The muscle of letting go

Written by Jamie Grace
Published on October 16, 2020

“Don’t move, I’ll be right back,” I jokingly, and regularly, tell my daughter. It’s a joke because she’s an infant. And when she’s safely lying in her bassinet while I run to grab a toy or her bottle, there isn’t much moving that she can do. I know it’s a lame joke, but I always get a good laugh because that’s what moms do. We get good little laughs to ourselves about the most random, everyday things. (Full disclosure: I laughed at my incredibly lame jokes even before I had a baby.)

Truthfully, if Isabella could move, it would be a different story. And maybe my instructions now are a kind of practice for later. There will come a time when she’s crawling, then walking, and even running. I’ll say “Don’t move” to her, expecting that she’ll oblige. Ultimately, she’s human and will make her own choices, so for those moments that I am away, I am letting go of my control.

The letting-go-of-control muscle

My sister told me to start practicing that muscle—the letting-go-of-control muscle. Our kids are only eight days apart, and they spend a lot of time with our parents, affectionately known as G-pop and Goldie. On a family vacation to Florida, my sister and I headed out to lunch with our husbands and planned to leave the kids with the grandparents.

As we were leaving, I felt myself getting anxious, going over the checklist with my mom, firing questions all while giving them the answers. I was the last one of the four of us to get in the car, and we were only five minutes into the car ride when I told my sister, “I need to spend more time around you…I need to know how you are so calm when it’s time to let go.”

Morgan took a minute, and in a moment of attempting to simply speak her mind, she completely shifted my own.

She told me that someday Jacob, her son, would grow up. He would go over to friends’ houses and want to go out with them to concerts, maybe even take a road trip with them when he’s older. He would someday move out and maybe even start a family of his own. Morgan emphasized that she (with Patrick, her husband) was raising Jacob to be equipped for all of those things, and those would all be moments when she would have to let go.

“I know I’ll have to let go in bigger ways in the future, so I choose to find peace in the smaller moments right now,” she said. “I’m practicing using the muscle of letting go.”

God is always in control

It reminded me of a film I watched years ago, Grace Unplugged. The main character, Grace, moves across the country to pursue her dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter. She battles in her relationship with God and in her relationship with her parents, who would have preferred that she stay closer to home and not pursue a career that was seemingly all about fame.

After she left home, there’s a scene where her dad and their pastor are talking. Her dad is expressing his worry and fear about his daughter being negatively influenced by her surroundings and getting involved with people who don’t have her best interest at heart.

The pastor simply replies, “God may not be using you in Grace’s life right now . . . or he may never. But he is in control.”

That scene has become my go-to recollection when I’m thinking about the muscle of letting go. It may seem a bit ironic because I am a touring artist, but the message of this film isn’t about a career choice or even a geographic location. The heart of the story is learning to let go even when we think we know what’s best—and even when we do know what’s best.

God knows his plans for us—and our children

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most popular Bible verses. You can often count on youth pastors using it in at least two sermons a year, and you can find it printed on shirts, posters, and books all over the world—and for good reason! It’s an incredible verse: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

I read those words and I know that whatever my future, I am going to be okay because God’s got my back. He will remain in control as he has been all this time, so I don’t have to worry. Yet as a parent, I have to remind myself that this Scripture doesn’t apply exclusively to me. It is applicable to everyone, and that includes my daughter, Isabella. So in moments when I’m apprehensive about losing an ounce of control, I have to allow Jeremiah 29:11 to remind me that God knows the plans he has for me—and my daughter—and he will forever follow through on the promise of hope.

Those were the words that the fictional yet wise pastor in the film was speaking. He wanted to emphasize that God hadn’t removed his plan from Grace’s or her dad’s lives; it was simply possible that God wasn’t going to use her dad in that moment.

Knowing God’s plans is an action

Knowing the plans God has for us is an action. It’s one thing to hear something in school or in a work meeting, but when you actually study it, you know it, and soon it’s a part of how you live and breathe. I want to do better at knowing that God has plans for me, whether I know these plans or not. And I want to put that knowledge into action and continue to exercise the muscle of letting go.

For other parenting related articles, check out the 3 blogs below:

The only hope for parenting

The perfectly imperfect puzzle: Working with what God has given you today

Replacing the idol of perfection in our planning with the Lord’s purposes

Looking for more information on how to trust God’s plan for your kid’s lives? Watch this video from Dorena Williamson!

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Jamie Grace

Jamie Grace is a singer, songwriter and actress. Originally from Atlanta, the 2x GRAMMY nominee, Dove Award winning artist got her start on YouTube when she was only 14 years old creating characters for original improv sketches and sharing acoustic covers of popular pop, country and CCM/Gospel songs.
With nearly 1.5 million followers across social media, Jamie Grace actively advocates for joy, wellness and mental health through the lens of music, film and Faith. Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (OCD, ADHD and Anxiety) at a young age, her resilience gives her the fuel to create
content regularly, including the recent release of her devotional “Wait It Out” as well as weekly videos and podcast episodes (“The Jamie Grace Podcast”) in an effort to encourage others.
With 4 #1 radio singles and a GOLD record before she was 25 years old, Jamie Grace’s music, videos and podcast episodes continue to inspire anyone who listens. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation to find their voice and be a part of creative avenues to share their voice. In the year of 2020, Jamie Grace is releasing new music every month including the single “Dream Big” in January and the EP “Show Love” under the name Harper Still, a duo she formed with her sister Morgan Harper Nichols.

Read more about Jamie

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