Slow downI'll never forget that night. It about six months ago, I had been struggling for years to find a way to replace the anger in my heart with peace. I had prayed for peace. I said, “I forgive you.” I had worked tirelessly to “get over” the pain. But the anger still lingered. It still taunted me unexpectedly with triggers I thought I had overcome, images I thought I had erased, and memories I thought had faded.

And then, standing in that room, facing my fears, I found six words of healing that changed my heart….

…six words that helped move me from anger to peace. What are these powerful six words?

“I'm letting you off the hook.”

Yep…these six words changed my heart and life for the better. When I finally decided to let the one who hurt me off the hook for three specific things, a peace that passes all understanding replaced the anger that had taken up residence in my heart..

Here are the three statements that helped move me from anger to peace.

“I'm letting you off the hook for choosing me.”

“I'm letting you off the hook for fixing me.”

“I'm letting you off the hook for defining my worth.”

Why were these words so healing? Let's break them down one by one.

I'm letting you off the hook for choosing me.

When you let someone who has hurt you off the hook for choosing you, you are free to choose yourself. You are free to make the best choice for you independent of someone else's actions. Letting someone off the hook for choosing you, gives you the freedom to allow Christ to choose you. Being chosen no longer depends on a man choosing you. Being chosen is, instead, defined by the truth that Jesus chose you before the foundation of the world and adopted you as a daughter {Ephesians 1:4-5}…He chose you! You are chosen!

Letting a loved one off the hook for choosing you allows you to find healing even if your loved one walks away.

I'm letting you off the hook for fixing me.

This is a huge peace of forgiveness. Often women tell me that if their loved one would stop making poor choices, THEN they would find healing. But this doesn't happen because people, loved one, spouses…even the best ones will let you down from time to time. Loved ones will hurt your feelings. Loves ones will mess up. Loved ones, like you, aren't perfect.

Expecting a loved one to “fix” you, is setting yourself up for more pain and sorrow. Instead, when you let others off the hook for fixing you, you take responsibility for your actions and reactions. You take responsibility for getting your needs met in a healthy way, rather than expecting others to know and meet your needs without your asking them to.

Expecting others to “fix” you means that your hope and healing is dependent on a human being's behavior. The challenge with that is, this does not align with Scripture. Our hope is found in Christ alone…the hope of glory. It is Christ alone who can heal our wounds. It is Christ alone who can create a beautiful mosaic out of the shattered pieces of your heart. It is Christ alone who chose you, died for you, and rose again so that He could have a personal, intimate relationship with you.

Waiting to get well until your loved one makes better choices, sets you up for more heartache. Instead, placing your hope in Christ alone and letting your loved one off the hook for fixing you allows you to find peace amidst the chaos.

Finally, I'm letting you off the hook for defining me worth.

No matter what your story is, a loved one has probably said something or done something that made you feel worthless…even for a moment. Even strangers can have this impact on you when your worth is defined by others, let me explain…

About six months ago, I took a day away to go to my favorite place in Phoenix…the spa! But this time it wasn't relaxing. My heart was unsettled, and I was very self-conscious about what everyone was thinking of me. The stress of life had led to more than a few extra pounds…my marriage was over…my heart was broken. What was usually my favorite place became a place of discomfort not because anything was different there, but because I was different. I thought everyone was judging me…I thought everyone could see the pain in my heart that I was trying to hide with my wide-brimmed hat.

No one said a word, but my all I could think about was what they might be thinking. My day was ruined because all of my worth was in what I thought someone was thinking.

I visited this same place just last week, and it was a completely different experience. Over the past six months, I have committed to finding my value, my worth, my identity in Christ alone. Am I there completely? No…but I'm working on it.

As I sat in the same chair, without my wide-brimmed hat, I enjoyed peace.

Some would have thought that last week would be more difficult…my divorce was final earlier this month, I turned another year older…things didn't turn out how I had hoped and prayed.

But this time was different because my self-worth wasn't dependent on someone's actions towards me. It is defined by Christ alone.

Christ found me valuable enough to die for. Christ found me valuable enough to step down from heaven to have a relationship with me.

God found me valuable enough to sacrifice His only son to make a way for my heart to be whole. God invested all He had into me. I am valuable.

When I allow others to define my worth, I usually feel worthless. I might feel valuable for a short time when I am doing everything right and being recognized or loved for my performance.  But as soon as I stop being praised, loved or valued for my performance, my self-worth goes right out the door. If my self-worth is defined by someone else choosing me, treating me well, or approving of me, then I am a slave to their approval.

But when I allow God to define my worth, I know that I am worth more than all the riches this world has to offer. God's decision to send Jesus to die for my sins defines my worth in this world and in the world to come.

When I struggle to believe this, I remind myself that in Christ, I am enough. Sometimes this involves writing in my journal over and over, “I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.” Or saying it out loud until I convince my heart of this truth.

Releasing others from having the power to choose you, fix you, and define your worth brings peace in a way that can only come from Jesus. This doesn't mean that you are stone cold and aren't disappointed when you aren't chosen. But it does mean that your worth isn't tied to you being chosen.

If you are struggling to overcome anger and find peace after a painful chapter in your own life, I would love to support you. I have a free guide that I'd love to share with you. This simple guide will help you process what you have read here, and move forward in your healing!

To request your free copy click here: Moving from Anger to Peace

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