Is it okay to let someone go? In some cases, it’s actually a must.
There may be a time when you have to say goodbye to someone for one reason or another. You’ll need to prune the branches of your relationship tree, cutting out those who are not right for you, those who hinder your walk with God.
I have had to make the choice to walk away from toxicity. Years ago, I belonged to an online mommy group. The website no longer exists, but at the time I was a very active member, even taking on a role on the Board. Moms from all over my local area would hop online and meet in one forum or another to talk about mom life. And, because it was a local website, we would meet up for different scheduled events: playgroups, picnics, Mommy’s Night In, Mommy’s Night Out, and family events.
Along with the main forums that any member of the website could take part in, we had four private forums based upon the four quadrants of our area (NW, SW, NE, SE). These private forums allowed us to meet up with people close by (the area was fairly large). This was where the majority of the playgroups, mall walking, mom’s nights, would take place.
The group I was a part of was great. We loved getting together and shared many laughs. Our kids got along for the most part (nothing is perfect), and we really did enjoy each other’s company.
But there was a problem. Whenever I joined up with the group, I found myself in a precarious situation. I am horrendous at, almost incapable of, small talk and had no idea what to talk about. So, I joined in on the gossiping. Sometimes I would even start it. Our meetups would tend to be
What happens when you take part in a group who has no problems gossiping? You realize that you are not safe from it. “Serves you right,” right? No, but it doesn’t stop it from happening.
The people I hung out with treated someone well to their face, but spewed trash behind their backs. We all know this to be “two-faced,” and it was only a matter of time before it would be turned on me. As time went on I became one of their targets. The people I thought were my friends turned on me, but not to my face.
Did I have any idea? Actually, yes, but I never let on that I knew.
I decided to take a step back, to take a step away from the group. Cold turkey.
One of the moms sent me a text asking why I was no longer a part of the group. Suspecting that she was looking for something juicy to bring back to the group, I sent her a simple text back:
“I don’t like what I’m becoming.”
There may have been a little more, I really don’t remember. What I do remember is that it was short, to the point, and put zero blame on the group itself.
And you know what? I realized after sending that text that it was true. I didn’t like who I was becoming. Maybe the group had its issues, but the real point was that I wasn’t walking the way I knew I should be, and I had to make the choice to prune the dead branches.
Not everyone in the group was like this, and I do look back on the earlier times with fondness, but it was necessary for me to step away; it would have been a mistake to stay.
You know how God works everything for good, right? Well, if you’ve read my testimony or the story of my dad’s passing, then you know that there were many factors that lead to my salvation. One of these factors was this story, this pruning.
It wasn’t long after I left the group, the entire mommy website, that I was able to focus on what was important to me: A relationship with Christ.
After I had accepted Christ as my Savior once and for all, I looked back and realized that what I had done was a necessary step toward my new life.
Sometimes it’s necessary to step away from others, to let them go. We may not know the ‘why’, exactly, until we look back. I say this all the time: God knows what He’s doing.
If you feel something is off in a relationship, assess it. Sometimes, you might just need to talk to the other person, but there are those times when you’ll need to prune the branches. Chances are, this person (or group of people) is keeping you from fully walking the path God has placed before you.
Pruning might hurt, but it will leave room for re-growth; something better, something healthier, will take its place.
Remember to remain prayerful whenever you start to feel something is wrong. God will show you the way.
Lord Jesus, you have walked with me since before I was formed. You have placed a path before me, and as I walk I may stumble, but you are there to keep me from falling. Lord, help me to remove my stumbling blocks along the path. Help me to walk away from the things that keep me from fully walking with you. Thank you, Lord. Amen.