About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Q3. Several years ago I started work in a newly opened after-school center for primary kids in my town. The owner was a friend of mine and we had an agreement that maybe the first mounts my salary won’t be much. And I accepted it, hoping that when things started to develop with enrolling more kids in the center, I’d receive the promised salary. The center really was successful, but I haven’t received the proper salary for 7 months. I didn’t have another option for a job, but I felt I needed to be brave and let go. This wasn’t what I was looking for. I valued my time and my professional skills. So I left the center, knowing that God will provide. That’s how I started my private teacher’s practice at home. And I’m grateful.

    Q4. “Courage doesn’t tell you to let go when you know what to grab next. Brave people let go when it’s time to let go.”

    • Kate,

      Your answer to question 3 is the perfect example of YOU displaying great courage, in essence the quote you shared for question 4! It sounds like your intuition and faith in God’s provision led you to the right decisions. 🙂

  2. The monkey bar option: I also enjoyed this analogy.
    Several years ago, I felt convicted that God was asking me to let go of my desire to have children. My husband and I have struggled with infertility. We had tests done and tried all kinds of methods. And each time as I prayed the Lord whispered to me, Be still. As I practiced being still, I realized that my desire was driving me in such a way that blinded me to the possibility that God had a different plan for this time in my life, and that the plan he has is good. So, I have been letting go of the desire to have children, with the confidence that God has a good plan, but not knowing what exactly that plan entails.

    My favorite quote: “You can let go of jobs, or people, or hurts, but don’t let go of hope!”

    My hope isn’t in my own dreams of motherhood coming true. My hope is in God’s goodness. That whatever plan he has for my life, whatever he brings my way, will be good. In fact, it will be the best life because I’ve surrendered my hopes, and dreams, and future to him.

    • Oh Sarah…

      Hard things are being asked of you. And your perspective is lovely and a wonderful testimony to trust in God. It’s something we’d all do well to emulate, because it’s heartfelt, sincere and honorable. Thank you for being a good steward of ALL that God has trusted you with! Your example makes ME want to be brave!

  3. I’m a planner. Not in the sense that I have everything laid out and I know what’s coming next. I plan disasters. Paperwork comes back as rejected, I’m instantly five months down the road on food stamps. New position becomes vacant at work, I’m instantly accepting the job, hating the job, quitting the job and going on food stamps. Husband is grumpy one night because it’s been a long day, I’m instantly convinced it’s something I’ve done, living in a festering problem for months and losing the love of my life.

    I plan disasters.

    I can’t move forward without seeing the next six or seven monkey bars.

    Right now.


    In this moment.

    I feel enslaved to my imagination, not freed by my savior.

    I want to let go, I just don’t know how.

    • {{Sarah}}

      Oh, how I sense your frustration. I don’t have real answers, I wouldn’t dare pretend to be that wise, but the first thing that popped in my head when I read your last line was “one finger at a time.” What I mean is you take baby steps into this, not all or nothing; not yet, not with your tendency for planning ahead.

      Except I have zero idea about what’s best for YOU…. But I care, and in these moments, I’m paring that you begin to see HOW to let go…and you take those steps to DO that very thing. I pray God is clear in your heart and head and that you’re able to focus on Him to take you in the next direction.

      Please keep us posted….

      • are you the adult child of an alcoholic? if so, that’s because your walked on eggshells forever and everything was your fault. NO.? even if not. you didn’t cause it and you can’t cure it. one finger at a time. God is there one finger at a time.

  4. Sarah, that is beautiful. Infertility can be such a hard and consuming road to walk down. I love that you felt god speaking and moved on it. Who knows what beautiful, amazing things he has waiting for you

  5. Q1. I am definitely in a season of holding on. Honestly, I am in a season of getting on my knees and fighting like a ninja for my loved ones. Seriously, this book has been messing with me big time, and I am quite sure that my mouth fell open when I opened up the book to read the title of this chapter because the theme I chose for 2014 is actually “Hold Fast,” and I am actually writing about this exact concept every day in October (thank you, Nester).

    Q2. We are praying for several family members who are “tough cookies” (this is part of my “holding on” right now). I have to keep believing that God is all about changing lives and redeeming our stories — I have to believe the change is possible. I am looking forward expectantly.

    One conversion story that I can share is about my hubby’s childhood friend, Hal. Hal lives in Tennessee (Maryville, not Nashville — sorry Red Couch Girls), but he came down to Florida to work with my husband for about year. While he was here, we prayed for him and with him, dragged him to church with us, and answered lots of his questions. We shared Jesus with him, but he never really seemed moved to become a Christ follower himself. — As the day approached for his return home, we were kind of sad that he hadn’t responded. Then, the weekend before he was set to go back home, he ended up going to church all my his lonesome and went forward at the end of the service. He didn’t even tell us he was going to church. But after, he came home and shared that he’d wanted to make the decision all by himself — just him and Jesus. Such a cool God story!

    Q3. When I was ready to graduate from college, I had an opportunity to stay on at the university and get my masters while working there. A few of my friends had done so before me, and it seemed like a killer deal. I went through the interview process, and then I met with the HR folks about the job (which was mine if I wanted it). But, during that meeting, I was told that the program for TA’s was changing, and I would be coming in under the new rules (and I hated some of the new rules). I had to decide if I wanted to stay in a less than desirable situation, which would get me a paid for Master’s degree, or if I wanted to just say no and pursue other options (which at that point, there were no other options on the table). I chose to say no because I had no peace about staying. I had no monkey bar to reach for at that point, and it was a bit scary. Honestly, I am not good at hanging in mid-air… one thing that I did then (and still try to do) is to really pray, pray, pray and just surrender it all to God. He has a way of making things work out (and He writes better stories than me — every time!)

    Q4. “The road to courage is lit by God’s wisdom.” p. 120

    • Lyli,

      How cool that your year’s theme is so closely tied to these chapters! Confirmation to YOU that you’re hearing from God himself. 🙂

      You answer to Q3 is powerful; saying no to that sort of thing without knowing what’s next? My word–BRAVE!

  6. I am holding on right now- holding on when I miss my home country and my parents, Holding in when I am putting my 2 year old in time out for hitting his sister again, holding on to being a good mom and homeschool teacher even when chronic pain makes me want to stay in bed all day. Jesus, hold my hand while I hold on.

    • {{Hugs, Tricia}}

      “This too shall pass.” <--Those were words I held onto through my children's early years. The days are so long, the years are so short, I KNOW THIS all too well! Which is no consolation, I know, but just encouragement that you're entrusted with your babies from the God who knew them first :). I do pray for your pain to be manageable, and I can't help but beg for healing….

  7. i look at the all the times God had placed me where I was supposed to be. I sometimes went kicking and screaming but I had to let go because God made it so easy. that’s why when I have to decide to hang or go even if I don’t know exactly what the next monkey bar was. but I knew that either I was going to sprout wings and learn to fly or I was going to land soft I could feel under my feet. and it does get easier as you have “practice” at hanging or going and that’s why now there are no really big things because God has always taken care of me no matter.

  8. Question #1: I sense God saying hang on to hope(see page 124)a lot. His Word helps me so much!
    Question #4:” You have to be brave enough to hold on, even when your struggle feels like it’s more than your hands can handle.” (Page 124). Previously shared quote from page 132.

  9. #3 saying no- This part was so perfect for me. I find myself dating again in my 40’s after my 17 year marriage ended. I met a really great man who is crazy about men and so good to me and yet his walk with God is not great and I know God asked me to let him go and I mostly have…he keeps coming back around and I keep praying for him but I can’t seem to fully stop contact. It’s so hard- the monkey bar thing is so true! I know God is good and He has carried me this far… But I’m scared of trapping on to maybe nothing – waiting on God’s timing…trusting…that kinda brave is hard for me. I like when you talked about the “figuring out the letting go” or however you phrased it… It’s comforting to think maybe that’s what I’m doing….instead of feeling weak and cowardly and Not trusting God. I love God’s timing on this book/ discussion and what’s happening in my life!! Thank you all so much for all your sharing… I really love this!!

  10. Question 1: I’m definitely in that “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do” phase. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to hold on or let go of people that were some of my closest friends from church. It could be easier just letting go and moving on, but that may just be my flesh talking. Still waiting on God’s answer.
    Question 3: One of the times I had to let go of something was volunteering in the church nursery to change to the prayer team. Technically I knew what the next monkey bar was, but I was someone who couldn’t pray out loud without having an anxiety attack so I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m so thankful that I let go for an even greater thing because God has helped me grow exponentially since I joined that ministry five months ago (:

  11. Thank you for this! I have Annie’s book on my reading list, but I am in graduate school, and reading is my full time job. :o) The videos are an excellent way to participate when I have some time. God bless!

  12. Q1: I would say I’m in a season of figuring it out! Wanting to be more open to what God has for me next and aware of His direction.. hoping to change my style of having a death grip on things until forced to let go!
    Q3: These chapters came right alongside my struggles currently. In fact, I was looking in my journal from last year this time and realized.. mid October must be my yearly personal crisis/ugly meltdown time cause I was in a similar place then, too! Frustrated, stuck, confused. So to go along with the monkey bar thing, when you are letting go, that involves trust. I realized that I do not fully trust God. That is why I am scared to go forward- which for me involves both letting go and holding on.
    Q4: So this quote was right on, what I need to hear. “[Falling into hopelessness] is not the story God is writing with my life and it’s not the story God is writing with yours either. So please. Hold on. Don’t let go because it hurts or because it is hard. Don’t let go because you feel like it is ridiculous to hold on. It’s not. Hold on.”

    So, so thankful for this book and this study!

  13. Its more a season of “freefall” … theres no monkey bars to grab onto. No next best thing i can see waiting…. BUT am waiting for Gods BEST!

  14. I’m a few days late on this, but still wanted to share. Our family has let go a couple of times in the last few years.

    Q3. In 2011 my husband and I felt The Lord leading us away from the ministry we worked at full time. We had been on staff for 10 years and had always throught we would be missionaries with this organization forever. As soon as we felt The Lord telling us to move on we started talking to other missions groups and assumed we would find another ministry to join. But nothing seemed like the right fit and we edged closer and closer to having to make a decision. We had an annual commitment to the organization, so if we we’re leaving staff we had to let them know by Dec. 1st. Otherwise we would have to stay another full year. When Dec. 1st came around we had not found another ministry to work with and had nothing figured out. In faith, we turned our resignation letter in anyways. That meant we had no jobs, no plans and our family of 6 ( we have 4 young kids) would have to move out of staff housing by the end of the month. Letting go was hard! Not being able to see the next monkey bar made it that much harder.

    We ended up in the mountains of NC, living in a relatives cabin until we figured out the next step for our family. We’re still here almost 3 years later. We’re in a remote area and work can be hard to come by, but we got in with a zipline that was opening up just a few miles from the cabin. Never a job I thought I’d have! I’m scared of heights. Within a month of opening the zipline made my husband general manager. We basically ran the place together. Things started out great but the owner was a hard man to work for. Nothing was ever good enough and he had a temper. He would come in and yell at my hubby for doing things that he was asked to do. In July, he came in upset at us again and we decided to walk away. We both quit our jobs that day. Again, not knowing what the next monkey bar would be. That was hard to do with a family to take care of! Letting go of all of our income was tough. I let go of the job, but I’ve struggled letting go of the hurtful things that were said and done to us while were there.

    We decided we needed to really get away for a bit and ended up on a 3 week long road trip out west. We were kinda hoping a job would present itself along the way but that never happened. It was a great time for us as a family, but that next monkey bar was seeming further and further out of reach. Through a friends post on Facebook my hubby was able to find an online IT job that he can do from home. It’s only part time right now, but should become full time eventually. Working from home and being able to go to our our kids sporting events and activities has been a blessing.

    Even though letting go in both situations was super tough, we’ve seen The Lord provide every step of the way.

  15. Just finished the book this weekend and this is my first time commenting! Loving everything so far.

    Q1 – I honestly didn’t think these two chapters applied to me when I read them, but after watching the video today I definitely see myself in the “holding on” stage. I am part of an Urban Ministry Internship in inner-city Louisville and have recently been feeling super drained and just wondering what my purpose is here… I’m in year 2 of 2 and everything is starting to get a bit monotonous. (Not to mention I’m still homesick for the hometown I share with Annie, Marietta, GA.) Besides the fact that I don’t necessarily have the option of letting go, I really do feel that God is telling me to “hold on.” I am trying to rest in the fact that I know he brought me here and that he has a good plan for my being here even though it may be tough at times. As Annie says, it’s so much easier to trust God when you know that he has come through for you before.. and, of course, when you know his good and generous character.

    Q2 – I don’t have a story similar to this but Annie’s story had me laughing so hard. It’s amazing how God can work through people we don’t even know…

    Q3 – My move to Louisville was definitely one of the times when I jumped for the next monkey bar without being able to see it. I agreed to move here without any job offers, without knowing who I would be living with, and knowing that I would be farther away from my family than ever before. God made it clear that this was where I was supposed to be and I decided to follow Him even though I couldn’t see all the steps. And I’m so glad I did!

    Q4 – “Hold on to hope….”

  16. Page 124, “I hate it when people say, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” BINGO!! I also hate it when people say that! I always tell people who are struggling, “The Lord knows…there is always hope. Hold on to Him and keep your eyes turned upon Jesus. Life can be really hard and sometimes it is exhausting, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Those are the times when the Lord makes himself known to us in mighty ways. I am in the midst of some really weary times and I am clinging to the Lord.

  17. Q1. Let’s start with where the girls ended the video by asking, “Are you in a season of holding on or letting go?”

    I think both. Some things I seem to be holding on to, but our family is currently in a season of letting go of some things. I suppose we’re stuck in the middle right now.

    Q3. The “Monkey Bar Option” is one of my favorite concepts discussed so far (and honestly, in the entire book!); where it’s easier to grab onto the next thing when you know what it is. And yet, you can’t move forward until you let go of what was.

    Right now my husband has a work comp case against his employer that they have agreed to settle. And I am a planner. There is great potential for him to lose his job after they settle, and I hate the in between time of not knowing if/when we will be without insurance, how much money we will get and how much we will need to make up the difference, and what we are going to do next. God is definitely working on our faith here. Right now I’m definitely better than I used to be at having faith. I guess I’m so much better at it now because he has proven to be faithful in the past during similar situations.

    Q4. Share your favorite quote from Chapters 11 & 12.

    “It’s his still, small voice deep in your knower…It’s a verse or a quote or a moment of clarity when you just know. You will know which way to walk. I promise you will.”