How Taking Hold Makes All the Difference

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, Dealing with Your Past, Expectant Living, Forgiveness, Identity in Christ, Living Free, Living Fully, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, Uncategorized 78 Comments

I was alone, or at least I felt that way. Women huddled in happy clusters chatting about first one thing and then another. Some propped babies on their hips. Others clutched Bibles in their hands.

Most wore smiles on their faces. I wore one too. But it wasn’t a reflection of what was in my heart. The upturned lips were simply the camouflage I wore to blend in—to avoid being found out.

That I wasn’t really all that I was cracked up to be.

What I really wanted to do was run and hide. On the outside I was a well-put-together church mom with cute shoes and snappy jeans, but on the inside I was a little girl cowering in the far recesses of the playground hoping no one would notice me.

What’s wrong with me? I wondered. Why don’t I feel the joy these other women feel? What holds me back from experiencing the confidence and assurance they seem to experience?

Why do I continue to act like the same old me, struggle with the same negative emotions, and wrestle with the same old sins?

I wonder if you’ve ever felt that way.

The problem was I was stuck. Yes, I had professed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I knew I was going to heaven when I left this earth.

But I had a niggling feeling He meant something more than heaven when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? The aerialist swings out, swings back, and then usually on the peak of the third swing he takes hold of another bar or performer.

That’s when the fun begins as backflips, somersaults, and triples twists wow the crowd.

But what if, when the trapeze artist took hold of the second bar, he refused to let go of the first?

He would be left hanging in the middle. Stuck. That would not be the greatest show on earth.

And that’s where many of us spend our lives…stuck…dangling over “life to the full” but never quite letting go of what holds us hostage to a mediocre “less than” faith.

I know it’s where I spent many years…until God challenged me to take hold of the truth and make it mine.

Her name was Mary Marshall Young–and older, wiser woman in my church.

One day she challenged me to learn about my true identity in Christ.

Then she did something even harder…she challenged me to believe it…to take hold of it and make it mine.

And that made all the difference.

Paul wrote, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).

And in order to take hold and make our own everything that Christ has taken hold of for us and placed in us, we need to let go of everything that keeps us from doing so.

If we would grasp and make our own what Jesus has already done for us, and what He had deposited in us, our lives would look very different than the tepid faith of the average churchgoer.

God’s power, provision, and purposes are for “who so ever will” (Mark 8:34 KJV).

Will what? Will let go of all that holds you back from experiencing the abundant life of the adventurous faith and take hold of truth that makes it so.

So here’s what I’m challenging you to do:

• Let go of insecurity and take hold of your true identity as a child of God.
• Let go of the scarcity mentality that says that you’re not enough and take hold of God’s abundant promises that say you have everything you need.
• Let go of crippling bitterness and take hold of radical forgiveness.
• Let go of shame-filled condemnation and take hold of grace-filled acceptance.
• Let go of weak-kneed worry and take hold of sure-footed confidence.
• Let go of comparison to others and take hold of your God-fashioned uniqueness.
• Let go of debilitating discouragement and take hold of your next assignment
• Let go of timid reluctance and take hold of bold believing.

I know that’s a tall order, but I know you can do it. I’m here to help you get there.

It’s what God wants for all of us.

So today, let’s ask ourselves if we’re hanging on to something that God is calling us to let go of. Shame? Resentment? Condemnation? Unbelief? Ingratitude? Bitterness? Unforgiveness? A false sense of who we are?

If He brings something to mind, let it go, move forward, and live bold.

The faith you’ve always longed for is just a decision away.

Leave a COMMENT today about what you feel God is calling you to let go of. I’m going to randomly pick 1 comment and send a free copy of my new book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go. Move Forward. Live Bold.

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Comments 78

    1. I need to let go of the voice that tells me that i am not enough, that I will never be as good. I need to let go of the feeling that I am unlovable. I need to let go of the voice in my head that tells me my husband left me for another because I am not thin enough or pretty enough. Thank you for helping me begin my Journey to what God tells me I am.

  1. So true in this world we live in today. We as believers need to take hold of the wonderful promise that God has given us and this book could be the beginning of understanding our reluctance to be bolder for our faith. Once again thank you for your diligence and insight to write such books.

  2. I feel God is calling me to let go of my insecurities and my expectations of others. I have been struggling with this for most all my life and it has really taken me over lately. I feel the same way you said you felt, “I was alone, or at least I felt that way.” I stepped down from Ladies Ministry Leader in my church in December and since then I have not been able to bring myself to go to church because the few times I did, I felt so out of place. I already felt like I had failed at the ministry and now here I stood, “Women huddled in happy clusters chatting about first one thing and then another. Most wore smiles on their faces.” I felt no one was including me. I felt invisible. I felt no one cared. I have had resentment and felt so jealous of the women in my church because I couldn’t understand why can’t I feel like they do. I am doing better. I made it to church this past Sunday and I am glad I did. I didn’t feel so out of place. I believe God is working in me. I would love to have your book. I believe it will be a great blessing to me.

  3. My marriage of 31 years is coming to an end and God is calling me to let go of all the negativity that has held me from being whole and blessed.

  4. Wow. I needed this! What I say I believe hasn’t penetrated my heart enough to be evident in deep down authentic joy filled living! I live more like a caged animal that sees the door has been opened but am afraid to step out of the cage. I wish I could walk out into the newness of life Jesus offers and trust I can leave the cage for good-that The cage is not where I belong!

  5. Letting go of the frustration associated with a recent move. A move I didn’t want to make. A move that has caused me to have to rearrange my life because of negligence and lies of another person. If anything could go wrong, it has. Resentment and bitterness purge through the day to take my focus off the One who is guiding me on this journey. I am confident God has something so much more for me down the road. I need to lift my eyes and remain true to the course.

  6. I feel the way you were describing in the first part of this…never being as good, as well liked, like I don’t do enough or give enough, why can’t I fit in and be joyful and content like everyone else??? But then I’ll remind myself that I am God’s child and I am good enough…..but it doesn’t always last. I try to fix it on my own….I need to depend on my Father’s help. And in speaking with those whom I think has it all figured out…guess what…they often reveal they have the same securities. None of us measure up to all God has called us to be…but we need to hand over our past and take hold of our future…don’t give up. Thank you for that reminder once again Sharon!!! I’m finishing I Want It All by Gwen Smith right now..hoping to start on your new book next. God bless.

  7. I want to let go of my desire to spend money …on clothes I don’t need…and sending clothes over to Africa when. Don’t have the money to do either. Spending money is my downfall. I live on a very small budget and yet I want to spend it not just on myself, but on others. I desire to stop these actions and let God direct me in what ministry he wants me to be nvolved in.

  8. For the past 10 years my relationship with my only sibbling has worsened. He is the youngest and our parents have always favored him over me, which really hurts because he won’t do anything to help them and yet they give and give to him. My dad passed away 10 years ago He left our mom taken care of. Now I worry that she’s going to outlive her money because she’s given my brother most of her money. I’m carrying around a lot of bitterness and resentment toward my mom. I’m trying to forgive my brother for all the hateful negative words he’s said to me and my family and for sharing in the responsibility of our mom. I pray that God will help me in letting go of these bad feelings.

  9. I love this devotion. I so need to let go of my inhibitions that are holding me back from moving fully forward in my calling to become a Pastor. I have started the ball rolling and my next step is to write a letter to my District Superintendent stating in my words what I have heard from God. When I am done writing this, I will go write my letter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and strengths with us through these devotions. They are powerful. God Bless you.

  10. I want to let go of how I feel about myself, I am the oldest of 4 woman in our family, both of my parents have passed. Since 2013, I have not spoken to my 2 sisters. I stay connected to 1 only. I often wonder if it was worth the anger I had for them behind our father’s funeral, if my pride just won’t let go.I miss them and often think of them. I just can’t pick up the phone to tell them so.I am a woman of God, and I know I have to do something about this, if I die. I won’t be going to heaven. And I ask for help everyday, I am so down on myself I have no self esteem left in me. I am ashamed.

  11. Oh, Sharon, your words are what I’ve been searching for. I see so many friends and acquaintances who are living with letting go of the first bar (trapezically speaking)! They see my joy, my peace, my exuberance in praising Lord Jesus and Father God. They don’t understand how it is possible…what a blessing your devotional this morning is for me. I’m going to share it with them…you’ve put into words exactly what Father God and Jesus did for us. The power over death begins the moment we bow our knees and in faith proclaim our belief in Jesus as God’s only begotten Son and His glorious sacrifice to take on our sin debt. The power we receive is inside each and every believer yet few truly know how to release it! Again, thank you for the words…they are indeed the key to opening the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling us! I’m so thankful that God has given you the gift of encouragement. Thank you for using it, Sharon!

  12. I have recently learned how to let go of the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. Since childhood I have struggled with these and on Monday I finally broke FREE! It certainly feels good to know that I can speak up for myself without these 2 fighting against me!

  13. I need to let go of trying to control my future after praying for God’s guidance. In my heart, I have faith and trust in where God is leading us, but my mind isn’t cooperating! When I share my concerns with my Heavenly Father……I need to accept His will and His timing! Today’s devotion challenges me to let go of all the fears, questions, etc. that are holding me back from the life that God has planned just for me! Thank you, Sharon!!

  14. I’m letting go of the need for worldly validation that my work matters. I will focus on my gifts and using them to benefit others knowing that’s why they were bestowed on me. I will give praise for them and know I am blessed.

  15. I believe God wants me to let go of insecurity and the scarcity mentality. My whole life I have never felt that I was enough, In order to accept what God has for me, I need to let go of my way of thinking and accept God’s promises.

  16. God is calling me to forgive someone and let go of the hurt. I pray for God’s help in doing what He wants me to do.

  17. I so need to read your book! Going through a difficult time and doubting my worth. I’ve got to let go of my unbelief. God will use this and me for His glory!

  18. Thank you so much! I have so much to offer but stuck in what I have been told that I am not. Stuck in shame, condemnation, regret, and fear.

  19. I needed this so much this morning. I woke up feeling so inadequate. I have to be with a group of people today that I do not know and feel so less than. Thank you for reminding me who I am in Christ and whose child I am.

  20. Hi, Sharon. I forwarded this devotion to my daughter because it is so on point. Her truck was broken into last week and she lost some worldly things important to her college, work, and daily life. It has been a roller coaster week of emotion, but she knows Christ intimately and knows material things are replaceable when we are ready to give them to Jesus. Isn’t it funny how we always struggle to understand the why and are forced to walk through (through being the key word here) the emotions to the other side of forgiveness and letting go? Anyway, she makes me so very proud and if she wins your drawing, I know she will love you book. I love all I have read and given forward. Her name is Katie. Love in Christ, Andrea

  21. I feel strongly that God is calling me to let go of all of the anxiety in my life and trust Him to lead me along life’s path with His blessings.

  22. I have been walking with the Lord for more years than I can count ……. and yet have so many challenges …….I believe……. but the hope deferred makes the heart grow weary ……..

  23. I think God is calling me to let go of who others think I am for Who He says I am. I am a pastor’s wife and staff member at the church where my husband pastors. We are in a difficult church. Our marriage is difficult as a result. I think we need to let people see what is going on and that we are committed to God’s grace. It takes courage. I’m not sure I have what it takes. Sometimes it is easier to pretend than to own the truth.

  24. I am struggling with my place in my church. I have this overwhelming thought that I am being slowly pushed aside in favor of someone else. I am the song/choir leader of our church, and was appointed as such 4 years ago. A couple of years ago, this lady started singing with me, which I did not have an objection to, and now this one person has become several. She has taken over my role as the song leader maybe not meaning to do so but she has just the same. Now on top of this we have another lady who started coming to our evening service and she takes control of the singing. We have different groups that come each Sunday night and you cannot hear them because her voice is very loud. What is wrong with me, I do not like feeling like this but am slowly wondering what am I doing there. Singing is my passion. It is the one thing I know that I do well. I am not a very good speaker so I let my singing speak for me. It is my way of loving the Lord and praising him.

    Why do I feel this way about these 2 ladies? It makes me sound awful and I do not like this feeling.

  25. Dear Sharon,

    Before reading your message. I spent time with Lord praying and asking him to help me and deliver me from all my insecurities, fears, flaws, disappointments, pain, and heartaches. My prayer is to be women God created me to be and to take away everything that is not like Him in my life.
    Thank you so much for sharing your message. I found it to be confirmation that God hears my prayers and is already answering them.
    May God continue to Bless You!

  26. I need to work on self confidence. I have been taking piano lessons and think I’m ready to play in public (church), but I’m such a perfectionist, I can’t seem to get passed that.

  27. God has called me to give up my fears and trust Him in all things. He is Sovereign and He has promised in His Word that He works through all things for my good and that His Word never returns void.

  28. All my adult life I have heard just let go of negative ideas you have about yourself. I’ve heard wonderful testimonies from women who they are free of all the hinderance of the past and now walk in that fullness of life our savior died to provide us. I’ve tried, but I still feel incompetent in most areas of my life. I make so many mistakes. How do I start? I don’t know how to make it REAL Iin my life. I am 65 years old. I have been a Christian for 50 years. I have had a relationship with Jesus for my entire life. I love Him with all my heart. He has worked miracles in my life and my son’s life. I have seen Him move. I believe He has forgiven all my sins. I believe He is my Father and I depend on Him. But I don’t know how to take hold of who I am in Christ. All I see is my failures, my inabilities, my insecurities.

    1. Dear Pat, you’re not alone. But let us together let go of those things that are keeping us from having that abundant life Jesus came to give us. I am pretty much stuck in the same thing, but I believe that with a little nudge down the right direction we can both be free at last!

  29. Choosing to let go of the bitterness of unmet expectations relating to my infertility and inability to adopt and become a mother.

  30. Ok, well I have a many leto go’s I need to just LET GO, but my biggest one, the one that pretty much hunts me everyday is comparison to others. Sad to admit, but I am so good at judging and diminishing myself because I am an expert at looking myself in other people’s mirror. So God is Calling me to embrace my uniqueness and just leit it go.

  31. I feel God is wanting me to let go of my marriage and let him have it. I’ve been married for 23 yrs and since Jan we have been struggling to stay together. My husband will not talk, just says he isn’t happy. So instead of me fixing it, I know God has too

  32. I’ve been serving in the same capacity at church for 2-3 years. I feel that is God’s will, but long to do more volunteering at our church. I’m stuck due to fear of stepping out in the wrong ministry, but also afraid my husband won’t support me (it’s happened in the past) even though he is a Christian.

  33. God is calling me to let go of my feeling of unworthiness. I have suffered the loss of a child and a marriage that I thought was soild. I feel unworthy of joy and peace.

  34. I hold back and don’t speak up. I don’t like to get embarrassed or be embarrassed. I think I’ve become mousy and shy and too reserved. I have a difficult time becoming involved at church and it’s paralyzing. I’ve really visited with the Lord about what this is and why am I this way. For the longest I thought it was a spirit of fear, but God has opened my eyes to the fact that this is a spirit of pride that I’m dealing with. I’ve rebuked and bound the prideful spirit in Jesus name. I’m moving forward and stepping out in faith more and letting go. I’m letting go of pretending to not matter and am willing to let others see the real me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to submit this because it feels really good to type these words of confession. God bless you!

  35. I’m not sure if it’s let go or stop listening to, the constant berating from the enemy telling me that I am worthless, a burden and do not belong. I know I am a child of God and I try to remember that as my health continues to decline.

  36. I feel so encouraged by this devotion. I’m reminded that God really does want be to be free of all my fears. I’ve been struggling with an anxiety disorder for over 10 years now and at times it can be totally debilitating. Thank God that He will help me to let go of all the fear.

  37. Last year, what I needed to let go of was an unequally yoked relationship that was headed nowhere. When I allowed God to write my love story, He has given me far more than I have ever expected. He has given me a Boaz. Thank you for writing this Sharon! God bless!!

  38. Today I let go of the fear of the future unknown. I grasp hold to God’s promises to me and know that I can do ALL THINGS through his strength!

  39. I feel that God is wanting me to let go of my insecurity and my reluctance to believe in myself has He does. I truly love our Father God…

  40. I have been held bound with a guilty conscience over my past life, but I let go of all the feelings associated with my past failures and sinful life and I accept Christ love, forgiveness and promises into my life. I believe God will pick me up and help me to see myself living a victorious christian life. Amen. Thank you for this devotion. Remain blessed.

  41. What holds me back and keeps me from moving forward is fear. Also having the confidence that I can do what he has called me to do.

  42. Dear Sharon, I want to thank you for touching so many lives. I read this in your email about what we need to let go of: Let go of insecurity and take hold of your true identity as a child of God.
    • Let go of the scarcity mentality that says that you’re not enough and take hold of God’s abundant promises that say you have everything you need.
    • Let go of crippling bitterness and take hold of radical forgiveness.
    • Let go of shame-filled condemnation and take hold of grace-filled acceptance.
    • Let go of weak-kneed worry and take hold of sure-footed confidence.
    • Let go of comparison to others and take hold of your God-fashioned uniqueness.
    • Let go of debilitating discouragement and take hold of your next assignment
    • Let go of timid reluctance and take hold of bold believing.
    I’ve been Struggling with a problem that my 14 1/2 yr old, 9th grade daughter is going through. She has recently shared that she’s in depression and it seems as though most of her friends are moving out of state ( we live in the DC Area). She’s been feeling Alone. I’ve been trying to help her several ways BUT when I came across this email I just sobbed….. I felt the Lord speaking to me through you. Thank you so much for your encouragement.My daughter really is going through a lot with 1) her parents in marital counseling, 2) trying to sell our home and buy a house to keep our daughter and older brother in the same high school that they started in due to friends(long story), 3) health issues like surgery to break growth plate in left arm and now right arm acting up umong other things so she feels like she’s falling apart,4) Her new therapist just announced that she’s leaving the practice after only a few sessions for depression, 5) and now she’s named several of her close friends moving. I am a mom strong in my faith and have raised her to be also so she’s strong in her faith but just wants to go to heaven now. I think this information would really help. I would think that we could go through it together because I’m sure I need it too. Thank you again for all you do. I hope you’ll come back to VA, I’d love to see you again.

  43. Dear Sharon, I’ve been Struggling with a problem that my 14 1/2 yr old, 9th grade daughter is going through. She has recently shared that she’s in depression and it seems as though most of her friends are moving out of state ( we live in the DC Area). She’s been feeling Alone. I’ve been trying to help her several ways BUT when I came across this email I just sobbed….. I felt the Lord speaking to me through you. Thank you so much for your encouragement.My daughter really is going through a lot with 1) her parents in marital counseling, Among several other things, she’s named several friends who are moving out of state. I have raised her to be strong in her faith, as I am but she’s been so depressed. I thought that going through this book together would help each of us see what we’re holding on to that we could let go and refocuse on belonging to Him who loves us the most. Thank you for all you do.

    1. Post

      Oh Nancy. I think going the book together is a great idea. Being 14 can be hard on a good day. I pray that she will see glimpses of just how much she is loved by God. That she will know that he sees her, hears her, is concerned about her. And even though friends move, He doesn’t. And He will bring new ones.

  44. God wants me to leave this addition behind me and know that he has already healed me. God is a good God. He has never left me. I am so grateful for his kindness and mercy.

  45. I am ready to let go of my insecurity and fear of not being good enough. Thank you for reminding me that I am a child of God and that he loves me and I am not alone. God Bless you.

  46. I need to let go of unbelief, doubt, insecurity, guilt, my feelings of failure,not being good enough, thinking I can do it on my own, condemnation. Let goof my job where they have cut back on my hours it like they are trying to force me to quit. I really need prayer. Thank you Jesus

  47. I can really relate to this. I realized that I am clinging to what I have done/been/loved/was good at, etc. and have not chosen to believe what God says. I am stuck in old ruts and haven’t felt alive and free for a while. You have challenged me to know what God says, believe what God says, follow His leading and leave fear behind. Thank you!

  48. I want to let go of :Past Hurts, resentment, insecurities, unforgiveness, always suspicious and a doubtful mind. I want to move forward and trust in God for a better tomorrow.

  49. At the end there you say let it go and move forward! But how do I do this? I have so many things on our list to let to of, I truly don’t know where to start. I’ve just been going through a couple of weeks of beating myself up for the past…yes can’t let it go…I’m so exhausted from wearing these masks. I’m so tired of the condemnation, my fears of mostly everything, my deep loneliness – and no one knows how I’m feeling! Except God of course. I just don’t know how to let go and let God??? Is it a process, what do I do, pray? Fast? I’d love some wisdom from you ladies.

    1. Post

      Hi Merle. It is really too much to put in an email. I think you could really benefit from the book Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. Read it slowly and apply the principles as you go.

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