On Letting Go

I have a friend at church who likes to smile at me when I tell her I don’t want to study. Two years ago, on Sunday evening, she usually sat next to me at Bible Study and she watched me ugly cry all over myself as I realized I could not teach any longer. She watched me howl as I realized I was going to have to do it one more year. She looks at me on Sundays now and asks me if seminary is sweet for me. She tells me how sweet it is for her, to watch me move into something new, something that does not make me cry in despair on Sundays.

Those Sundays I was crying it wasn’t just about that I did not want to go back to work. It was that I did  not want teaching to die for me. I didn’t want it to die. I did not know who I was or what I was going to do if it died. I was a teacher, I was good at it, people needed me. What would happen if I didn’t do it any more? But I couldn’t do it anymore.

And I said goodbye for a whole year. I tried to slip out. I tried to avoid my goodbyes. I tried to not have to deal with the leaving, the dying, the letting go. Last year was hard, but it was a total gift to me. I walked out knowing that this was the end of the road. I loved my students well and hard, but we didn’t abandon each other. We looked at each other and told the truth. I needed to let go on purpose.

And I said hello this fall. To a new thing, to a new situation. I know for many people the first year in seminary is hard, it is a letting go of a lot of things. It is crying and begging God to show you who you are. I am not experiencing that. I am experiencing a mentor who tears up when he tells me he has been praying that me and my peers would come for a long time. He says he has been waiting for us. I am undone by this. I am undone by the thought that even as I was afraid. Even as I did not want to let go. Even as I wanted to leave without letting go, God was preparing a place for me.

If you are in a season of letting go, please know I am praying for you. But more than that, please know that the space you have right now is not the only space ever for you. If you are being called to leave, you are also being called into a place that God has for you.

5 thoughts on “On Letting Go

  1. I really needed to hear this. Planning a big move next year and it’s so scary. I just don’t quite believe that there is going to be space for me in a new place. I have this vision of pushing and straining at walls of not-enough closing in, of getting my fight on. How hard it is to believe in that easy yoke when it’s not where you can see it! Your story is helping me believe.

  2. Beautiful! I just finished my transition from a job I was relatively great at (Executive Assistant) to something that’s a little closer to what I feel I am most passionate about but also more clueless about (copyeditor) haha 🙂

    I actually blogged about it too,

    (over here: https://amylsauder.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/the-place-between-the-dream-the-comfortable/)

    but I love your words. The words about tears that dragged on too long as we hung on to our old thing. And I love that we’re kinda stepping into something new together 🙂 Your words have been such an encouragement to me through your transition that coincides with mine!

  3. Yes! The last paragraph hit the nail on the head for me. My job situation is changing and not by choice… But I am at peace because I now realize I probably never would have been able to say goodbye otherwise. However, when forced to, I have new opportunities that will hopefully afford additionsal flexibility in this new season of life!

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