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June 24, 2021

Ann Farabee column: Let go

By Ann Farabee

Letting go.

It is personal.

No one can do it for you.

Telling someone to let go can be helpful — but only if they let go.

As a 10-year-old, I attended swim classes at the YMCA. The instructor was nice. The water was not too cold. I would sit on the steps of the pool. I would then walk down the steps while holding on to the side of the pool.

The next step would be to let go of the side of the pool. I refused. Not one time during those lessons did I let go. I regret that my parents had to pay for me to hold on to the side of the pool.

As a 20-year-old, I was required to pass a swim test in college in order to pass PE. My teacher very calmly told me that I would need to let go of the side of the pool in order to swim.

I promised I would try. He waited. Nothing.

Finally he counted expressively, “One, two, three. Let go!”

After a few countdowns, he gently spoke these words, “In order to let go, you will have to open your hands.”

Trust me — the side of the pool was not easy to let go of, but I finally did. Instruction became possible. I learned to swim that semester and earned my A in PE. My teacher was proud.

Until I opened my hands, let go and chose to trust, there would have been little chance of overcoming my lifelong fear of the water. I could have held on with hands tightly clenched to the side of the pool for the entire semester — and admit defeat. But I chose to trust my teacher and then began to trust the water that surrounded me.

Trust changed everything.

Trust. It is a small but beautiful word that brings out our emotions and resonates as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or some thing.

When most of us were growing up, we may remember standing on some stairs yelling out, “Catch me, Daddy!” Then, with reckless abandon we would let go and fly through the air because we had complete trust that our father would catch us. He always would.

Or maybe we remember our children jumping into their father’s arms from the stairs, as they yelled out, “Catch me, Daddy!” and went diving through the air with complete trust that he would catch them. He always would.

The trust a child can have in his father — it is an amazing thing.

The trust we can have in our heavenly father — it is an amazing thing.

Which would feel sweeter?

How we feel when we know we can trust God?

Or how God must feel knowing that we trust him?

I think both make him smile.

Ecclesiastes 3:6 tells us that there is a time to let go.

Trust God! Do not fear. He will catch us!

Every. Time.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at  annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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