Holding On When You Want To Let Go

by Sheila Walsh September 22, 2021
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
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The past couple of years have taken a toll on all of us. Things we took for granted, like family gatherings, school, work and travel, have all looked quite different for a while. Many of my family and friends have also experienced loneliness, anxiety and depression at levels they’d never known before.

I have, too. Over the past several months, I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. I wrestled daily with feelings of despair and dread. It took me by surprise. I honestly wasn’t prepared for another battle with clinical depression threatening to pull me under.

Over and over, I prayed for quick healing. I asked God to take away the pain and struggle. Instead, He strengthened my faith by gently reminding me of the gift of His presence when I’ve walked through dark seasons before.

God has a perfect track record. He has always been faithful. In the midst of pain and sadness, tears and questions, I have clung to this profound truth from God’s Word: God began His work in you and me, and He will continue it until it’s finally finished on that glorious day when Christ returns. (Philippians 1:6) We don’t have to pretend to be perfect, to have it all together; we hold on to Jesus, knowing that He is holding us.

I have no idea what’s going on in your life as you read these words. What I do know is that we will all face challenges, heartaches, things we don’t see coming. There will be moments when we wish we could rewrite chapters of our stories. But as I began to dig deep into God’s Word recently, I saw like I’ve never seen before that God has been writing our stories from the very beginning.

I’ve been learning new lessons in this season. They are life-changing for me, and I pray that they will help you, too.

1.  We can trust God to hold us and all our missing pieces. (Isaiah 41:10)
2.  When life feels out of control, it isn't. God really is in control. (Colossians 1:17)
3.  When life is messy, remember that God is the God over the “messed up.” (Psalm 51:17)
4.  When you feel afraid and alone, and it seems as if God is silent, He is still with you in your pain, still moving. You are never alone. (Matthew 28:20)

I am learning to make peace with my story and be transparent and vulnerable with God. I pray that for you, too.

Remember that, no matter what you’ve experienced in the past, you are not your past. Your history does not determine your destiny in Christ. As a child of the King, you live under the righteousness of Christ, not under the cold blanket of shame. God began this beautiful work in you, and He will continue it until you see His face.

Today as I write this, I’m still learning, still trusting. And yes, I still shed a few tears. But I know this: No matter what circumstances you and I face today or tomorrow, we are being held by the God who will never let us go, so we hold on to Him.

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can come to You just as I am. Thank You that You have promised to finish the work You started in me. At times I am tempted to let go of You when I don’t understand what’s happening around me, but today I choose to hold on to You, believing that You are holding on to me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


In times of not knowing, Sheila Walsh offers a lifeline of hope. With great compassion born of experience and hardship, Walsh comes alongside the hurting, fearful and exhausted to remind us that we serve a God who is so much greater than our momentary troubles, no matter how insurmountable they feel. In her new book, Holding On When You Want to Let Go, she gives you the strength to keep going, to keep holding on to God in a world turned upside down. The accompanying study includes 10 lessons to help individuals or groups dive deeper.


Connect with Sheila at her website and on Facebook and Instagram, and listen to her podcast, God Is for You, here.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Holding On When You Want to Let Go by Sheila Walsh. To celebrate this book, Sheila’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, September 27, 2021.}


“But Jesus replied, ‘My Father is always working, and so am I.’” John 5:17 (NLT)

“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)

When you were in a season of darkness or waiting, or if you are in that season today, how has God still provided for you in your time of need? What do you need to release control of today and give to the Lord?

© 2021 by Sheila Walsh. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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