Why I Need This Release

I woke up in a sweat.

I had been dreaming I ran into someone I love while I was out running errands. She looked disheveled, disturbed, unhealthy. I saw she saw me. I wanted to rush up to her and talk. But she looked the other way.

In the dream, I was devastated.

When I woke up, I was still devastated.

But I went back to sleep.

I dreamed again. Again, I ran into my loved one. This time she looked happy. This time she was friendly. This time she was glad to see me.

In the dream, I was happy, too.

But when I woke up, I was devastated. . . because it had only been a dream.

Image: Why I Need This Release

Why Did I Choose Release as My One Word 2022?

Near the end of 2021, I knew I was clinging too tightly. I wouldn’t—couldn’t—accept the reality that a primary relationship had severely shifted.

I talked to my husband Jeff about it. I talked to family and friends about it. I talked to a counselor about it.

And I talked to God about it.

Release was the word, the practice, I felt God guiding me to. I knew it would be my one word for 2022.

Why Is Release Important to Me?

If my holding on too tightly was causing additional suffering on top of the pain I already felt, I needed to learn to loosen my grip. To release my desire for control.

I needed to make room for life as it is, not just how I wanted it to be. I didn’t have to like it, but I had to make space for it.

I had to release the attachment to my expectations so I could receive the necessary skills for this experience, this reality.

Why Is This Word Helping Me This Year?

God is helping me use Release to intentionally evaluate what I need to let go of. And what I need to hold on to.

Things like:

  • Release control to
    receive freedom
  • Release pride to
    receive humility
  • Release past and future to
    receive the present
  • Release denial to
    receive acceptance
  • Release unhelpful thoughts to
    receive healthier thoughts
  • Release my rights to
    receive my options

And ultimately, I pray I release my death grip on relationships I cling to as “Mine!” so I’ll be open to receive the people available in my current season of life to love and be loved by.

I may not be released from bad dreams at night.

But I can consciously work to receive healthier dreams by day.

God arms me with strength. His perfect way sets me free.
2 Samuel 22:33 (GW)

Did you choose One Word for 2022? Mine is Release. Is your word helping you? Share in the comments.

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35 thoughts on “Why I Need This Release

    1. Lynn D. Morrissey

      Wow! that’s fabulous, Martha!!! Congratulations. This so resonates, because my beloved brother is killing himself with cigarettes. We just don’t know how to help him, and yes, ultimately, I know there is nothing we can do. So, we PRAY. It’s encouraging to know that this can be done! Thank you for sharing.

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, the Lord knew all about your relationship, and why He gave you this word, so you can release the situation to the Lord. Ultimately, none of us is in control about anything–relationships, situations, life. But bear in mind, when you release, you can also entrust. As you let this pass from your hands to the Lord’s you can know that He will cause this situation to work together for your good, and hopefully, for this person. I understand this only too well from a personal relationship (family) severed (not by *my* choosing) for 3 1/2 years. I tried everything to try to reconcile it. I could not, bec. reconciliation must be reciprocal. So I gave this person to the Lord, and prayed (and prayed and prayed). I did leave the door open and continue to send cards and notes of encouragement, or leave the occasional voice mail. But mostly I prayed. God used this situation to soften me to understand the neediness of the person, and to have empathy and compassion. He has brought us back together (sadly, due to a horrific situation where I am needed again), but still things have been reconciled for which I am grateful to the Lord.

    Lisa, I am soooo sorry for the pain you feel and also that feeling of utter helplessness that I know only too well. I pray you will sense freedom in your release, the reality of your burden lifted, and not be imprisoned by sadness and the seeming impossibility of the situation, knowing that you are entrusting this to the Lord with Whom all things are possible!! ALL things!

    Love you so much!
    PS – And isn’t it neat that our word often moves beyond what we originally thought God was showing us–into other aspects of life? I’m finding that, too!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Your insightful words always touch me, Lynn. Thank you for your encouragement, both from your personal experience and from your faith. I’m uplifted by both. You’re a trustworthy companion along this journey of life. I thank God for you and for our friendship. Love you too!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    Awww, Lisa. I so appreciate this post. god’s been showing me that I am clinging to the wrong things, namely my relationships with my boys. As we prepare to launch one to college next month and the other as he begins his senior year of high school, I’m grappling with the changes that must happen in these relationships. I need to remember to cling to Jesus, knowing He’ll hold and protect our sons in the midst of all the changes coming to them and to our family. This post really helped clarify this and another aspect of my One Word: Cling. Thank you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Learning to release our hold on our kids feels so counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Especially when it’s our hands that held them and nurtured them for so many years. Yet, such is life. I appreciate how my own parents were able to release me into the world without being controlling, and that’s a gift I wanted to give my own children too. I hear your heart with that same desire; I’m sure you’ll do it beautifully, Jeanne!

  3. Lynn

    “I needed to make room for life as it is, not just how I wanted it to be. I didn’t have to like it, but I had to make space for it.” Release is letting go of our expectations in our minds and leaning into what we have in our reality. And in all of God’s promises! What a journey this has been for you, and praise to God for all His loving ways leading you to what He wants you to experience — His constant love no matter what.

  4. Paula Short

    Lisa, I’m so sorry to hear about the lost relationship with your loved one. Your words here are gripping at my heart as they touched me so. My oldest daughter is estranged from me. I thought I had surrendered my grief and hurt and her to him and accepted his will and wait. But I just realized I hadn’t really released her, my hurt, and grief so that I can be open to receive His will and wait. I know he is working behind the scenes for both of our good. I really appreciate your words and insights my friend.
    Visiting today from IMM#6

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This truth always brings me encouragement, Paula: “I know he is working behind the scenes for both of our good.” Yes. Thank you for your kindness and your friendship!

  5. Maryleigh

    What a fantastic word – release! It’s such an important word – and you highlight that releasing is a liberating word. I remember relationships I have had to release – and sometimes relationships are like the flow and ebb of the sea – they come close, retreat for a time, and come back as refreshing as ever. I’ve learned to trust that call to release. Most often, it is not loss at all, though it feels like it at the time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You bring a beautiful nuance to this topic, Maryleigh: “and sometimes relationships are like the flow and ebb of the sea – they come close, retreat for a time, and come back as refreshing as ever.” That brings me hope when I think of relationships like this. It doesn’t require any less release on my part, but it reminds me that sometimes letting go for now doesn’t mean it will never return.

  6. Barb Hegreberg

    I may have told you this before, but in case I have not, here goes….

    I am so encouraged by your journey with RELEASE this year. I see so much in your journey that I know I need to deal with as well.

    Keep it up!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think many of us struggle with releasing expectations and accepting reality. It’s hard stuff! But freeing stuff as well, once as get to the other side of it.

  7. Jean Wise

    Release is a powerful and challenging word! You are brave to walk with this word this year. What lessons you have and will learn

  8. Lois Flowes

    Oh Lisa. I can imagine how you felt after each of those dreams. Your journey with “release” continues to inspire me. Is it any wonder that the Word who became flesh and lived among us also impresses these words on our hearts that are so timely and transformative? Praying for you, my friend …

  9. Richella J Parham

    There are several things I need to release, and reading your post gives me hope. I appreciate your candor in admitting that this journey hasn’t been easy or fun–but God is your companion, so it’s doable.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for the feature, Richella! It has been a difficult year trying to release some things that I naturally want to cling to. I wouldn’t say I’ve been totally successful yet, but the year’s not over. 🙂

  10. Lisa Blair

    I appreciate your journey with your WOTY, Lisa. Release is such a multi-faceted word as you release things to God, as He releases you in freedom, and as you release others to fly – hopefully for a time, then they’ll return and both of you will experience a stronger, healthier relationship because of this time of release and personal growth.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. Yes, I’ve loved that Release has so many different angles that God can use with me. It’s hard to measure whether I’ve been “successful” with it or not, but at least moving in the right direction feels good.

  11. Corinne Rodrigues

    I almost missed this post of yours that spoke to my heart. Just last night I had a dream that featured two of my ‘best’ friends who I’m no longer connected to. I don’t see a future with them in it, but the hurt is still there. Still learning to let go and have no bitterness around this.
    Sending you thoughts and prayers for healing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I feel your pain, Corinne. It’s been a tough year of loss for me in many regards. Our hurt can last a long time. I’m trying, too, to release my faulty thinking and residual bitterness. It’s a process! Thank you for your prayers. Praying for you too, friend.

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