My husband and I lead a support group for parents who are heartbroken and in pain due to the choices and behaviors of their children. This is the content from our last meeting. It is not original. It’s from The National Alliance on Mental Illness: nami.org I made some revisions and additions which are in (parentheses).
Want more peace? Then you must learn to let go. Letting go has been a very difficult thing for me to do. I’m still learning and it’s been over eight years. Al-Anon has a motto that says, Let go and let God. This isn’t a new concept. It’s similar to detaching, no longer trying to fix or change, but entrusting your loved one into God’s hands. When I release my need to control – recognizing that only the Maker of the universe has that power I’m letting go. I hope you find this to be a practical help and encouragement. If I can learn to let go, you can, too. I want – no, I need – the peace it can bring. We all do.
Let go . . . (and let God work)
To let go does not mean to stop caring. It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off. It’s the realization I can’t control another.
To let go is to allow someone to learn from natural consequences.
To let go is to recognize when the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive. (by listening, empathizing and finding ways to show you care without doing too much for them – enabling)
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to expect (demand) miracles, but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it. (To wrestle with the tension between expecting and believing God can do anything – he IS the miracle worker – yet accepting what is.)
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past (not dwell on it – it is what it is; we must accept our new normal. God made us very adaptable. We can do it with his strength. We have to.), but to grow and live for the future (look ahead with hope).
To let go is to fear less and love more.
These are two Bible verses that encourage me as I try to do what seems impossible:
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
“Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Psalm 55:21
I pray that God will gently teach you and help you learn to let go. We do not let go of our sons and daughters to release them into nothingness – we release them into the hands of an all-powerful God who loves and cares for them even more than we do. We let go in order to let God work. He can do what we can’t. Please God, help us trust you enough to let go. We need the peace letting go can bring.