It was a cool, crisp November several years ago. I stood there in my freshman dorm room quiet, sad, mysteriously excited, ready but not. Here it comes. On the edge of tears, of opportunity, of fear.
I was staring at empty walls asking myself: Who do I want to be? Who do I want to love? What kind of life am I making?
I had taken down all of our photos together and had decided already. I had decided weeks before, actually, but had not admitted it to myself. The guy I had been dating for 2 years was not what was best. The relationship had its sweetness, but it also had gotten sour. It was Thanksgiving and I was heading home to let it go. To ensure I did the letting go, I took down the pictures of us in my room. I would return to empty walls, or a fresh pallet, depending on the view. I could no longer ignore that particular knowing in my heart. But it didn't change the fact that letting go meant a step of faith. A step of courage. A step into the unknown, leaving what was very known.
I had the same feeling when I let go of my son's hand when he walked into school for the first time.
And when I knew I had to let go of leading a campus ministry after 8 years.
And when I packed up our house of 12 years, the one we turned from ragged to rich.
Many thought I was nuts to move on from that boyfriend, that ministry, that house. But I am thankful I looked everyone in the eye and said goodbye to their opinions, expectations and hopes for me. And today, many would think I was CRAZY if I had passed up my husband. The one who came after the letting go. Thank God.
And aren't we grateful? For the moments in our life that beg for a bend in the road, though we have to be the one to blaze the trail?
Let's get grateful as we let go.
Having done it often enough, my faith has grown and I am grateful. I can trust that God is doing something else. Something new. Something different. Something beautiful. I can trust that He uses pain for change, He uses growth for maturity, He uses hard things for greater things. Doesn't a tree grow, blossom, let that blossom go, and from the letting go - more trees are found in other places? But for a season, it looks empty, barren, hopeless. And it is simply making space for new blossoms.
Is it time to let go of something? If so, let me give you courage: this bend in the road is no surprise to the King who made you. He has good, good plans for you. And He is intimately acquainted with all of your ways.
May we be brave and strong and let go of all the things: Expectations. Opinions. Fears. Bitterness. Status. Jealousy. Comparison. Disappointing others. Judgement. The addiction to approval.
May we let go of what is negative, just not right, unhealthy or toxic.
May we let go of who we think we are supposed to be.
God, thank you for the letting go. Thank you for the growth and beauty you bring us in it. And in our letting go, may we embrace hope, change, joy, faith in what will grow next. May we let go and open our hands....leaving them open to receive what you have next for us. When we let go we release so much and we are free.
Thank you God, that you let go of your Son, so we could be free.