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.


  • Catherine

    “If I were strong, I wouldn’t feel this way.” This is so true. I am constantly fighting my own ideas of what strength is. Thanks for sharing!

  • April

    “Anchors like…nurturing that hurt, because it never should have happened.”

    WOW! Speaking to me where it hurts.

  • Jamie Holloway

    I am in need of letting go and forgiving. I struggle all the time. Looks like a great read and would be helpful.

  • Courtney

    I so needed to read this! I’ve been holding onto something for close to 20 years! It’s eating me alive and I need help learning to finally forgive and move on. My mother and father separated when I was six months. From my understanding he’s cheated on my mom throughout their whole marriage. I’m now 30, so he’s been with this lady for over 30 years and they have a 19 year old; AND my mother passed away from cancer 19 years ago. Uh huh… You do the math. I grew up believing that there were no faithful men. God blessed me with a wonderful husband and at times I say hurtful things to try to push him away because I’m afraid he’s going to do what my dad did. They are two totally different men and he would never do that to me, but its hard for me to let all the hurt and confusion go. My dad has a great relationship with my 19 year old brother, but he has the worse relationship with his kids with his wife. We are all bitter and truly need to forgive him for not being there for us and my mother, especially when she was dying from cancer. They never divorced, so I felt he still had an obligation to her. I believe Suzie’s book can help me to forgive and move on so I can finally be free.

  • Mary

    I know God has been talking to me about forgiveness. It keeps popping up again and again in my devotions and in my mind. Letting Go is a lot harder than it should be, especially when I know how much I am loved by God and forgiven by Him.

  • Melissa Waters

    Wow. What a book. I really would love to read this. I think I would have to read this along with a friend as I have some deep issues I’d rather not face alone.
    Melissa W.

  • Tricia

    Thank you for this mindful post. I am struggling, not so much the thought of forgiving someone, or even the action of forgiving someone, but more so the subsequent actions that prove that I have forgiven this person. This devotion has come at the right time for me.

  • Toshiko

    Thank this article hit home. Going through a divorce and God has revealed things to me and my path has given me struggles but my faith is unwaivering. Trusting him and letting go. Freedom awaits!