Before the moment of victory, before my once-wrecked-heart became buoyant and light and mosaic … before the almost touchable colors of rest, there was a rather ugly fight. A pride fight. An envy fight. An I-can-do-this-all-on-my-own fight. It wasn’t glamorous or full of altruistic valor, but was crooked and unhinged and altogether sour. Do you know the kind?
We’ve seen ‘the answer’ before, the many varieties of the repeating mantra swiftly taking over every Pinterest quote board we’ve scrolled through. “Close your eyes. Clear your heart. Let it go.” Sigh. We read it, heck – we even sing it, and our bellies churn, knowing it’s Truth, equally knowing how unreachable it feels. “Let Go.” Just let go. We pin it, and it sits there, like a dull headache right behind the eyes. We pin it and we wonder if it will ever make its way off the screen and into our dewy 6 a.m. morning, when the floor is crackly cold beneath our feet and our mind is already restless with a fistful of worry-thoughts, insecure and fearful and loaded.
The grip is the comfort, isn’t it? We don’t let go because those thick white knuckles scream, “Can’t you see I’m doing something here?! Can’t you see I’m trying?!” The riot for our life says, “Can’t you see I need to do this? Can’t you see I’m finding out if I’m capable? Or valuable? Or enough?!”
What rope are you clinging to? What words are you shouting, holding on to that rope?
The grip becomes our vital-sign, the struggle is our IV-drip. It’s what makes us feel alive, because to let go would mean the falling; and God only knows how far, and heavy, and dark that is.
“Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory;
for all its strength, it cannot save you.”
// Psalm 33:17 //
The white knuckled warhorse.
That twisted, bent, self-deprecating grip. The white knuckled warhorse of fear.
I’m curious … what if you did let go of that rope?
What if you didn’t know what would happen, or what would become of yourself? Maybe you’d risk all the acceptance, control, justice, and need. Maybe you’d risk whatever it is that’s been tangled up in that rope. Good grief, the risk feels high.
But what if the ground is actually not so far beneath you? What if the floor of Christ sits just beneath your dangling toes, and the Hope your knuckles scream out for is sprawled out, waiting for your let-go? What if you loosened the grip and you let yourself drop to the soft ground of Comfort, and your body is finally allowed to curl and nestle and weep? What if the hand of God touches your ache? What if you can now take a deep breath and the oxygen you breathe is no longer stale recycled air, but is pure nourishment, and sunlight, and freedom? What if the let-go is your ‘capable’? What if the ground is your ‘valuable’? What if Christ is your ‘enough’?
Fear made me believe I had to hold on to it in order to survive. Fear told me it owned me, that I had no choice. That life without this struggle was empty and unrealistic and for the ‘silly little dreamers.’ Fear was my rope.
But it was wrong. Victory came in when I let my poor knuckles have a break, and I loosened that crippling tension between me and those woven strings of fear. When we make the choice to release the grip and fall into freedom, that is the victory. When we can stand up on the floor of Hope, with heavy knees and raw hands, we’ve done it. We’ve overcome, and the victory is here and alive and moving. Because everything we were ever fighting for comes when we let Him in. It’s the welcome, yet almost uncomfortable truth. He gives it: the value, the justice, the fulfilling. He gives us a place to stand and a space to deeply live. Isn’t that what we wanted all along? There … dangling on our rope? Wasn’t that us up there, fighting for a firm footing? Fighting for a steadied mind? Fighting for permission to just breakdown already and stand up again?
The victory is in the let-go.
“We put our hope in the Lord, for he is our help and our shield.”
// Psalm 33:20 //
Hallelujah for the helping. Hallelujah for the shielding. Because my white knuckles never would have found me freedom. The release is worth it. The learning, worth it.
The hope-covered ground is waiting. Because you are loved, the floor of Christ waits for your release. Victory is in your story, in your veins. Victory, friend, is your inheritance; the thing that we’ll forever keep.