Finding Strength in Letting Go {A Story of Faith}


I stood in my kitchen, preparing the dinner that only half our family of four would eat. My internal voice dished out judgment, reminding me I used to declare I would only make one meal.

The kids begged at my feet for food, and the internal dialogue continued, this time with second-guessing (Are they hungry or bored? Did I play with them enough today?). They clamored for my attention, and I mentally waffled between guilt for saying “I’m busy” and exasperation for just wanting to cook in peace.

I looked at the clock: 23 minutes until my husband’s arrival. The longest minutes of the day.


I heard a ding from my phone and reached for it, hoping for a momentary respite from the chaos and weariness. It was a message in my “Small Group Moms” chat, six of us who regularly text about the joys, struggles and cathartic memes of motherhood.

My friend shared a book recommendation, one that resonated with her about confidence in parenting. Sounded like just what I needed, in that moment and many moments.

But her text started with:

“I know y’all don’t tend to struggle with confidence as a mom like I do, but…”

I burst into laughter so abruptly that I scared the kids. My eyes scanned the unraveling state of my kitchen… and my sanity. She had to be joking, right?

I’ve always struggled with confidence – well before motherhood – often placing my worth in achievement, approval and accolades. I enjoyed the high that flowed from success and praise. But what if I missed my marks? These targets of “success” were ever-changing and the rewards were fleeting. All of it depended on my ability to perform.

I ever-so-slowly learned that letting go of reliance of my own abilities isn’t giving up and failing. Letting go is an act of humility and humanness. As a Christian, letting go is letting in the One who strengthens me.

Nothing revealed this more than motherhood.

If I had any illusions of succeeding on my own strength before having a child, I was quickly reminded of my insufficiency through a series of failed sleep training tactics. We tried everything – a phrase I would use over and again.

I question my parenting decisions multiple times a day, wondering if I’m sheltering them, not protecting them enough, giving too much sugar, making too many rules, saying the wrong thing. A cycle of self-doubt, guilt and wondering if someone else would do a better job.

Throughout the Bible, there are instances of humans presented with a mission from God, but they’re stalled by fears of inadequacy. And God’s response is often simply, “I will be with you.

God didn’t boost their confidence in their own abilities. He promised to be with them. God’s presence was their confidence to do the work ahead.

I have been on my knees, pleading for God to step in and give me the strength to get up, to make another meal, to sit calmly while holding an unreasonable child, to apologize for losing my temper. In those moments, I haven’t received parenting advice from the father of all fathers.

But I have been given the courage to stand up, let go of all the conflicting guidance, and just love my child in that moment – a love working through me from the Holy Spirit.

Now I’m practicing seeking Him before I’m in the trenches grasping for a rescuer. I try to start my day with a simple prayer. I ask for the Holy Spirit to fill our home and give us tempered emotions, open ears, and kind hearts… myself included.

True confidence comes from looking to Him first and remembering He is my strength. It is realizing my confidence comes not from how I perform but from my identity as His child.

In case you, like my friend, believe you’re the only one struggling with confidence today, know this: you aren’t alone. There is hope, strength and peace to be found in the One who loves us.


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