Forgiveness is Letting Go

letting go

[Guest Post by Suzie Eller – We met through a mutual friend of ours and found out we both wrote books on forgiveness. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my new friend Suzie. To win a copy of her book, simply leave a comment below!!!]

My granddaughter Elle didn’t walk for nearly eighteen months. She held on to the wall, the coffee table, or someone’s hand.

The moment that she had nothing to hang onto, she fell to her diapered bottom with a plop and cried in frustration.

Just moments before she had experienced freedom.

It was limited, but it worked for her, at least until her safety zone was interrupted.

I have felt like that before. I held on to things that made me feel safe. Maybe they were familiar. Or perhaps it just worked for me, so why do anything different? Yet God was speaking clearly to my heart that He wanted me to take the harder path in my faith. To trust. To let go. To take at full value what scripture said would set me free.

Forgiving was one of those not-so-subtle requests.

Let go, Suz.

I want to free your heart of that burden.

You are hanging on to some things that keep you hemmed. You think it makes you safe, but I know it’s a wall that holds you back.

Maybe, like me, you’ve heard that whisper in your heart that says forgive.

Like my granddaughter, Elle, your first steps toward forgiving might be tentative at first. You might miss your safety net. Maybe it will feel different, not reaching for that thought of revenge, or dipping into the well of anger. So you just plop down on your diapered bottom and cry, because you want to be free, but it’s too uncertain without all the familiar anchors.

Anchors like waiting for someone else to say their sorry before you forgive.

Or nurturing that hurt, because after all it never should have happened.

Maybe your anchor is that you are waiting to see how it will all work out in the end–before you take that step.

So, where do you begin?

Ultimately, forgiving is surrendering. It’s taking letting go while taking a shaky step toward God saying, “I don’t know what this will all look like. I don’t even know if I have in me. But if you are asking me to do it, I willingly offer you my heart, my thoughts, my past, my hurts, and we’ll see where you take me.”

I’ll never forget the day Elle took her first steps. I stood nearby, almost holding my breath. I silently fist pumped behind her as her parents perched nearby, totally ready to break out in a celebration dance.

Elle discovered freedom that day. She could go to new places. She could discover what was beyond her limited horizons the day before. It didn’t mean that she didn’t stumble, or that her stride was perfect. But she was walking.

Your first steps toward forgiving might leave you feeling doubtful about your progress.

You might even reason this way: If I were strong, I wouldn’t feel this way.

I wouldn’t waver.

I wouldn’t get mad again over the same old things–ever.

Like my beautiful blond blue-eyed grandbaby, it’s not how well you walk from day one, but that you took the first step. You surrendered to the process, and the process is just as important as the destination. You are growing.

Just as I held my arms out, my face lit up with joy at her courage, God sees those painful first steps. He also knows with certainty that one day you will walk with skill, and one day you’ll even run (2 Corinthians 5:7).  

the unburdened heartYour Heavenly Father is fist pumping in the air. He knows exactly where this first step will take you; in fact, He’s known it all along.

Are you ready?

{Scriptures: Hebrews 12:1; Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 119:105}


Suzie EllerSuzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author, co-host of Encouragement Cafe Radio, mom to three adult children and their spouses that she loves like crazy, wife and best friend to Richard, and totally in love as “Gaga” with four grandbabies under the age of three. Connect with Suzie at or Dig deeper into this subject with her new book, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.