Letting Go of Toxic Baggage
by Drenda Keesee
Have you ever held onto something longer than you knew you should? Maybe it was a toxic relationship, a disappointment, a mistake, a negative thought, or even words somebody spoke over you…
Letting go can be hard.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Wow. “The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
How often do we waste our mental and emotional energy on things we can’t change? We worry about the future, regret the past, feel insecure about ourselves, and hold onto painful decisions other people have made.
…but what would happen if we just let it all go?…
Luke 12:25-26 say, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Our anxious thoughts accomplish nothing! In fact, they can paralyze us from moving forward. They can make us feel discouraged, victimized, alone, unworthy, angry, depressed, insecure, untrusting, and fearful.
We may think the emotional baggage and toxic thoughts we allow ourselves to carry will protect us from getting hurt again, but they don’t. They only keep us from embracing the freedom and blessing God has for us right now.
So how do you know when to let go? And once you’re ready to let go, how do you actually do it?
To identify whether it’s time to let go of something in your life, start by asking yourself:
→ Is it based on LOVE or FEAR?
→ Does it line up with the Word of God?
→ Does it apply to the present?
→ Is there anything I can do to change it?
→ Is it going to hold me back from obeying God?
→ Has it already held me back?
→ Is it affecting my emotional well-being?
→ Is worrying about it going to make a difference?
Things we need to let go of come in all forms and fashions. They can be mindsets, people, situations, hurts, sin, and fears. If you’ve identified something toxic in your life that you need to release to God, here are three places to start:
Ask God for the strength and wisdom to proceed. Give it to God! Letting go of things that are holding you back is an exciting process because it will free you to live the life you want to live, but it will also require emotional growth to get you there.
God will give you the peace and grace to make the hard decisions!
2. Get a new vision.
Start renewing your mind to what God says about your situation and focusing on what He says is true, not on what past experiences have trained you to believe. If you are dealing with a fearful or harmful mindset, this is especially crucial. It’s hard to let go of the past and embrace the future when we’re living in fear.
Start thinking God thoughts and discover the confidence to let go of the things that aren’t meant for you!
3. Make a change.
If you’re dealing with a toxic situation in your life, you may need to make a physical change moving forward. Sometimes the best way to ensure we won’t return to the negative situations in our lives is to draw a clear line in the sand. It may require setting boundaries, separating yourself from the situation, or having an honest conversation with a difficult person.
In order to move on, identify the actions you need to take to let go once and for all.
When we let go of the things that aren’t God’s best for us, we find something so much better!
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.