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Kenny's Korner- Love Means Letting Go

by Kenny Rader

My wife had a saying.

The saying went something like this. 


         Hold a butterfly in your hand and

           Release your grip.

If the butterfly flies away,

  It was never yours.

But if it flies and returns,

  It is yours to behold.

Where did her saying come from? Maybe only God knows. 


While this is a simple thought, it's true in so many ways because love is not about holding on; it’s about releasing and letting go. You’ll likely find exceptions to this idealistic view, but let’s ponder the idea of letting go.  

When you fell in love, think about how much you gave of yourself. You wooed them, and you showed your best self. But what does that have to do with letting go? Well, ask yourself, in the actions of winning your future mate, weren’t you trying to catch them? Weren’t you luring them in – not in a bad way, but weren’t you trying to draw them so they would become yours? That’s not letting go. That’s catching with the idea of holding on.

We are catchers and holders.

Maybe it's a Western civilization thing, or perhaps it's Satan's influence on us, but we like to get what we want and then hold on to it as much as we want. We keep some things for a while before disposing, and others we tend to hold onto forever. But here's the reality: most of us do not like letting go of the things we love until we decide to let them go. 


Guys, maybe your most significant possession is a favorite tool, a car, the newest and greatest television, or your job. Ladies, maybe it’s a dish that was your mother’s, a piece of furniture, a house, a piece of jewelry, or you also might have a tight grip on your job. However we look at our possessions, we don't like letting them go.

Let’s go deeper.

Some of the things most dear to us are people. Who? Your spouse. Your kids. Your best friends. And let's face it: God designed us to hold tightly onto family and friends. It's love. We tend to hold tightly to people we love and those close to us. But the sad reality of love is that someday we all must let go.


When Adam and Eve sinned, death entered the world, and the cycle of birth, life, and death will not end until Jesus returns. But is love worth the cost of eventually facing death and that painful separation? Yes, or God would not have set it up that way. Love is worth the excruciating process of letting go. If you have lived very long, you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, and you understand the pain. So, falling in love also means eventually letting go of them, whether it's you who will pass or your loved one. Either way, letting go is one of the most challenging parts of life.

We cannot take it with us.

Preachers often use the illustration that you can’t take it with you. Have you ever seen a hearse with all the contents of that person’s life towed behind? Not likely. Why? Because when we pass from this life to the next, we leave behind everything of material value. EVERYTHING! We can take nothing of this world with us into the next: not our boat, our house, our car, or our jewelry. We can take nothing with us – not even our spouse, children, or friends.  

Letting go

The problem comes when we understand we must someday release our grip on the things or people we love. Each of us will eventually realize that we have tightened our grip so much that letting go is terribly painful, so let’s examine what causes us to loosen our grip to let go.


Possibly, the worst pain of having to let go is rejection by another person. The divorce of a marriage likely tops all forms of letting go. Rejection means you still face life by moving on in some seemingly impossible way. It’s terribly agonizing. You’ll need to alter your life, remold yourself, and possibly start over—the rejection by a loved one results in us reluctantly letting them go.


Health is another painful cause that results in us letting go of things and people. Our changed or deteriorating health results in a situation where we can no longer do the things we did in the past or enjoy life as we did. This often causes great disappointment. Maybe it’s having to give up doing things for the ones we love the most. Perhaps it's watching our loved ones pick up where we can no longer do things for ourselves. There are so many ways our deteriorating health affects us that we cannot name them all. But declining health forces us to loosen our grip and let go.


Death is the greatest cause of letting go, and it's going to happen to every one of us. Whether it's the passing of a loved one or our death, we will eventually let go of every material aspect of life. While it’s horribly painful, you and I will let go of everything. Death is the result of sin. Blame it on Adam and Eve or take responsibility for your own sins, it's the reality of life. We live and grasp onto things and loved ones, but we will let go of them in death.

Sadly, we fight letting go, but as we come near to death, one by one, God pries our fingers off our most treasured possessions and loved ones. If you’ve faced death and lived to tell of it, you understand. As the reality of death neared, you were likely slowly letting go. Maybe you faced a major disease. Maybe you were lying in the hospital waiting on a complicated surgery. Maybe it was your special loved one facing death, and you had to let go of them. No matter the cause, letting go is extremely difficult. Fight as much as you want, you will eventually let go whether it’s you or your loved one who passes.  

What letting go does and does not mean.

Letting go does not mean giving up. Letting go does not mean throwing in the towel. The ultimate form of letting go is love. Love? Letting go is loving that person as much as you ever have. Serve them and be with them as much as you can.

But if it's you who faces death or a difficulty, it means no selfishness on your part. Let them serve you. Face your limitations and submit to the help of those who love you. They may need to do something that stretches them. Let them do it because it means they love you. If you can’t help them as you wish and they are struggling, ask them to reach out and accept help from others.  You or them asking for assistance is another way of letting go. Sadly, we are a proud people, and many of us hate to admit our need for others, but that's what family and the Church are here for. We must seek help when we need it and help others when they need us.  

Ultimately, letting go properly is submission to God. If you fail to submit, then you are battling God's plan. Submit. Loosen your grip. Let go when that time comes and in whatever manner it comes. Letting go is a beautiful way of loving God. If you genuinely love those nearest to you, help them, and/or let them help you.  Ultimately, if you genuinely love God, let go and let Him have His way. In the end, God will have His way, so let go and give it all to God.  

Happy month of Love.


Love you!!!