I remember the first time I heard the song, Let It Go. My husband and I had taken our then three-year-old son to see the movie Frozen after it first came out in theaters, and I remember my husband looking over at me with an annoyed “seriously?” look when the cartoon characters burst out into song at the beginning of the movie.
My husband is NOT a fan of musicals, whereas I was squealing with delight on the inside like a kid in a candy store! The song, Let It Go, went on to be a globally recognized hit, winning an Academy Award in 2014 and a Grammy Award in 2015. It’s been ten years since the movie’s release, but I still catch myself humming Let It Go in my head every now and then, like I did a few days ago.
And it made me realize something…
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to “let it go.” To surrender our worries and anxieties to the Lord and to trust in Him. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
The Let it Go lyrics say, “Let it go, let it go! Turn away and slam the door! I don’t care what they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on…” In the movie, Queen Elsa runs away from her kingdom, and she builds an ice castle on a remote, isolated mountain, closing herself off from her past and from everyone she loves. She no longer cares what others think of her, and she boasts about relying on her own strength and power.
But for Christians, “letting go” is the complete opposite.
LET GO AND LET GOD.
For believers, letting go doesn’t mean not caring. Letting go means trusting God and letting Him take control. It means surrendering ourselves to Christ, letting Him in, and drawing upon His strength, not ours.
Parts of Elsa’s ice castle end up shattering to the ground, but we as believers have a firm, unbreakable foundation upon which we stand. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
God is the only one who can get us through the raging storms of life. He brings healing from pain and beauty from ashes. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23
My mother once told me when I was a young girl that she prayed for my brothers and I every single day (she still does) and that she surrendered us daily to the Lord. As a mother myself, I now know the peace that comes from surrendering my children to God, knowing that He loves them and has a special plan for their lives. It is my responsibility and privilege to raise them and care for them to the best of my imperfect human abilities, but God is ultimately the one in control. My children are in the palm of His hands, and He wants me to trust Him. What a sweet release— a huge load off my shoulders— knowing God is in control!
Surrendering my children to God allows me to focus on grace and connection, not perfection. For them and for myself. It involves focusing on being present and showering them with love and encouragement, and hopefully reminding myself to love and encourage myself as well.
We moms are often our own worst enemy. We neglect our own needs while putting everyone else first. We become Martha instead of Mary, fretting about the “to do” list instead of soaking up the presence and blessings of God. We’re often so busy dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s that we miss IT. We miss what’s important. We miss quality over quantity. We miss the grace and peace that is freely offered to us because we’re so busy trying to control “all the things.”
It’s hard to give up control when we feel responsible for so many needs. The mountain of dishes and laundry, marriages and careers, afterschool activities and homework, kissing boo boos and teaching life lessons await us day after day after day… but God asks us to relinquish our stress and worries to Him. To experience a peace of mind in both the blessings and “stressings” of life. Not a real word? I’ll let it go.
So even though we are still responsible for the day to day, God wants us to seek Him and follow Him, letting Him guide our path. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
And on the days when we are feeling weak and not qualified, God will equip us accordingly. When we are weak, He is strong. We can let go of our burdens and surrender them at the cross, letting Christ carry us and sustain us with His strength. The apostle Paul said about Christ’s grace, “But [Christ] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
LET GO AND LET OTHERS IN.
Letting go also means letting others in. Letting down our walls and welcoming other moms and friends into our lives, however messy we think it may be. We can’t weather the storms of life alone. It’s ok to ask for help. God designed us for connection and friendship, and we all know “it takes a village” to raise kids.
The Let It Go lyrics go on to say, “The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried. Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…”
It’s easy in today’s society to retreat to our little corners of the world and to hide behind happy social media posts and vague text messages, not revealing what is truly going on behind the scenes. The exhausting days. The toddler tantrums. The teenage defiance. The marriage struggles. The tears and worries. It takes vulnerability, bravery, and humility to let others in and to share your raw emotions with other fellow mom warriors.
Sometimes it means seeking out other moms and finding your “tribe.” Sometimes you may have to be the one to take that first step and to reach out to other people, inviting them to join your imperfect journey through motherhood and to share in the “hot mess” that is your life.
In all honesty, not everyone will accept your invitation. And that’s ok. Just keep searching and keep surrendering that need to God. He will place the right people in your life at the right time because that’s His promise to us: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” (Genesis 2:18)
And in kind, providing friendship to others is God’s command to us: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
God sees you and hears you. And so do I. Let others know you see and hear them too.
The last phrase of Let It Go says, “The cold doesn’t bother me anyway…” but I don’t believe that to be true. For some of us, the cold (or in our case, the mom guilt, the feeling of failure, the overwhelming responsibility of raising tiny humans) does bother us sometimes, which is all the more reason to LET IT GO and give it to God. To LET IT GO and reach out for support.
I hope this helps serve as a gentle reminder (including for myself) to surrender “all the things” to God and to be brave enough to break down our ice castles and let others into our sacred space of humanity. We’re not meant to do life alone. We’re not meant to carry burdens on our own. Christ died on the cross to carry our burdens for us. So let your burdens go and lay them down at His feet. Experience the sweet freedom and peace that comes with trusting God and letting Him take control. He not only holds your children in the palm of His hand, He holds YOU too.
Have a blessed Mother’s Day,