Let Go and Let God
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Let Go and Let God

Recently, during my mom’s 80th birthday cruise celebration, my 25-year-old son asked me to join him rock climbing. Why not climb a wall at 56 years old? Well, there was one problem: I am terrified of heights. As we put on our harnesses and climbing shoes, my heart started to pound in anticipation. I reminded myself to breathe. The people in charge hooked my harness to the belay, which stays with you as you climb versus being tethered to a rope that someone manually pulls tight as you ascend. My son watched and talked to me while I climbed, yelling encouraging reminders like, "You can do it, Mom!"

I nervously focused on what I was doing, determined to make it to the top. I avoided looking down, concentrating only on the rock wall ahead of me, making sure to grab with a sure grip and support myself with my legs and not just my arms. My heart pounded as I neared the top, and finally, I reached the bell and rang it with my finger tips. Mission accomplished, I thought. My son hollered, "Great job, Mom!" I was smiling from ear to ear. Then he said, "Okay, let go."

"What?" I hollered down without looking. "Was I told I would have to let go?" He replied, "Yes!"

I didn't recall being told that I had to let go. I don't know what I was thinking. I was so focused on getting to the top and ringing that silly bell. Maybe I thought there would be an elevator to take me down or that I'd climb over the top. Who knows? But I did not want to let go. I was over 40 feet in the air on the top deck of the ship, and this belay could fail. If I let go, I'm not in control.

My son yelled up from the ground again, "Just let go and push away from the wall." I was grabbing on for dear life at this point. I started to climb down, but my foot and hand grip almost slipped as I grew tired. Then I realized that if I didn't let go and push away from the wall, I'd hurt myself. I could lose my grip and slide down the wall, getting scratched up at best.

I prayed to God to help me have the faith to let go. Thoughts whirled through my mind: If I let go and this belay doesn’t work, I’m dead. Well, at least when I hit the landing or boat deck. I finally got the courage to let go. I repeated the Bible verse: “I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV). I placed my legs in front of me, took a deep breath, and counted down in my head: 3-2-1. I pushed myself off the wall cringing as my stomach dropped to my throat. I felt the belay catch, hold me securely, and then slowly lower me down. I had to keep my legs in front of me to keep pushing myself away from the wall. The belay worked, as you might have guessed, and I finally landed on the ground safely below. My son said he was proud of me as I caught my breath and allowed my heart rate to slow down.

Defying Fear Verse: Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Defying Fear Principle: Let Go & Let God. 

Let go of the fear of losing control that is controlling you. God is like the belay. Even though you can’t see it, the belay is there, just like God is there. You have to have faith to let go and let God have control. If I had kept holding onto the wall, I would have eventually exhausted myself and fallen. Are you exhausting yourself because you are holding onto something you need to release? Where do you need to let go and let God?

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