, brutally strikes, or lingers aching without ceasing

the rejection, which speaks of worthlessness, stupidity, tossed aside used and no longer needed

the injured pride. not bruised or dented, but bloody, torn and horribly mangled

the lost possibilities, so many, glittering, sparkling, alive

the betrayal, which cuts so deeply it has almost severed my arteries and caused my life to end

the lies, believed and yet false, turning people against me.

the sin, which masquerades as life, but is nothing but darkness

If I let go my hands will be empty

My fists won’t be clenched

I won’t be grasping at thin, weak strands which take all my energy to cling to

My hands will be empty

What will I do then?

With my empty hands I will have space to receive forgiveness, light, love, resurrection, hope

I will let them be touched gently, by he whose hands were nailed to the wood

I will let him take all that I am letting go

I will let him touch my hand, hold my hand, fill my hand

Empty hands. Lights in the darkness 

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21 thoughts on “Day 25: Letting go

  1. tears. I hold on to so much too. Your story your journey back to the cross is revealing stuff in my life I’m a little afraid to face, but really need to, thank you. I hate Christianese too, so many phrases I’m trying to restate in ways that keep the truth of it without the triteness.

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    1. Martha – I’m sorry it’s taken me a few days to reply, but thank you so much for taking the time to write here. I understand what you mean about the stuff that feels so hard to face. All I know is that my experience in these last months has been that when I do reach the point of honestly looking at something, it is like breathing out, and a release of tension, which I didn’t even know was there. It is always life giving. Never the opposite. So much love and prayers for you as you begin to let go.

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  2. Thank you for sharing….in the hard letting go places. And the discovery of the realities behind cliches. Praying along with you for the empty hands and what will fill them.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your heart. Hold on and be brave. I’ve been in a similar place. Our marriage was broken – we had nothing but contempt for each other. But healing is possible. For us it was painful and slow, but miraculous. That was 25 years ago! It’s worth the work, it’s worth working through the pain, it’s worth holding your grasp on the tiniest of hopes even if you can’t hold on any more. Joy truly does come in the morning. Ours was a very long night – almost two years of basically just surviving, then another couple years of working hard, counseling, and opening ourselves to true healing. It was heart stopping pain, but the end result is a richer love. We now proudly bear our battle scars. Much love to you, and keep being a brave warrior.

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    1. Kristin this speaks to me so much. I need to hear these stories of holding on and healing. I need to know that the pain can become a scar which has healed. Thank you for working hard and coming through. Thank you for being a brave warrior who understands this battle. Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you.

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    2. Kristin- it’s good to hear your recovery timescale. I’m in the midst of a similar situation to caiobhe’s and at first I greatly underestimated the damage done and thought I’d be ok in a few months. Now I wonder if I’ll ever fully recover! 4 years is a much more realistic timescale and somehow takes the pressure off to be fixed all at once. Thank you for sharing your story x

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  4. This stills me…still.

    This subtle, earth-shifting transaction. Burdens crumpled from the clenching, dissolving in blood. Empty hands massaged, caressed, and lifted by nail scarred ones.

    And the light that pours out through newly opened fingers. Rays that surround you now.

    So much love, Caiobhe…

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  5. When I read your first paragraph this morning I immediately thought of the poem I wrote on Thursday for my daughter’s poetry prompt. We must have had the same idea of opening clenched fists to let go of things and make room for the good. http://gaylwright.blogspot.com/2014/10/enough-for-all.html
    I am reading your posts everyday. They are captivating, raw and honest and so full of truth and hope. So glad you are sharing. I know many will be blessed and encouraged.

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  6. Beautiful and wise words! It’s so important for us to surrender all to Jesus and just trust & obey Him. I pray for your healing and restoration. Give God all your broken pieces and He will make a magnificent mosaic that reflects His glory and grace!

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and for your prayers. It’s funny you mention a mosaic – I wrote about that some months again, and I’d forgotten that imagery but it’s really helpful to remember it.

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