Welcome to Relinquishment
How To Truly Let Go Of Life’s Challenges
Stop being anxious. Don’t worry so much. It’s not a big deal.
Well-meaning words like these, and others, from friends or family don’t help, do they?
If you’re suffering from anxiety or worry, experiencing a chronic illness or pain, or watching a loved one go through a difficult time, you already know you need to give up worry, fear, and control.
The actual giving up process…
Well, that’s where the rubber meets the road, right?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “relinquishment” as: “To withdraw or retreat from, to leave behind, to stop holding physically, to give over possession or control of.”
Imagine if you could let go of whatever you’re struggling with.
The stories below will show you exactly how to do that.
Follow along as Catharine Marshall and Sophia Hawthorne teach you how to relinquish.
Catherine Marshall’s relinquishment
Catherine Marshall’s husband, Rev. Peter Marshall, died of a heart attack when she was 35. She became a famous author after publishing her husband’s sermons and a biography of Peter Marshall, which became a successful movie.
She contracted tuberculosis in 1943 and became an invalid, a period of time in which she developed her faith. She would soon write about this faith in her many inspirational and children’s books.
In one of her books, Beyond Ourselves, she talks about her discovery of the prayer of relinquishment.
It’s a prayer where you give up what you want and put the situation in God’s hands.
Not only did Catherine experience a dramatic transformation, but so did many other people who also learned the power of this simple prayer through her writings.
“I’m tired of asking, I’m beaten.
God, you decide what you want for me.”
The idea of relinquishment is birthed
Catherine was bedridden for two years as a result of tuberculosis.
Specialists couldn’t help her. She constantly prayed with all of the faith she could gather.
One day, she was reading the story of a missionary who had also been an invalid – for eight years.
The missionary described how she constantly prayed to God to heal her so she could do his work.
Worn out after years and years of toil, she was worn out. She prayed to God:
“All right. I give up. If you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my days, that’s your business. Anyway, I’ve discovered that I want you even more than I want health. You decide.”
She was completely healed within two weeks from the day she prayed and changed her position toward God.
Catherine was confused. It didn’t make sense to her. It just seemed too simple. But she also couldn’t forget the story.
On September 14, she reached the same point as the missionary in the story.
From the position of being tired of asking God to heal her and change her situation, she prayed:
“I’m beaten, finished. God, you decide what you want for me for the rest of my life….”
She describes how she had no faith behind this prayer.
But everything changed from that moment.
She describes what happened next:
“It was as if I had touched a button that opened windows in heaven as if some dynamo of heavenly power began flowing.
Within a few hours, I had experienced the presence of the Living Christ in a way that wiped away doubt and revolutionized my life.
From that moment, my recovery began.”
Catherine describes the beginnings of what God was showing her about prayer through this experience.
She realized that demanding things from God was not true prayer; therefore, God doesn’t answer it.
Catherine believed that was because God won’t violate our free will.
She began to understand that she must voluntarily give up her self-will before God could move and answer prayer.
Sophia Hawthorne’s relinquishment
The wife of New England writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sophia, has a similar story of learning how to relinquish.
In 1860, Nathaniel and Sophia were living in Italy when their eldest child contracted malaria.
A doctor told them that the child would die unless the fever broke by morning.
While Nathanial gave up hope, Sophia was determined. Her daughter would not die.
She began to think: How could I bear losing my child? How could it be right for God to take her away? There’s no way she can die.
But as she pondered these questions, another thought came to her, more demanding than the others: I will not doubt the goodness of God. If he sees fit to take my daughter, so be it. I will willingly give her up and I won’t fight against Him any longer.
She expected to feel even more despair and sadness after positioning her heart in this way.
But instead, she experienced a lightness and a peace unlike anything she’d experienced.
Just a few minutes later, she returned to her daughter’s side to find that her fever had broken and her breathing returned to normal.
She eventually experienced a complete recovery.
Ready to try relinquishment?
These stories have something in common.
While Catherine and Sophia both wanted life and health to win, they were approaching God with a demanding spirit.
But when they changed the position of their heart to one of relinquishment, their circumstances changed almost instantaneously.
It was at that point that the prayer was answered.
When you put your situation into the trusting hands of the loving father, you can relinquish your fears, worries and cares. And instead, live in supernatural joy and peace.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace as you trust in him.”