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Hold It All Loosely in Living and Dying

“Nothing was [ever] yours. At best, you had it on loan from God.” 
~Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

Life as a mom is interesting. You spend the first 12 years of a child’s life holding them close and then the rest of their life letting them go. 

letting go - surrender

Hardest Part of Living and Dying

In the throes of the early years, holding them close and directing their steps can seem daunting. But I’m finding the latter years far harder. Releasing the last one from the nest has tested my obedience and stretched my heart. 

I stumbled on the blog of a gentleman whose life is slowly being taken by cancer. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser writes honestly and openly about his suffering, his dying, and his wrestling with letting go. 

“Ownership is the thing that makes dying hard. I think of Barb, the dogs, the house, and my very life as mine, and it feels like they’re being taken from me. But if I willingly let go, surrendering them all to the God whose they are in the first place, I’m not stepping back from love. I can love all the more, because my heart is not clogged with a desperate greed.”

Stewards not Owners

Surrendering … letting go. It seems that’s the most difficult part of dying. Honestly, I think that’s the most difficult part of living. 

Surrendering ... letting go ... appears to be the most difficult part of dying and the most difficult part of living. Click To Tweet

We desire control. We thrive on believing we know best. We like the title of owner. 

Yet whether we’re living or dying, just beginning our family or clutching the hem of our children’s shirts as they stretch their wings and begin to fly, we must remember our place as stewards. God loaned us His children to raise. They are His … first and always. 

The same can be and should be realized about all we possess. Our spouse. Our wealth. Our health. God owns it all, graciously loaning it to us for a season. We’d do well to remember that. 

“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”– Corrie Ten Boom

Hold It All Loosely

The Lord gave us our life and all we have, and they are His to reclaim whenever He desires. When we learn to hold it all loosely, we develop a richer love, one free from the clutches of greed and self-centeredness. Learning to let go ushers in a freedom to live life fully in His grace, experiencing His full spectrum of love and joy.

The Lord gave us our life and all we have, and they are His to reclaim whenever He desires. When we learn to hold it all loosely, we develop a richer love, one free from the clutches of greed and self-centeredness. Click To Tweet

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it.'” Matthew 16:24-25 

Reflections: Is there something you hold too tightly? What is God asking you to surrender? 

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

5 comments on “Hold It All Loosely in Living and Dying
  1. Denita Krause says:

    Julie this was excellent! I’m in the hospital at Mayo finished my two surgeries and I’ve had to give up a lot for a while, but the lord always provides us something else to replace what we can’t do it may be a song You Love or something larger. I told Pastor we’re going dancing. God bless you

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Dancing sounds lovely, Denita! You’ll have to hold him to it. I’m grateful for your update and kind words. Glad your surgeries are behind you and praying for complete healing and relief from the pain you’ve battled for so long. God bless you.

  2. When I was in college, one of my classes was ‘Christianity and Culture’. A book we had to read for that class was “Christianity and History” . The ending sentence in that book was:” Hold onto Jesus Christ and for everything else hold loosely. I saw a copy of that book at a church rummage sale several years ago. I can’t find it now. I believe the quote is pretty much accurate. Peace and blessings to you and to yours.

  3. Peggy says:

    A beautiful and timely reminder for me in a new season of ‘letting go’ of my only daughter as she spreads her wings. Everything about this has soothed my soul and I will hold it in my heart. Thank you, Julie, for sharing.

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