How to Release Your Obsession with Building A Life

Personal Restoration | via Kitchen Fellowship

Have you ever been obsessed with building your life?

I have — but I’ve been meditating on Psalm 44:1-8 for a while now. It’s powerful. It’s about remembering all the ways God’s moved for us in the past.

And isn’t that part of restoration? Realizing it’s time to stop fighting? Stop striving and working things out for ourselves? That there’s someone all-knowing watching out for us, saving, establishing, restoring, and loving us? Take a look:

Psalm 44:1-8

1 We have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
2 With your hand you drove out the nations
and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples
and made our ancestors flourish.
3 It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.

4 You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
6 I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory;
7 but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
8 In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever.

It’s funny because earlier in the year my husband and I were trying to buy some actual land and, ohhhhh, did it feel like a battle. We’d been doing A LOT of building, working, moving and shaking to make things happen so I’m grateful for authors like Emily Freeman who speak truth:

“Release your obsession with building a life and trust in the life Christ is building in you.”

We wanted that land to put up a garage and maybe a loft above it. And you know what happened? We prayed more. Lots more. For clarity. For God to take care of it. For us to make wise decisions. God led us to buy a new-used car instead and gave us new neighbors who will probably turn into friends. That’s so much better than an empty garage + rundown vehicle that could hardly make a journey anywhere.

So how do you release your obsession with building a life? 

Step 1) Remember What He’s Done

Take out a notebook or a piece of paper and write down what he’s done for you.

There were many months before I met Brent that I thought a wonderful man might never come into my life, but God provided him. Finding a job post-college seemed insurmountable but God had the perfect place in mind. And a house? For several years after we were married I fretted that we’d never find one — yet God established us and gave us a home. There were guys, new towns, jobs, and homes I thought “might work”. I strove, worked, and fought for them. Yet in the end God’s ways were better and outshone my expectations every, single, time. When I look back, even to childhood, there’s a history rich with God’s ever faithful provision. How will you acknowledge the story of His victories in your past?

For all the ways you’ve been trying to live by your own strength and power, your talent and ‘tools’, trying to claim victories — how can you come to the end of yourself? How will you embrace that giving up [and giving into God] is a perfect path toward victory?

Step 2) What Do You Need to Give Up?

What in your life would be better established — be a better victory — if you gave up and gave into God? Is the home, the babies, the new clients, better health, creative inspiration, strong finances, authentic community, or the happy family you’re fighting tooth and nail to usher into your life?

I don’t know what it is for you — but declare it. Declare what you’re working for by your own power then give it up. Release the outcome to God.

Take these verses, fill in the blanks, and let them wash over you: “It was not by my ________ that I won the __________. Nor did my _________ bring me victory. It was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you love me.”

Step 3) Praise

Fill your days with praise. It’ll put your focus in the right place from morning to evening.

I’m here for you…

What ever you’re facing right now, whatever’s hard to give up, feel free to reach out and share your heart in the comments. I want to pray for you. I want to let you know it’ll be alright and that this beautiful life of yours is being built.

CC: Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

4 comments… add one

  • Relyn July 17, 2015, 4:17 pm


    I think I told you already with the last post, but I am so glad you are back. I especially love the heart and the transparency of this post. It is a “fit word, rightly spoken.” Thank you.

    • Alysa July 17, 2015, 4:20 pm

      You did, Relyn! Thanks so much for sharing that again! It means a lot that you’re here. Glad this post was encouraging to you.

  • Katy July 22, 2015, 2:47 pm

    Alysa, I love how you take concepts that are hard and often sound like “jargon” to me, a person who is fairly new to practicing my faith within organized religious services and make them accessible. Not only accessible, but possible, powerful, and useful.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Let go and let God” or “give it up to Grace,” especially since moving to the South. And I always think, “yes, that’s lovely and I agree, but what do you MEAN? What am I supposed to DO?”
    And now I know. : ) Thank you!!

    • Alysa August 5, 2015, 10:49 am

      Katy, Katy! So good to hear from you in this space. Glad I could share from my heart and that it’s helping you release + let go in a non-jargonay way. :) That’s what I’m all about. Yes — we can still remain involved and committed to our lives but it’s almost like we’re releasing the outcome and the details along the way to God.

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