Letting Go

I recently blogged about the closing of our church in a post entitled, “Death of a Dream” (1/19/10). I realized that this sad event was the end of a really great chapter in my life - but it was not the end of the story.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about what to do when something really great comes to an end. Life is full of changing seasons - adolescence, first job, dating, graduation, marriage, children, career change, relocation, business opportunity, grandchildren, empty nest, health issues, loss of loved ones and the list goes on. Seasons change. Transition happens. We have a decision to make. Will we fight and resist change or will we welcome and embrace it? The choice is ours to make.

Gracefully transitioning from one season of life to another is an art form. I don’t know about you, but ‘gracefully’ is not a word that comes to mind when I think about my response to change. I tend to fight and resist change – to hang on to the old season ‘that was’ for much too long. The problem with my tendency is that I can’t embrace a new season without letting go of the old one.

My husband recently preached a message called “Out of the Nest – Time to Fly” from which I learned more about what to do when something really great comes to an end. His text was Mark 9:2-8, the story of the transfiguration – a really great experience that Peter wanted to hang on to.

Here’s what I learned…

1. When something really great happens, pay attention. Don’t miss the moment.

2. Don’t hang on when it’s time to let go (don’t try to build a house at every stop on the journey).

3. When clouds appear, remember that it may be God’s presence – his way of reminding (or forcing) you to listen for his voice.

4. Listen to what God is saying in the midst of the cloud.

5. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Choose to see no one except him.

It’s that simple. Maybe it isn’t so easy at times but it is that simple.

When a mother bird knows it's time for her babies to fly, she pushes them out of the nest. At first, the little birdies are terrified, angry, and confused as they feel the sensation of plummeting to the earth. Then something tells them to spread their wings and they experience the exhilaration of flying.

As the young birds begin to realize they were created to fly, the security and comfort of the nest from which they were launched seems unimportant by comparison. Though flying is so much better, the fond memories of life in the nest never cease to bring great joy.

No matter what change life’s next season holds for you, I challenge you to savor the moment, let go of what was, listen for God’s voice, keep your eyes on Jesus, and fall back off the cliff of the unknown into the loving arms of the Father. It may be the end of a chapter in your life – but it is not the end of the story.


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