I looked at my options and realized I needed to move on—to let it go. It wasn’t easy. It seems we often hold on thinking if we just give something a little bit longer, it will somehow get better. That’s not often the case, though.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.
Why do we hold on to things that aren’t good for us, and how do we let go and move on? I have a few ideas.
We hold on to the bad because it’s familiar. We know it. To move away from it is to open ourselves up to the unknown, and that’s scary. So, we stay with the significant other who talks over us and treats us poorly because who knows what other loser we might end up with.
In addition, the needed change will be costly. To leave the job, friendship, or addiction will cost us something. A paycheck, a hard conversation, withdrawal symptoms. Whatever it is, it won’t be comfortable, so we stay in the bad thing to avoid discomfort.
Sometimes we actually prefer the darkness to the light. The light invades our secret spaces. It shows us something about ourselves we don’t want to see. We might find out that we’re the one with the problem, insecurity, neuroses, so instead of facing a harsh truth, we wrap ourselves up in a lie, put on blinders, and settle for shame instead of freedom.
But freedom is there. Hope can escort us through the pain. The unknown can be an adventure.
There’s this song called Burn the Ships that’s kind of popular. It’s about eliminating your safety net—fixing it so you have to move forward and can’t go back. Sometimes we need to do something drastic so we can get to a better place. Burn the ship. Stay on shore.
I recently had to do that. I had been holding on to something that wasn’t good for me. It had hurt my heart and caused me to compromise, and it needed to go. But closing that door was hard. I couldn’t do it, so God gave me a push. He helped me face some things about myself I’d been ignoring and ask some questions I had been afraid to ask. It was scary, uncomfortable, and harsh.
Letting go of our mistakes, walking away from a situation that’s unhealthy, embracing discomfort so we can get to the other side of it, all of those decisions pave the way to freedom. And it is for freedom, Christ has set us free.
Andy Stanley has a great message about this on his Your Move show. (Click Your Move to watch.)
So, burn the ships! Don’t hold on to the past or that thing you know needs to go. If you bring your broken self to God, he will cover you, wash you in the truth, and help you dance upon the heartache.