The Courage To Let Go - Encouragement for Today - May 10, 2024

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Dr. Avril Occilien-SimilienMay 10, 2024

The Courage To Let Go

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“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” Psalm‬ 127:4 (NIV)

Chubby cheeks, wobbly legs, drool-filled smile, and eyes that follow my face with wonder. This is my mental image of our firstborn daughter.

While preparing for high school graduation, she spoke eight words I did not want to hear: “Mom, I want to take a gap year.” Every conversation about college options and her passions had turned into discussions about her deep desire to reach the world for Jesus.

In my mind, taking a gap year before college was out of the question. I had my daughter’s life all planned out. High school, college, career, marriage, kids — in that order. (Can you tell I have control issues?)

But this moment was the beginning of God taking me through a season of letting go — a season that freed me from the lie that I am in control.

Still, I resisted. Refusing to let go of the plans I had already made, I lamented, Why, God? Why must You test me in this way?

I sensed God’s response in a way that felt very clear: Will you trust Me with her? Will you let Me do My work in her life? I have great plans for her that will take her places where you will not be able to help her or control the outcome. I want to do My work in her — but not as long as you hold on too tightly. I want you to let go.

Then God placed this scripture on my heart: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth” (Psalm 127:4).

Can you imagine a trained warrior who has spent her entire life preparing for battle by sharpening her arrows and perfecting her aim? Imagine this trained warrior going into battle, retrieving her arrow from the quiver, placing it in the bow, pulling back, perfectly aiming, but then not letting go.

This is what we do as parents when we spend years pouring God's Truth into our children, sacrificing sleep, spending hours on our knees in prayer, preparing them for the future … and then not letting go, not releasing them to fulfill their God-given purpose.

My current season is a difficult but necessary one: learning to let go of my first arrow.

As I prepare to send our firstborn on this new, unplanned journey, I see those chubby cheeks now chiseled with age. I see those wobbly legs now strengthened to bear the load of her path ahead. I see those drool-filled lips now armed with the Truth of God’s Word. And I see those eyes that once followed me now firmly fixed on Jesus — the Author and the Finisher of her faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Friend, as you raise your children, may God grant you the wisdom and strength to guide and mold them. May He also grant you the faith and courage to let go.

Lord, I thank You for being a loving, omniscient God who has plans for me and the people in my life. May I always remember that Your ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9) and that Your plans are always good. Grant me a heart of surrender. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


We all have a story to tell, but knowing how to share what God has done in our lives in a way that will glorify Him and impact the hearts of others can be challenging. That’s why we created “How To Share Your Story,” a free resource to help you overcome your fear of being transparent and vulnerable — our five-step process can help you start writing about the transformation you’ve experienced in a way readers can relate to. Click here to download for free today!


What do you want to be known for? That question can feel daunting and overwhelming to think about, but as followers of Jesus, we have an opportunity to leave a legacy that impacts the next generation. But how? Check out our latest podcast episode where our friend and author Bianca Olthoff teaches us how to live “poured out” for the sake of others. You’ll learn how small steps of daily obedience really make all the difference. Click here to listen now!


Today’s devotion writer, Dr. Avril Occilien-Similien, is a member of COMPEL Writers Training. Receive writing tips on your social media feeds when you follow COMPEL Training on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!


Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (NLT).

What plans have you made that you are struggling to surrender to God? Pause and reflect, and then write those plans in a journal. Pray and ask God for a heart of surrender to His ways and His plans.

We’d love to know your thoughts about today’s devotion! Share with us in the comments.

© 2024 by Dr. Avril Occilien-Similien. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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