I was scrolling Facebook and someone had posted “Sometimes it is best to just let go”. The Lord brought this memory to my mind….
Years ago we lived in a “normal” neighborhood. We had a dog, a very large dog, that had found its sweet little puppy self under my car on a hot July afternoon.
Since the dog had grown to be so intimidatingly large I had been taking her to obedience classes. Though to be fair I think we had only attended one at this point. My son, husband (at the time, we are now divorced) and I decided to enjoy a beautiful spring morning with a walk to the park.
I entered the fenced back yard, husband and son heading out the front to wait for Smokey and I. I had bought her a brand new leash and I was excited to show it and her off! I hooked the leash and went to open the gate, but as usual, it was being difficult. I’m trying to get the gate unstuck when Smokey spots her boy and bolts through the barely opened gate.
I cleverly thought, oh that’s ok, this is one of those really long retractable leashes. Oh. so. clever…. as she hit the end of the leash and never slowed down. She jerked me right off my feet, I actually went horizontal, completely airborne, for a few seconds and then slammed down. Full body contact, flat out on the ground. Smokey hadn’t reached her boy yet. David seeing what happened jumped to help. Making Smokey think we were playing her most favorite game, chase. She drug me, cartoon like, through the side yard and around into the front, where I finally let go.
As my husband helped me to my feet I fought back tears. The fall was painful enough but I also had grass/gravel/stick burns and scrapes all over my stomach, chest and neck. After first asking if I was ok, trying to hide the “what the hell were you thinking” tone from his voice, he asked, “Why didn’t you just let go?”
That wasn’t exactly an easy answer. It depends on the point at which he thought I should have let go. When she first bolted would have been the best time. The time before injury had occurred. But at that point, I thought I was still in control of the situation. I knew the circumstances had changed but I still had faith that it was all still going to work out like I thought/wanted/planned. That would have been giving up to soon.
Next point for letting go would have been after initially pulling me completely off my feet, through the very stuck gate, literally “flying” for .02 seconds. But at this point I’m at the “oh my goodness, what in the hell just went wrong, what the hell is happening, maybe I’m not in control anymore, everything was just fine, sweet Jesus” thinking. Way too busy processing 90 miles a second, what hell just blew up in my face, on a beautiful, early spring morning. I personally think no one can really process “let go” in this stage.
The next and probably the most logical, most common point of letting go would have been upon/after hitting the ground. I figure half the people in this situation would have dropped it naturally. Probably a good 48% would have made the wise choice to let go and that other two percent is where I fall in. We are the ones holding on. Not letting go. Grip locked. This thought process waffles between, I got this, I’m going to hang on and regain control, set everything right again, to no way I’m giving up now, to who knows what more pain could be in store if I let go now.
This next part is the part of me that I think is definitely a blessing and a curse. When I decide to hang on, no matter what…I HANG ON. As she drug me through the yard. I literally remember thinking and asking myself, why I was still hanging on, what good could possibly come out of refusing to let go. I can’t exactly explain it, but it was a gut reaction. Hold on. Don’t let go. It wasn’t until I saw her turn to run away from David toward the neighbors yard that I decided to let go. At that point I realized she could run for days and we were probably going to end up on the sidewalk, I wasn’t interested in getting concrete burns.
I don’t let go. And through out my years, the harder it got the more I held on. Which often is what I need to do, needed to do, had to do. But occasionally I was holding on way past the “reasonable” point. Way past the makes sense, healthy point. Held on to the point were friends and family looked at me and asked “why didn’t you just let go”. It is never an easy answer. “Just let go” is so much easier to put on a meme, coffee cup or a cute little t shirt, easier still to look at someone else and tell them to “just let go”, and usually fairly easy to look back and identify the optimal letting go point, but in the very midst of the situation it’s never quite as easy as the coffee cup makes it seem.
I’m learning to seek the Lord, quiet myself and the distractions and ask Him to tell me the letting go point. Trust Him to know when to let go. Holding on is a virtue, letting go when it is time, is wisdom. I need Him to help me learn to balance them both.