Letting Go Isn’t Always Easy, But It Is Necessary

Gold Brush Stroke

This week I’m focusing on Back-to-School. Monday’s post addressed a real issue (at least for me), “Back-to-School” guilt. Today, I’ll focus on the difficulty, necessity, and, yes, beauty of letting go. If you are in the throes of letting go, may you find encouragement in this post.

Recently I ran across an obituary of a precious 8 year old who died far too young. As I read about his life, I imagined his grieving family given the gut-wrenching task of letting him go. How did they cope with saying goodbye to one so young?

Twice in the past two months, my own extended family said good-bye to loved ones who had passed into their eternal glory, two of my uncles. We, too, had to let them go.

letting go

The Epidemic (and Necessity) of Letting Go

Not nearly so permanent as death, but painful, nevertheless, is the task of releasing our children to further independence. Letting go begins the minute our little ones start growing in their mama’s wombs. We just don’t think of it until it involves leaving for a longer period of time.

And, oh can it be tough!

I cringe every year when school begins for our kiddos (and they’re still home every night). 

And today marks the second year of giving our oldest our blessing as he heads more than 8 hours east to attend college (see The Pain of Releasing and Releasing for more on my thoughts from his first year). Although there is great joy in seeing him grow into a confident, God-serving young man, his absence is keenly felt.

You see, we pour all we have into our little ones. Then the little become big and begin to push past the comfortable boundaries we’ve set.

While it is tempting to hold on to them with everything we have, it is also foolish.

Because letting go isn’t always easy, but it is necessary! 

All manner of letting go occurs in our lives. Everything from moving across country and letting go of close friends to “burying” our favorite old jalopy when it rusts through. From growing out of our pacifier to giving up that coveted night light. 

These little “practices” through life prepare us for the tougher releases.

They teach us to trust, even when we don’t understand. 

Letting go helps us focus on Who is in charge. It prepares us to exchange this life for life eternal with our Savior. 

letting go

It helps us remember…

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

I still don’t relish those times of letting go, but after railing against them for so long, I’m slowly realizing that without letting go there can be no building up, and it’s in the rebuilding where we become more like Jesus Christ.

That’s a beautiful transformation no one should dare miss. 

Without letting go there can be no building up, and it's in the rebuilding where we become more like Jesus Christ.That's a beautiful transformation no one should dare miss. Share on X

Reflections: Are you mourning a time of letting go? How can I pray for you? If you are willing, post your needs in the comments and let this community lift you and your situation to the Father in prayer. 

By His Grace,



  1. Julie Ruegsegger on August 21, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Yes, the letting go seems counter-intuitive to everything we’ve done as mothers. Yet I know what you write–this life, even with all of its “family goodness”–is meant to give us a hunger for the next where there are no good-byes. Praying for you during this transition.

    • Julie Sunne on August 21, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Thanks, Julie. There are always transitions, aren’t there?

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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