I felt it the other night standing and watching my son finish up his football practice. I felt it on my bare legs, I felt it on my neck, I felt it as I took a deep breath. I felt the change of season approaching. This season change is my favorite. Maybe it’s because I was the daughter of teachers, but I love flipping the calendar to the fall page where there are pictures of leaves, pumpkins, flannels and sweaters. Having 4 boys, a change of season is not only welcomed, but necessary. I mean, I love those kids with every fiber of my being, but let’s face it, they can’t run amuck all year long! Time for some structure! Time for bedtimes! I’m done feeding the troops every hour all day long. Their cute tan bodies and dirty ankles need to be washed and covered up. We almost function like a tribe of little Mowgli’s all summer…underwear all day, yelling, animal-like behavior, adventures, no baths except the pool or the hose and lots of time outside.
As we turn the page on the calendar, the kids go off to school, the air changes and routines come back into play, there’s something else that appeals to me about the change.
The fall trees remind us of the beauty that comes from letting go of what is dead and moving into a new phase of life.
Can’t say I appreciated the idea of “letting go” my whole life. I mean, I am known to be quite stubborn, a little bulldog-like in my persistence and I’m considered to be a go-getter type, I suppose. But there was a season in my life when I learned the difference between holding tight to a dream, a vision, a promise or holding fast to one. I learned the difference between letting go and quitting. In both cases, they are two very different things that I had formally perceived as being one in the same. And, they are driven by two very different motivating factors. One is driven out of belief, one is driven out of fear.
Learning this life principle, which is displayed so beautifully in nature, wasn’t and hasn’t been an easy lesson to learn considering my personality and my mode of operation. I mean, hadn’t it been my tenacity, persistence and stubbornness that had helped me get to where I wanted to be, helped me achieve dreams? Oh, there’s something to be said for that. But, I’ve found such incredible power in the choice of letting go. Letting go is not quitting at all when it’s a step of faith to move into greater things ahead. It’s an act of courage that allows you to release what holds you back or currently limits you so you can walk into who you’re meant to be in a deeper alignment. Letting go is wisdom in many cases and it’s the opposite of quitting which is often fear driven, it is faith filled…believing in the hope of your future. Just as the trees let go of it’s leaves, it knows a new season is coming and those leaves, if they were to remain, would bare too much weight on it’s snow covered branches. It lets go to be free, to be strong in the new season.
I didn’t get this, like really really get this until I walked through a season where I was forced to let go. To let go of things that used to get me up. Let go of things I had been working for year after year for over a decade. Let go of relationships that were hindering and hurtful and even let go of a lifelong dream. I also had to let go of a limited understanding of who I was meant to be…and it rocked me to the core. My “winter” was not pretty. It was the ugly parts…it’s was the dead branches, the muddy and icey snow banks, it was the freezing cold and lonely part of winter. But in the death of those things, I began to witness a new life as I continued to walk into the next season because as you know, after winter comes spring. By letting go, I was able to see from a different perspective. I had released loyalty to things that no longer were the things I was meant to do. I had hands open and heart listening to the things that I had been prepared for my whole life, on a grander scale. My faith and belief that God created me with a very unique purpose, just like He’s created you, became not just head knowledge, but my heart’s passion. The release of my grip onto things that needed to go gave my hands a new liberty to work at the things I was made for.
Innately, we desire growth, we desire meaning and significance. To grow, you often have to let go. To walk into the best, we sometimes have to walk away from the good. We don’t have to grieve the ending of summer, when we have faith that fall is bringing a new thing. We can be deeply grateful for all that summer brought us and take that into the new season full of anticipation, gratitude and hope. When I feel the “change of season” coming, something deep within me stirs. The greatest days are ahead. So I can let go, and let it come, letting faith lead me into places fear tried to keep me from.
Written by Jamie Beeson