Facebook memories can be a funny thing. They can remind you of what you posted on a particular day at a particular time. They can also take you back in time like they’ve done for me today. Seven years ago today, my younger son took his last gymnastics lesson. His coach and the owner of the facility was planning to move back to his home state. He had been one of the ones God had used to bless us over the months previous as he had allowed me to work for him in exchange for my son’s tuition. Both of my sons also took karate, and I was grateful to the instructor there as well that my sons’ lives could be kept normal while their father was out of work. As we headed home from the gym that day, I knew we were about to get some rough weather, but I had no idea of the magnitude of it or that God would send us to one of the hardest hit states only four months later.
I wasn’t thinking about letting go then though. We had been living in our home state again and in the city where we had met and married for almost two years. I was anticipating that we would be there through my sons’ high school years. My husband just had to find another job. A few more months passed, and we realized it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t know it at the time, but God knew I needed to find Him again in a more personal way, and He had to refine my character in order to make that happen. I didn’t want to let go of our home state. In fact, I fought it hard because I didn’t want to let go of the familiar. Jumping into the unknown was and still is a scary thing, but it proved necessary.
Letting go was also hard because I equated it with giving up, and if you read yesterday’s post, http://thrivingingrace.com/brave-enough-to-hold-on/, you know it is a dangerous thing for me. But, they’re not the same, and I understand them both in a better way now. Giving up means quitting and never wanting to try again. Like I said, a dangerous thing because giving up can be taken to the extreme like with everything else in life. Letting go though, while it is an ending, means something better is on the other side. The Bible verses in this morning’s devotion say the same thing. From Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I can look back now and see that letting go of our home state was a good thing. It has brought so much joy to our lives and so many new relationships including a closer relationships with God. We have had sorrows too since we moved here, and I have wanted to give up many times. In fact, if I’m being honest, I’m in one of those periods now. Life is hard, y’all, and it’s even harder for someone with depression. The feelings, the hurts, the aches, gnaw at the edge of my brain, and make the urges to give up even stronger.
But, when I remember how my new state was still recovering from the generational outbreak of tornadoes that happened seven years ago today when we moved here in September of that year, when I remember what God has done in our lives since we moved here and the relationships I have formed, and when I remember a four-year old girl, I can’t give up. I can only remember this quote from the author and know that God is leading me to my next best thing. “I have seen over and over again, that to simply let go is a powerful catalyst God will use to move me toward the next best thing.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) May we all be brave enough to let go at the right time and let God lead us to our next best thing!
Praying God’s blessings on you all today!