Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Courage to Let Go

As children bring their broken toys,
With tears, for us to mend;
I brought my broken dreams to God because he is my friend.
But then instead of leaving him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go...."

- Anonymous

(In)courage was launched today as an online place for Christian women to connect. I am so excited about what God might do through this new ministry and I'm so glad that I heard about it! The amazing women at (in)courage have asked us bloggers to write about what courage looks like in our lives and I thought I would write about letting go.

Since losing Noah a month ago, I have thought about the courage it takes to let go. It's something we have to do on a daily basis (sometimes even hourly). This is not done by any strength of our own. It's only by God's strength and power that we are able to let go. I have a little card in my purse that says, "Let Go and Let God". It's a nice little phrase, but it's easier said than done.

I'm kind of a control freak. I do not like to feel out of control and I panic when I am completely helpless to change my circumstances. Letting go of Noah's physical body was so difficult. I have been fortunate enough in my life to have had very few loved ones pass away. Even though Noah had already gone to be with Jesus, we clung to his earthly body. We kissed his face, his tiny hands, his feet. We touched the soft hair on his head and smelled the sweet fragrance of his skin. But there was absolutely nothing we could do to bring him back. The feeling at that moment when we had to let go of him, knowing that we would never EVER see him again while here on this earth....it's impossible to describe.

The moment that we learned Noah had died, our lives were changed forever. That's when we knew we would have to let go of our dreams, our plans, our desires. The picture of how we thought our lives were going to be....shattered. We weren't going to get to take Noah home. We would never see his smile or hear his laugh. We wouldn't see him take his first steps. We wouldn't see him sitting in his highchair with cake all over his face on his first birthday. We wouldn't teach him to ride a bike or to play an instrument. Ethan would not grow up with his little brother. We had to let go.

I am having to learn to have the courage to let go in front of my friends and family. To not hide my pain from them, but to be transparent so that they will have the opportunity to encourage me and minister to me. To let go of my pride and say that I do need help and I can't carry this burden alone. To let go in front of my husband and let him see that I am not the tower of strength that he thinks I am.

There are moments when we have let go and that's when God can come in and bring his mercy and his grace and give us the strength we need to carry on. Then there are moments when we take it all back and we try to carry the burden alone. We don't like God's plan and we get angry at God for allowing this to happen and as a new blog friend has reminded me (thank you Angie Smith), He can handle it. He is a big God and he knows all our thoughts and all our fears. He understands our pain. He gave his one and only son to die on the cross to be the sacrifice for our sins in order to save us!!!! He understands!!!

I don't have to let go of the memories of Noah. I don't have to stop talking about him or forget him. I just have to have the courage to let go of my will for my life so that I can see God's will and his ways (even though I may not always understand it) and I can let him receive all the glory....even through my suffering.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version)

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Joshua 1:9 (New International Version)

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."


  1. I love you, Lisa Collinsworth, and have wished for a way to help support you on this incredibly difficult path... but over and over again- you have ministered to me through your strength and courage and dependence on God.
    These same lessons you are learning- of letting go and trusting God- are the same ones I am learning concerning my wayward 17 yo son... I do not compare my pain to yours, only the lessons God is teaching me.
    Thank you for sharing your story with me and the world.
    For His glory alone, we stand together!!
    GinaOfHOPE- Conyers, GA

  2. Oh how true it is that it takes a lot of courage and faith to let go. Thank you for sharing your grief with all of us in blogland. God is good, and He will see you through.

  3. Lisa, oh, my heart breaks for you. Five babies in heaven. I have one there, gone home just over three years ago. I still feel the ache sometimes. It's amazing how you can hold a little one in your body for awhile...and your heart always. There are no words, I know, to ease the pain...but I'm whispering a prayer for you as I type these words.
    Holley - (in)courage