In Others’ Words: Letting Go – Guest Post by Author JoAnne Bischof (& Giveaway)

 

JoanneBischofquotefromMHIF

It’s a funny thing, writing books. Sometimes as an author, we have a vision of what the theme of a story might be, other times, it just takes on a shape of its own. When I first set out to write the Cadence of Grace series, the theme of  Be Still My Soul was how God can see us through any trial, no matter how great. And not just see us through … but how we can walk through a trial joyfully, expectantly. Knowing that God works all things for His good.

Then Though My Heart is Torn and My Hope is Found threw another theme into the mix. A surprise one that I hadn’t anticipated. The series had started off with a lack of choices. A shotgun wedding. An unwanted marriage. Yet to my pleasant surprise, the story evolved … in the way love can often do. It grew, matured, and I realized that the characters were suddenly faced with choices.

True love is more than a feeling—it’s chosen. It goes beyond emotions that come and go. Love is something we are called to act upon. (John 13:34)

There’s something about love that makes us want to hold on tight. A new baby, a toddling child, a dear friend. A romance. We yearn to cling.

To draw near.

Yet at times, we can show love in letting go. This reminds me of a moment in Beth’s beautiful novel, Catch a Falling Star, when the heroine, Kendall, chooses to let something go. Not just anything. That which she had most cherished. My heart ached for her in that moment, but at the same time, I think she walked away just a little bit stronger. A little braver.

Sometimes love involves allowing what we cherish … to take flight. Because at times, that’s what the journey entails. The paths that need to be walked alone. And in faith, we can pray and trust, and let the distance makes us stronger. Let the distance, show love.

 Sometimes letting go can be the harder way to love than holding on.

In Your Words: When have you had to love by letting go? Do you have an encouraging verse that would comfort someone in a time like this?

When love means letting go – guest post by author Joanne Bischof Click to Tweet

When distance makes us stronger – guest post by author Joanne Bischof Click to Tweet 

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GIVEAWAY: Thanks for visiting us on the “A Book For Every Reader” blog tour! Leave a comment below to be entered to win not one but TWO books! One of Joanne’s and one of mine. Also, to enter in the grand giveaway prize which includes some country goodies and an e-reader, simply hop on over and fill out the entry form: http://www.joannebischof.com/extras/blogtour/

You’ll also find the official details. Winners will be drawn on September 28th and contacted via email. Thank you for joining us!

 

JOANNEBISCHOFAuthorpic1fb Christy Award-finalist and author of The Cadence of Grace seriesJoanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.

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106 Comments

  1. Roxanne Sherwood Gray
    September 25, 2013, 6:39 am   /  Reply

    Beth, Thanks for having Joanne as your guest. I’m always looking for new authors.
    I had to let go of the way I thought my life should look and of plans for my future and trust God for an entirely different future than I’d ever imagined. He is trustworthy.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:08 am   /  Reply

      Roxanne:
      I’ve watched you let go — and yet hold onto your faith at the same time.

    • September 25, 2013, 11:56 am   /  Reply

      Roxanne, it is lovely to meet you and hear a little about your story. For those of us that have gone through those unexpected turns, you said it so perfect..He is trustworthy.

  2. Melanie Backus
    September 25, 2013, 7:11 am   /  Reply

    JoAnne Bischof is a new author to me and I am always looking for a new name so thank you for introducing her . Sometimes our constant urgings or “What ought to be’s” drive people further way than do the good that was meant. As hard as stepping back is and holding one’s tongue, I finally came to that conclusion with a loved one. Life is so much easier when one’s priorities are right and God is first but all don’t see that. Some have to do and learn things the hard way. Prayer will see us through and God will provide. My prayers will continue.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      Ah, yes, Melanie: the “what ought to be’s.”
      I’ve had to let go of those too — many of them. Leave them at the foot of the cross. Sometimes wet with tears.

    • September 25, 2013, 11:58 am   /  Reply

      Melanie – thank you for the reminder. I’m in a place of letting go of what I thought “ought” to be and God is teaching me some gracious lessons.

  3. September 25, 2013, 7:16 am   /  Reply

    Letting go, whether it’s a dream or a loved one, can be the hardest thing we ever do. But when we yield that dream or loved one to God, He will do more than we can ever imagine. And sometimes what he does is to give us peace about letting go.

    So glad to “meet” JoAnne!

    • September 25, 2013, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      JoAnne is a delight, Pat. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it. Thanks for joining the conversation today.

    • September 25, 2013, 12:01 pm   /  Reply

      Well said, Patricia. So great to meet you too :). ( and thanks Beth! So blessed by you.)

  4. September 25, 2013, 7:25 am   /  Reply

    It’s true that letting go can strengthen love, and that clinging or possessiveness can wreck it, but the question of what to do in the land between those two extremes can be a bit like defusing old ordnance. You can suddenly reach instant apotheosis, and never quite know what went wrong.

    I had a student, a college senior, who once came to me for counsel. The relationship with his fiance was a bit rough, and he was considering ‘taking some time’, giving her freedom, and taking his own. They were both committed Christians.

    My advice was to ride it out, but he was taken with the thought, “If you love something, let it go…and if that love is true it will come back to you.”

    Well, it didn’t. She ended up working in a bar out of loneliness and the pride that kept her from asking to come back, and he entered into a string of meaningless relationships that destroyed the purity he wanted to bring to marriage.

    It was a story I hated to hear, and there was no healing.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:11 am   /  Reply

      This is truly a sad story, Andrew. And evidence of how wrong choices — fueled by pride and hurt and unforgiveness — can damage us and others.

    • September 25, 2013, 12:05 pm   /  Reply

      Great question Andrew. I think in the land between those two extremes we just keep following Gods roadmap as found in His word. There’s times we veer from that and heartache often follows. He is so gracious to offer us new beginnings every day.

  5. September 25, 2013, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    What a beautiful post. Beth, thanks for having Joanne here to share these words of wisdom.

    For me, I’ve let go of dreams before, and in the moment, it’s hurt. A lot. I’ve had to let go of expectations for a loved one, which led to much deeper relationship.

    I believe when God is calling us to let go, a verse that has helped me is Proverbs 3:5-6—”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

    Remembering that God’s plans for me are good, and are the best ones, even when it means letting go, has helped me. Ultimately knowing He loves me reminds me of Jer 29:11. A common verse, but one I’ve held onto “‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.'”

    • September 25, 2013, 10:12 am   /  Reply

      Leaning into God’s truth often helps me let go of my preconceived ideas of right, Jeanne. It isn’t always instantly easier … but it helps.

    • September 25, 2013, 3:16 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks so much Jeanne.
      That is such a great verse to hold onto in those times– when we don’t know what’s around the bend, but still trusting in God’s plan.

  6. Beth Gillihan
    September 25, 2013, 7:40 am   /  Reply

    Thanks for the insightful post! My to go to verse is Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare, not calamity to give you a future and a hope!

    • September 25, 2013, 10:12 am   /  Reply

      Jeremiah 29:11 — an anchor verse, indeed!

    • September 25, 2013, 3:17 pm   /  Reply

      Beth – LOVE that verse. Thank you for sharing it today!

  7. September 25, 2013, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    I love this post SO much. (Just like I love Joanne and her books.)

    I was just talking to friends last week about I feel like the past few years of my life have been a process of God teaching me to let go of my plans for myself…almost stripping me of the need to control and know what’s coming next. In a way, letting go of that natural urge to figure everything out is a way of loving God even more…because it shows my trust in Him. I’m so not there yet…but I’m learning. 🙂

    • September 25, 2013, 10:13 am   /  Reply

      I do believe trust — trusting God, trusting others — is a lifelong process, Melissa.

    • September 25, 2013, 3:19 pm   /  Reply

      Aw, thanks Melissa! And I love you right back! Wow, stripping away that control is really a challenge isn’t it? I find myself constantly returning to wanting to align things as “I” would have them and it’s not until I remember to hold on loosely, that things settle as they were meant to–in a better way I could have done!

  8. September 25, 2013, 7:49 am   /  Reply

    I’ve had to let go of control over loved ones’ behaviors. It was freeing to hand it off to God and trust that He knew what He was doing. Boy was it hard to peel my fingers open from that grasp, though.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:13 am   /  Reply

      Jess: One finger at a time, eh?
      😉

    • September 25, 2013, 3:21 pm   /  Reply

      Well said you two 🙂

  9. A J Hawke
    September 25, 2013, 8:00 am   /  Reply

    ‘Letting go and letting God be in charge’ has been a goal for years, but each time I face that crossroad it is as if it is the first time. Why do I struggle so against what has always proven true? God’s way is best.
    Thanks for this post and for the opportunity to receive a giveaway of Joanne’s book.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:14 am   /  Reply

      A.J.: Thanks for joining the conversation today.
      And yes, it is a crossroads — between my will and God’s.

    • September 25, 2013, 3:27 pm   /  Reply

      I second that. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, AJ. 🙂

  10. Wilani Wahl
    September 25, 2013, 8:12 am   /  Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn about other authors and to learn about their books. I would love to win these books.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:14 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • September 25, 2013, 3:28 pm   /  Reply

      Wilani, so happy to have you following along on the hops!

  11. September 25, 2013, 8:20 am   /  Reply

    Thank you for sharing Joanne with us. Your both new to me. Thank you Julie for letting me know of you all. I so look forward to reading all your books and just love the fun and excitement of the giveaway too. Letting go and letting God deal with things is the only way to do it.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

    • September 25, 2013, 10:15 am   /  Reply

      Enjoyed meeting you today!

    • September 25, 2013, 3:28 pm   /  Reply

      Linda, So great to meet you and I’m doubly happy that you’ve had the chance to meet Beth. Her books are so fantastic!

  12. Pam Nelson
    September 25, 2013, 8:24 am   /  Reply

    I had to let go of my dreams of what my future would look like when I lost my husband. Living alone (my kids are all married) and having a life-threatening illness are not what I had planned! But God is faithful and has opened new doors for me to be able to minister and be useful!

    • September 25, 2013, 10:15 am   /  Reply

      Pam,
      I so appreciate your honest sharing — and your choice to trust God despite unexpected heartaches.

    • September 25, 2013, 3:29 pm   /  Reply

      Pam, your heart to serve the Lord through it all is truly a beautiful thing!

  13. Kristie Truett
    September 25, 2013, 8:31 am   /  Reply

    What a beautiful read for me this morning. Thank you Beth and Joanne for that. I love hearing about the themes ideas that first come to mind when you go to write a book/series. The whole thought of letting go seems to be the hardest choice sometimes especially when we’ve fought to keep things together. In the last 5 years or so of my life the Lord really has showed me a deeper more personal meaning of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. It’s so hard to let go or open up and allow The Lord to work when we’re at our weakest. But when I keep my gaze fixed on Him and rely on His strength through the storm I stand amazed on the other side at just how much strength I had through Him.
    Thank you ladies, have a blessed day.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:16 am   /  Reply

      Kristie,
      Thans for sharing your insights. May your day be blessed too!
      🙂

    • September 25, 2013, 4:04 pm   /  Reply

      Kristie, what an encouragement all these comments are. Thank you for stopping in and sharing! A deeper and deeper faith, it seems to be a common cry. God is so good in walking with us through the journey. 🙂

  14. September 25, 2013, 8:36 am   /  Reply

    I have loved the Cadence of Grace series of Joanne and I have heard great things about Beth Vogt’s books and would love to read her book!

    • September 25, 2013, 10:16 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for joining the conversation today, Beth-Anne!

    • September 25, 2013, 4:06 pm   /  Reply

      Beth-Anne,

      I’ve been so blessed by you. Just thrilled that you’ve enjoyed the Cadence of Grace and I just KNOW you’re going to love Beth’s books!

  15. angela parrish
    September 25, 2013, 9:07 am   /  Reply

    comment. i’m not much of a sharer of thoughts

    • September 25, 2013, 10:17 am   /  Reply

      Nice to have you here. I hope you are encourage by the other comments and by Joanne’s post.

    • September 25, 2013, 4:06 pm   /  Reply

      Welcome, Angela! 🙂

  16. angela chesnut
    September 25, 2013, 9:54 am   /  Reply

    would love to win.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:17 am   /  Reply

      Hi, Angela,
      Thanks for commenting.

    • September 25, 2013, 4:07 pm   /  Reply

      Afternoon, Angela! Glad you are entered. 🙂

  17. Tammi T.
    September 25, 2013, 10:07 am   /  Reply

    There are a couple of things I’ve been forced, in a sense, to let go. First, my youngest child was born with a serious congenital heart defect. This was an eye-opener and I was “forced” to let go of what I view as “control” of my life and family. I’ve always known that God is ultimately in control; however, since I could do nothing to change the outcome of this, I totally had to rely on God. Life has been different than what I expected and planned but I have a wonderful boy that God has allowed me to keep for 9+ years.

    Secondly, a dear friend, whom I’ve been praying for since since 1991, has finally turned to God. The hard part is realizing it took stage 4 breast cancer that metastasized to both her lungs, liver and possibly her bones, to bring her to that point. I”m so thankful that we’ll have eternity together but it is hard to know I’m possible going to have to say good-bye to her here on earth, earlier than what I expected.

    Lastly, I had to make a choice regarding my spouse. When we were married, he seemed to desire to want to grow and know the Lord better. This has stopped in the last 3 to 4 years. I’m still praying for him but have had to realize that I’m not his Holy Spirit.

    In all the above situations, God has used the passage Philippians 4:4-9 to help comfort and encourage me.

    • September 25, 2013, 10:19 am   /  Reply

      Tammi:
      I so appreciate your honesty … and how you’ve chosen to trust God in all of these situations. I am so thankful your friend has come into a relationship with God, but am sorry that cancer was the catalyst. Praying for you — and your family and your friend.

      • Tammi T.
        September 30, 2013, 1:04 pm   /  Reply

        Thank you so much for the prayer. The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much!

    • September 25, 2013, 5:28 pm   /  Reply

      Tammi,

      Saying a prayer for you and your family as you walk this path and as you cling to that special verse and God’s mighty hand.

      • Tammi T.
        September 30, 2013, 1:06 pm   /  Reply

        Thanks for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. What a precious encouragement to know others have prayed for you though you might never meet them this side of heaven.

  18. September 25, 2013, 10:17 am   /  Reply

    As a mother, children have been one of the greatest lessons in loving and letting go. While mine are still young, I know the day will quickly arrive when they leave this protected nest we have provided and enter the world on their own. I pray the firm foundation that we have helped build will sustain them all of their days and they will always let God be their guide.

    Thank you for this beautiful post and the opportunity to win two wonderful books!

    • September 25, 2013, 5:31 pm   /  Reply

      Britney, I am in that same, same place with my little ones. Watching them and knowing one day they will take flight…it’s SO bittersweet. But like what you said, I want to pour that heart-focus into raising them to love and honor God and others.

  19. Debbie Mitchell
    September 25, 2013, 10:32 am   /  Reply

    Hello Beth and Joanne, I pray that you ladies are having a blessed day. Joanne, I love this post….even your everyday words touch me.
    When my mother passed away over 25 years ago, I had a hard time letting her go. After all, I wasn’t done with her yet…but God needed her to be with him. I believe that my faith was made stronger once I accepted that she was no longer here. I knew I needed to be strong for my 3 children, so I stopped mourning my loss and looked at it as gain for my mom. To this day, I miss her and wish that she was around to see my children grow, but I know that she will always be with me. She is a part of me….the best parts. 🙂

    • September 25, 2013, 5:33 pm   /  Reply

      Debbie,

      Your “everyday words” made me smile. 🙂

      What a beautiful legacy your mom left in you and your children. Celebrating with you that you will be together one day again!

  20. September 25, 2013, 10:40 am   /  Reply

    How could I not love this post? Two of my favorite authors (the list seems to be growing…). Beth, thanks for hosting Joanne. Joanne, thanks for a lovely article. I love it how the themes of books and series can shift along the process of writing them. As a writer, I always learn something vital (either about the story, my characters, or myself) when that happens.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    • September 25, 2013, 5:34 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea,

      I’m so glad this was able to encourage you as a reader AND as a writer. 🙂 I hope you are having a lovely day.

  21. September 25, 2013, 12:55 pm   /  Reply

    Letting go of something dear to your heart is never an easy thing to do. Honestly, it can be down-right painful. But I’ve learned that in letting go of this–whatever it may be–I gain something more. I am forced to lean on my Savior for strength and guidance during a time such as this, and in doing so my relationship with Him strengthens and grows deeper each day. And that is completely worth it.

    Thanks so much for another wonderful post!
    In Christ,
    Micaela 🙂

    • September 25, 2013, 5:34 pm   /  Reply

      Micaela,

      It’s been lovely to have you follow this blog hop and see your smiling face and warm words each day!

  22. September 25, 2013, 1:27 pm   /  Reply

    Hey, Joanne, LOVING this blog tour, girlfriend, and a big hug and hello to Beth as well!!

    LOVE the line, “Sometimes letting go can be the harder way to love than holding on.” You asked when have I had to love by letting go, and I can’t think of anything really big right off the bat, but what does come to mind is this. I can be dying to share about something good that has happened to me but can’t because that friend is going through a tough time in a similar area. So rather than risk discouraging her, I try to just let it go rather than holding on to the desire to share it.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    • September 25, 2013, 5:36 pm   /  Reply

      Julie,

      And I am LOVING that you are joining us every day. It’s so fun! What you’ve shared is so true–and that sensitivity you have towards your friend is so gracious. I’m sure she is being blessed by it.

      I’m glad you like that line– I snagged it out of My Hope is Found from a brand new character 😉

  23. Sarah B.
    September 25, 2013, 2:13 pm   /  Reply

    Hello! I love your books Beth! (sorry Joanne, haven’t read yours) 🙂
    I know it’s probably not the same things as Joanne is talking about, but for me, I had to let go of anger and unforgiveness in order to love. I unfortunately have a hard time of letting go of hurt and an even harder time forgiving someone who has hurt me. I’m slowly learning to give the hurt to God and ask Him to show me how to forgive. I’m also trying to remember 1 Corinthians 13:5b “[speaking of love] it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I’ve learned the hard way that while forgiving is often hard, withholding forgiveness only compounds the pain. I’m not saying I’m great at forgiving and I still hold on to my hurt longer than I should, but I know God will continue helping me each time I ask.
    I hope you’re having a great day!
    Blessings,
    Sarah

    • September 25, 2013, 5:41 pm   /  Reply

      Sarah,

      Your comment gave me such a smile. I’m SO glad that you love Beth’s books because I do TOO!!!

      The way you see it is a beautiful thing. Forgiveness, it seems, is a process and one that’s never to be taken lightly– so the way you’re seeking it with a learner’s heart is no doubt such an offering the Lord.

  24. September 25, 2013, 2:15 pm   /  Reply

    I will be reading my hope is found in the next week or so and am looking forward to it. Will have to try some of Beth’s also.

    • September 25, 2013, 5:41 pm   /  Reply

      Virigina,

      Thrilled that you’ve got MHIF on your TBR. Beths’ books are so wonderful– I can’t decide if “Wish You Were Here” or “Catch a Falling Star” was my favorite. It’s a delightful tie!

  25. Charlotte Phillips
    September 25, 2013, 2:55 pm   /  Reply

    Another new author for me to check out !!!
    Can’t wait to read some of your books !!
    Keep up the good work by writing fiction that is uplifting and encouraging for readers like myself that enjoy it so much !!
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

    • September 25, 2013, 5:42 pm   /  Reply

      Charlotte,

      I hope you’re having a great day. Thanks so much for your sweet enthusiasm!

  26. Randi L.
    September 25, 2013, 4:53 pm   /  Reply

    In the past few weeks, I have had to put some dreams on hold. I am daily working to find contentment with my present circumstances and trying to see God’s blessings. I’m looking forward to the day when I can again seek to fulfill those dreams.

    Thanks for the giveaways!

    • September 27, 2013, 8:25 pm   /  Reply

      Well said, Randi. Finding contentment in those daily places really can be a struggle, but also so freeing. I find myself needed to go back there time and time again.

  27. Bonnie
    September 25, 2013, 5:31 pm   /  Reply

    Hi, Joanne & Beth!

    Love your beautiful posts & the depth of your thoughts, Joanne!

    I think there are many situations in which we have to love by letting go – the most important being, letting go of the control of our life, & giving God the reins. When we are able to do this, then it is easier to let go of other situations because we know He has everything under control. When we try to control – I think it tells God that we don’t trust His capability, or wisdom, to take care of us, & that we love ourselves more than Him.

    I struggled with that kind of control – years ago – & found out, the hard way, that obtaining lasting happiness only comes through giving Him the control. At times – the only way we learn this, is through the experience of BEING controlling.

    Other – different, kinds of situations in which I have had to love by letting go are when my youngest child went off to college, & I had to fill the void of his absence, & more recently – when my 89 year old aunt had a stroke, & fell & broke her hip. She is very independent, had lived by herself for years, & has expressed anger at the many change in her lifestyle (she now has 24/7 caregivers) by refusing to follow advice (in some areas) that would be more beneficial to her, health-wise. I have learned that it is best to step back, & wage only the most important of battles, in order to keep peace & harmony in our relationship.

    Would love to read both books, Joanne & Beth – thanks for the opportunity to win copies!

    • September 27, 2013, 8:26 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Bonnie!

      It’s always so encouraging that we are often on the same road of surrender. It’s never easy, but one that’s so freeing. Sending a hug your way!

  28. Nettie
    September 25, 2013, 6:09 pm   /  Reply

    when I realize there is something that I need to let go of, I try to remember it was never mine in the first place. Every blessing and every trial has been allowed into my life to help me draw closer to the one who will NEVER let me go and who is the only thing I can hang onto that will be sure and forever! I don’t know if I made sense here but I am grateful that we are on a continual journey in our faith-walk with our ever faithful Father.

    • September 27, 2013, 8:27 pm   /  Reply

      Such wise words, Nettie. Faith truly is a journey and a walk… and praise the Lord that He is with us each step of the way.

  29. Pam K.
    September 25, 2013, 7:36 pm   /  Reply

    I think to a certain extent, all parents have to love their children enough to let them go when they become young adults. We have to give them the freedom to become who God intended them to be, not just remain our “kids.”
    Thanks for these giveaways and the chance to win great books!

    • September 27, 2013, 8:28 pm   /  Reply

      Great to see you here Pam and thanks for your thoughtful words!

  30. September 26, 2013, 6:02 am   /  Reply

    The process of letting go is so hard, especially when you know you could do a better job than the person we have to release. In those times I trust that God loves them even more than I do.

    • September 27, 2013, 8:29 pm   /  Reply

      Cara — Such an important reminder. Thank you. God will always do a better job than we ever can. I need to keep remembering that often.

      It was lovely to meet you at ACFW!

  31. Cheryl Dale
    September 26, 2013, 6:24 am   /  Reply

    Letting go is truly something we can only do through the counsel and caring support of our Savior. The void left, when filled with His love, will change us forever. I think of the unbelievable sacrifice of the Father in letting go of His precious Son and how it changed the world for all of us.

    • September 27, 2013, 8:30 pm   /  Reply

      Wow, Cheryl… what truth-filled words: The void left, when filled with His love, will change us forever.

      Thank you for sharing that.

  32. Elizabeth
    September 26, 2013, 7:56 am   /  Reply

    Letting go, I have found is very difficult. I loved the books in Joanne’s sieries. I felt connected with it and I cried through out reading them. I found I loved them and I havnt truely loved anything in a long, long time. Thank you for doing what you do. I know letting go hs been hard for me. I was taken from my mom at the age of 8 to go into the foster care system. I dont even know how I got to the point I am at. (Adopted, been for 6 years) I know God was surely guiding my path even if I didnt see it. I remember begging the foster peopl to take me back, to let me go home. Of course they never did. But one day I was sat down by my casa worker an she askd me a
    very huge question. “Would you like to have a permenant home? Would you like a safe Mom and Dad.” That day I knew I had to make a choice and that was when I had to let go officially of my biological mother who I loved very much. And I thank God every day that he has healed me from evrything.

    • September 27, 2013, 9:04 pm   /  Reply

      Elizabeth,
      Your story just tugs at my heartstrings. Sending a hug your way and rejoicing with all that God has brought you through. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement.

  33. Melody Amis
    September 26, 2013, 9:03 am   /  Reply

    Letting go………perfect misery for me. How do we do that? Our most basic nature as a child and then as a parent is to hold on, as tightly as possible. Even in daily life we learn to hold on to “things”. Human nature?
    I’ve muddled along as I’ve matured, “holding on”, never embrassing the fullness that awaited. I’ve stumbled and struggled until recognition dawned, that rush of relief of my knowing there is my God who guides, directs, loves and even allows me to break myself down so I can be taught these easy lessons that are so hard to learn. The last four years have been something of a sweet heartbreak. With this heartbreak there is growth, understanding and a thankfulness for the blessings of this most wonderful life I am allowed to live.
    Thank you ladies for giving us the ability to enjoy and connect in what we read.

    • September 28, 2013, 8:00 am   /  Reply

      Wow, Melody – what beauty in your words.

  34. Jackie Mcnutt
    September 26, 2013, 10:38 am   /  Reply

    I cant wait to read your books. The theme of them touches my heart. they will definitely be on my reading list. Letting go for me came last year when cancer took my husband of 45 years. watching the struggle he had to survive, while accepting the end getting closer was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to surrender everything to God because it was His to begin with. I’m still learning on a daily basis sometimes minute by minute that His grace really is sufficient weather I understand it or not. But I could not live without it, nor would I want to .

    • September 28, 2013, 8:03 am   /  Reply

      Jackie-

      That minute by minute surrender is sometimes how we get through those days that are so difficult. Big hugs!

    • September 28, 2013, 8:13 am   /  Reply

      Ooops! I hit enter too soon! I was going to add that your story and so many others is such a testimony to not only God’s faithfulness but how He truly can hold us during those times. I’m so glad you have felt his comforting presence through this time.

  35. Brittany McEuen
    September 26, 2013, 10:42 am   /  Reply

    Those portions of Joanne’s books where the characters have had to let go are just heart wrenching! But watching those characters make the decision to love by letting go and watching them learn to trust God end up being incredibly uplifting at the same time. Letting go is hard. Even having to step back and let go and just watch my oldest daughter work through some things with friends is hard. I want to solve those problems! I have not read Beth’s book yet. Thanks for the chance to win it!

    • September 28, 2013, 8:11 am   /  Reply

      Brittany-
      It means so much that the theme resonated with you in the story. Thanks for all your encouragement!

  36. michelle delp
    September 26, 2013, 12:58 pm   /  Reply

    Can’t wait to read all of these wonderful new books!

    • September 28, 2013, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      Thanks Michelle and we hope you have happy reading! 🙂

  37. Beth
    September 26, 2013, 1:51 pm   /  Reply

    I’ve had to continually let go of the idea that I’m supposed to be in a certain place at this time of my life, basically let go of the worry and control. It does hurt and it’s scary, but when i do I feel so much better!

    As far as letting go as a form of love, I did this with a close friend. It was a damaging relationship to me emotionally, and I had to give this person’s salvation over to God instead of thinking I could do it myself. Now looking back, i see that I did plant a seed and God took care of the rest.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Beth

    • September 28, 2013, 8:27 am   /  Reply

      Beth, a difficult thing it can be for us humans to give those we love over to God. He does the best job, doesn’t He? 🙂

  38. September 26, 2013, 2:59 pm   /  Reply

    It is hard to realize that love means letting go…but we’ve had to experience this with our son. It’s that thing called FREEWILL that they discover and until they hear the voice of God, we’ve just had to learn to let go and pray more!

    • September 28, 2013, 8:28 am   /  Reply

      Good morning, Melody! I’m saying a prayer for your family as you walk that road.

  39. Cherie Kasper
    September 26, 2013, 4:01 pm   /  Reply

    When my son was first married we were able to see him and spend some time together. After about a year or so, things changed, it was not comfortable, so we had to follow his lead about when and where we could see him, after kids came it was even worse. It ended in divorce which broke my heart for the grandkids. It took God’s hand in mine keeping me from doing and saying all the wrong things.

  40. September 26, 2013, 4:54 pm   /  Reply

    I love how this conversation has carried on today. I appreciate everyone’s honesty. You all have encouraged me so much.

  41. Mary Koester
    September 26, 2013, 9:07 pm   /  Reply

    I am very interested in trying Beth Vogt’s books. I had read a couple of reviews in other posts.I enjoyed the discussion on letting go of people we love. Very interesting! Easier to talk about than actually do.

  42. Pamela Kliewer
    September 27, 2013, 11:14 am   /  Reply

    Years ago I had to love by letting go of my very sick husband… I had to picture myself with him in my arms offering him up to Jesus. In that way, I was better able to serve my husband and not let the emotions his illness caused, hold me captive and therefore treat him with disrespect. I was able to continue to respect him and to have a servant’s heart toward him.

  43. September 27, 2013, 12:09 pm   /  Reply

    I have found letting go to be so hard. I don’t have kids of my own but my youngest nephew is like my own and I couldn’t love him more if he were. When it came time for college I was as distraut as my sister over him moving away and now he is think about joining a program where he goes to far away countries to work for a year at a time. This has been very hard on me but with God’s help I will be able to let him go and know that he is under God’s protection and the loneliness will fade as God draws me close in His embrace and offers me comfort like only He can. Sometimes letting go is a way to ultimately bring us closer.

    Thank you for this post and giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

  44. September 27, 2013, 1:00 pm   /  Reply

    The hardest time was to love enough to tell my husband that it was okay to go to the Lord when he was suffering with cancer. But, it hurt so bad. I knew he worried about leaving me alone. Sometime we have to take the hard road. Another time was when my older brother hurt me real bad with his words and actions. He naver did act like he was sorry, but since I didn’t want to give up any family member, I just had to ask GOD’s help in forgiving and go on as if thgis had never taken place. Would love to win these books. Maxie

  45. September 27, 2013, 1:40 pm   /  Reply

    Thanks so much for this great giveaway!

  46. Joy Isley
    September 27, 2013, 1:58 pm   /  Reply

    Enjoyed reading your blog today.

  47. Jackie Wisherd
    September 27, 2013, 2:00 pm   /  Reply

    I agree…letting go is very hard to do. Always enjoy visiting your blog.

  48. Emma
    September 27, 2013, 4:44 pm   /  Reply

    Enjoyed reading your blog . Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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