Learning When to Release the Hold


I remember my oldest son’s first trip to the ER. He was covered in hives and his face swelled up like a balloon. Food allergies. The news that no parent wants to hear.

When I first saw the symptoms, I had no idea what was happening and stared in horror as my son, though still breathing, was having visible difficulty doing so. But my husband immediately recognized the signs and rushed him to the car. The staff at the hospital called it a “mild reaction.” I thought they were crazy.

Looking back at the incident, I see that it was during those scary moments racing to the ER that I realized how little control I had over my son’s life. Sure, I played an important role. A critical one. But there were so many things that could happen that were unpredictable. So much uncertainty.

Years later, when my son started kindergarten, I was afraid to let him get on that bus. Every time the phone rang and I recognized the school’s phone number, I thought they were calling to tell me my son was in the hospital. In fact, they were usually calling to ask me if a particular food was okay for him to eat.

As a parent, I struggle to let go. I want to hold my kids and protect them from every force of nature that can harm them in any way. I want to put a protective blanket over them and keep them safe.

But that was never God’s plan.

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a parent is knowing when to release the hold.

I still don’t always get it right. I’m learning every day. But the more I let go, the more I find that there is freedom found in the release.


*This post was written for Five Minute Friday. A group of beautiful, bold writers who meet every Friday to free write for five minutes on one word. Today’s word was: hold. Click the button below to learn more.


18 thoughts on “Learning When to Release the Hold

  1. Some days I get it right, some days I get it so wrong…and my kids (who love me so much) will remind me that they are not babies anymore. So, I try again. I say a prayer, I ask for strength, I am thankful for God’s protection and I try again! “freedom in the release” – you are SO right!


  2. It is so hard to let go. Mine are at the leaving home stage and it’s no easier to get it right than it was when I debated whether or not to let them walk up the road to the corner shop and stood in the window watching with tears flowing down my cheeks! They don’t find it easy either but we’re muddling through!


    • Aw, I have a mother-in-law who recently went through that phase and I know she struggled with it. Each stage presents new challenges. So grateful for God’s grace when I don’t get it right. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today, Juliet!


  3. It’s so hard to let go because when they’re really little, our instinct and our job is to hold on as tightly as we can! And then as they grow up we’re supposed to fight that instinct, which is no easy task.


  4. And as you have already read in my post, this rings true in my heart. “One of the hardest lessons to learn as a parent is knowing when to release the hold.” It looks as if you wrote this just for me. 🙂


  5. Oh, Abby, you are so right. There is so much freedom in the release…but it can be so hard to let go. I find this same fear takes hold now teaching the kids to ride a horse. It’s cute to watch children on horses…until they are your own! :O Trust is hard for this mama to find some days. Thank you for the reminder today to let go…and let God. And love the new look of your place! 😀


    • Thank you so much Meredith! No one had commented on the new look so I was beginning to wonder…;-) I can imagine seeing your kids ride a horse makes you a little fearful. My husband used to ride a lot and he has a few stories. But yes, letting go can bring so much peace. Much love, girl. xoxo


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