My Lifetime Experience of Letting Go and Letting God

Let Go and Let God

This post represents my lifetime experience of letting go and letting God, at least the major points. There is so much more that I could share, but then, that would turn into a memoir.  ; ) This will encapsulate a lifetime of letting go in about five minutes.

There is a free Prayer for Letting Go along with a Letting Go Meditation MP3 from my CD called Let it Go that I offer. With it, I send out a series of emails to help others let go. Sharing my story in one of these emails generated so many responses, that I thought it best to share it here. After you read it, you’ll understand why I can speak about letting go from experience! But first, a little back story context.

My Image of God

Since I was a little girl, my image of God was male. After all, Jesus calls God Father. Like many, I had the image of a white-bearded, white-robed authority figure seated on a throne up in the sky looking down on me, and judging my every action. I never measured up. God was to be feared. Simply stated, God was distant, separate.

My Male Role Models

The male role models in my life didn’t help the male image of God. At the age of four or five, I was repeatedly molested by an older, male neighbor. I never told anyone.

All I remember is feeling punished somehow, because he kept me from playing with the other children. That’s what I wanted to do, not be with him.

At home, I was the apple of my father’s eye for the first five or six years of my life. That suddenly changed.

He became very angry. Coming home from work, he would storm through the front door screaming. The verbal abuse wasn’t directed at me, but at my mother. I would learn that the tirades were a result of his drinking.

My father worked at a local brewery. One of the perks was all the fresh beer you could drink. That perk wasn’t enough, so he stopped at a tavern on the way home for the hard stuff.

I felt abandoned physically and emotionally. My senses were on heightened alert not knowing what would happen when my father came home each day. Thankfully, on most days, he would pass out for the night.

My mother was British. They met during World War II. My father had been a decorated war hero flying 39 missions on B-24’s as one of the best bombardiers in the Army Air Corps.

Whenever I would cry, my mother would quickly tell me to get-it-together. She wasn’t mean about it. That was her way of coping. We never talked about my father’s violent out bursts. It was confusing to me. I coped by stuffing down my feelings.

Church was a safe haven for me. We had a strong youth group. They provided me with love and acceptance. God, however, provided no comfort.

Church reinforced my image of the great score keeper in the sky. I had an angry earthly father at home and a wrathful heavenly Father at church. I repeatedly heard the message that I was a wretch, a miserable sinner. I believed it whole-heartedly.

Hungry for Love

I was so hungry to be loved. I literally fed that hunger with food. Eating temporarily satisfied that hunger until I started developing a weight problem. With even more self-loathing, I would go on drastic diets. Eventually, I turned to bulimia as a solution. It was a perfect metaphor because I could eat whatever I wanted, then purge for my transgressions. There was one problem, I didn’t lose weight. (I share all of my story how I lost the emotional, spiritual, AND physical weight in The Freedom to Eat – 10 Secrets for Lasting Weight Loss and Inner Peace.)

My father left when I was eighteen years old. The house was finally peaceful. I saved my money to go to Bible college.

My mother would have been an opera singer if the war had not come. I was blessed to be able to sing and decided to be a voice major. The underlying desire to attend a Bible college was to get a MRS degree (code initials for finding a husband). I met someone from Manitoba, Canada. I was from St. Louis, Missouri. He was a senior. I was a freshman. The relationship was not strong enough to last the geographical divide, so I never heard from him after a few brief conversations. In my mind, I was abandoned once more.

Taking Control and Depending On No One

I quit college and returned home. Music was important to me, but I realized that it wasn’t going to be a livelihood. I loved music, art, and business and decided to earn a business degree. I landed a job as a part-time receptionist at an advertising agency. That one position turned into a thirty-year career.

In the 1950’s there were very few careers for women. My mother was a homemaker. She stayed with my father, even through the abuse because she was trapped. I vowed to never depend on anyone, even God.

From the start of my career and for twenty years of my adult life, I left God and my faith behind. I did quite well without God’s help. I was in a twenty-year marriage, had a son, built a successful career, reputation, acquired a dream home, luxury cars, designer clothes, jewelry, and had a full social calendar. On the outside, I was rich. On the inside, I began to feel spiritually bankrupt.

Waking Up and the Start of Letting Go

When my son was seven years old, I wanted to find a church home. I wanted to find the God of love that I knew deep down in my being had to exist. I found God at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, Missouri.

I joined the choir. My choir director worked with me with one-on-one lessons. During a lesson, he abruptly stopped, swung around on the piano bench, looked me in the eye and barked, “Why won’t you let go?!!?”

In that moment, I woke up. He was talking about my voice not my life! But I knew why I wasn’t letting go. I was living a life of shoulds. I was in a marriage that wasn’t working. I was in a career that was sucking the life out of me. In three words: I was lost.

After much prayer, counseling, and soul searching, I let go of my marriage, career, dream home, and left my prior life behind.

I began seeking God in earnest. I let go of the unworthiness, shame, and false teachings that weighed me down.

The thirty pounds I struggled with melted away. Stuffing and numbing out were no longer coping mechanisms. The world was brighter. My body, mind, and spirit were lighter.

Getting to the Deep Wounds to Heal

Growing up, I had always wanted to be an artist. In kindergarten, I won the best picture drawn. The reward was that it was displayed on the school calendar for the year.

There were many more masterpieces that I created and brought home.

Our house had two bedrooms. I have one sibling, a brother who is seven years older than I. He had the one bedroom and my parents had the other.

I slept in the living room on a fold-out sofa, much like a futon. There was no dresser or storage for my things. The artwork collected on the living room coffee table along with some books that my grandmother sent me from England.

One day, when I got home from school, the coffee table was completely clear. I asked my father where all of my books and artwork were. He screamed at me, “I got tired of the clutter and threw them in the trash!”

I sprinted out the door to the trash can. The trash truck had already come. All of my treasures were gone.

There was no discussion like, “Honey, we need to find a place for your things.”

My father threw me in the trash that day. My art was trash.

I realized after my mother’s death that she had abandoned me too. We all lived in our little silos. She did not come to my aide or comfort me in this loss.

My walls of self- protection were built so high that I didn’t let God in either.

Letting Go and Letting God In

All the past is past. I’ve learned from it, but I don’t wallow in it. While I turned away from God, God never stopped pursuing me. I’ve finally let go of my control (most days) to let God in.

God NEVER stops loving us. God is always with us, in whatever we are going through.

That is why I write books, these emails, and create meditations. They are all tools to help heal. Until you let go, heal the hurts and brokenness inside, and fully allow God to love you, you will continue to suffer.

We are not separate from God. God is with us, always.

Letting go continues, on some days, to be a moment-by-moment practice. But with practice comes progress (not perfection).

I’ve been taken out of the trash can and bathed in the river of God’s love. God called my artist to play again. That’s what my book, God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement is about. They are daily notes from God, a play on words, encouragement to know Whose we are, beloved, whole, precious, children of God. May the words that God put on my heart touch your heart, too. May you know God and the love God has for you.

The Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  I can say from a lifetime of experience that life is brighter and lighter when you practice letting go and letting God. I hope that my story will help you to do the same.

To letting go,

Jackie Trottmann Founder Guided Christian

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10 Responses to My Lifetime Experience of Letting Go and Letting God

  • Hi LeAnne,
    Congratulations on your book and for your vulnerability in sharing your journey here. May you continue to allow God to love you and guide you.
    In Christ’s love,

  • I am looking for the letting go. I seek God and desire Him to Love me fully. I have to let go of drugs, alcohol and abuse on a daily basis. My testimony is powerful so I wrote a book. It came out a month ago. The title is: Brokenness Is A Beautiful Word. You Cannot Unlock Your Destiny When You Are Locked In Your History.
    It’s on Amazon, Wal-Mart and eBay. It was published by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. They are bible publishers. Look at your bible. Chances are it has one of those names. My book is my story of God in my life. It is full of the scripture that backs me up. I serve the God of second chances! He loves me drunk or sober! They made me use a pen name. Skylar Haze. All we have is the power of our testimony!

  • Hi Muriel,
    Thanks for sharing. I hope it’s a positive sign too. : ) Well, the more we stay rooted in spending quiet time with God, the more deeply we can trust and for that fear and anxiety to not get a grip on us. I’ll quote my favorite verse, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” I have to check myself as well. I can get caught up in doing and not being in God’s presence. When that happens, my peace goes out the window. I hope that the words God puts on my heart will speak to your heart too.
    Peace to you,

  • I was searching for ways to help me let go online and found this page. I have witnessed my doing so on occasions but have also witnessed my trying to take it back. I feel sometimes as though I am playing tug of war with God regarding my faith in him. Not in the way of not believing he can deliver me through it, but more internal with the anxiety and fear that cause me to hold on. I started to sign up to join The Guided Life and stopped to consider which email to use. I had decided to use the one that gets a lot of spam mail because I created a new email for work to only use for work. In that way, I wouldn’t have so many advertisements to sort through or newsletters. The funny thing is iwhen I put that Gmail in there, a notification popped up saying I cannot use that email. It might be because there were periods between them, I am not certain . So I decided to use my main email and it went through. They were both Gmail’s. So I will just take it as a positive that God guided me to this site and I will consider it a blessing. I look forward to be inspired.

  • Hi Tieacie,
    Thank you for comment and for blessing me.
    Blessings to you in return.

  • thank you for sharing your JESUS IS GOD story and may GOD continue to BLESS you and yours AMEN

  • Hi Victor,
    Thank you so much for “stumbling” on the site. :) I’m grateful that you find it to be a blessing. Also, thank you for the “strong sister” comment. I am in a good place. Although, lately, it’s been a struggle. Surrender and trust can be a moment-by-moment practice. So simple, but not easy.
    Peace to you,

  • Stumbling upon this website has been a wonderful blessing for me. Thank you for sharing your story, I am so glad you are in a good place now. You are so strong sister. As long as there are people like you Satan will NEVER win. God bless you.

  • Hi Leslie,
    Thank you for sharing here. Yes, trust is what it is all about. There is only one vowel messing from God – another “o” which is Good. And God is Good all of the time. :)
    I will continue to trust moment by moment along with you.

  • God whispered in my ear one morning as I woke, “Trust Me”. Just a clearly as I could hear it, “Trust Me” he said. Yes it’s been a struggle some days however I swallow my rebellious flesh and believe his promises. He will never forsake us, if we ask we shall receive yet so many dreams I’ve had to bury alive. Punish me would always pop into my mind after I sinned knowingly cause I felt love was never supposed to give up. In my mind that’s what I was doing. Good intensions paved the road to hell as they say. I have no other choice but to let go. I have to change or my final judgement day will be gloomy and hot. God gave me direct order to trust in him and I submit myself to Jesus Christ our savior. With much prayer and meditation. Love the fact you know what I mean without even having to explain further. God has been good to me and I thank him.

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