Leaving Behind For What Is Ahead

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining in the windows throughout the house, announcing the day had begun. For me, it was to be a writing day, and I prepared to get started. I planned to start in my office and then go to the local library for a while.

After sitting at my desk for hours, stuck and unable to focus, I got up and began praying. Asking God to help me get unstuck.

For some reason, this morning, I couldn’t move forward. It had been this way off and on for months. I was very distracted, and my heart was heavy.

I needed to run an errand at the Post Office downtown, next to the library and park. I ran the errand, and God led me toward the park, saying we would take a walk together. After some time passed, I sensed God redirecting me.

This park is the park I grew up visiting. Back in the day, my mom, sister, and I would go down to the pond in the park and ice skating in the Winter. The Spring brought out the beautiful colors in the trees and flowers. The Summer was a lovely time to walk there. When my children were young, I strolled them in their strollers and let them run, jump, and hide in the trees.

There are many memories in this park.

That day I walked all around the park, reminiscing and praying. It was a sweet moment. Then I was drawn to sit at one of the benches overlooking the pond. As I sat there at that moment, it felt like time had stopped. Tears flooded my eyes and began running down my cheek. I hid my face away so those who passed by wouldn’t notice. It was a little embarrassing, really.

I felt as though my heart had sprung a leak or something. The tears would not stop. Memories kept flooding my mind, and I experienced such sadness and pain in my heart. I couldn’t fully understand what was happening.

I began to hear God speak to my heart. He showed me that I had not let go of the past season. The season was shifting. My children were both out and living their lives—one of them in a different state with his wife. Ministry was changing, relationships were changing, and I needed to move forward and change with it.

I needed to accept with this new season; I didn’t fit into some of the places I was before. I needed to let go of the season’s good, bad, and ugly. I needed to accept that my role as a mother had changed, and it was never returning to what it was before. We still lived farther away from the church, and it seemed to be where we were for the moment, and I was trying to understand and accept that as well.

Letting go of this season is painful and scarier than other times before when seasons have changed. God showed me I was resisting.

He showed me that I could not move forward in this new season and the new things He was doing if I didn’t let go of the last season. This is why I kept getting stuck.

My battle was I didn’t see what I was looking forward to, and deep down inside, I didn’t feel like I had much to look forward to, if I am honest. It seemed like most of my purpose was floating away in this process. That really scared me.

I sat for a bit longer, letting the tears fall, thanking God for answering me and showing me what I had been asking Him for months.

That moment began my process of letting go of this season to move forward into the next one. The letting go process is necessary and has to take place before God can move me forward to where He wants me to go.

I am still taking steps with this process. I am working through grieving the season and working through the fears, and walking into this new season with lots of unknowns and more time alone writing. It is a very different season.

While I was thinking about writing this blog post, God brought to mind a scripture.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

In order to move forward, there has to be a letting go.

In my motherhood, I need to let go of what used to be. My children are all grown up and living their own lives. They are not little anymore. I need to let go of the things I did wrong or imperfectly, repent and ask forgiveness where it is needed. I need to take away the lessons learned. I need to surrender fully, let go of what was, and move forward in the new relationships with my children.

In ministry, I need to accept change and also realize as I get older, relationships and where God has me serving will change. I need to repent and ask forgiveness where it is needed. I need to take the lessons with me.

At home, I need to accept the new season for what it is, a season. I need to let go of whatever things I am holding onto there and forgive whatever is needed. I need to repent and ask for forgiveness wherever it is needed there. I need to take the lessons with me as I move forward there.

In my relationship with Jesus, I need to let go of past things. Whatever I am holding on to or still stuck in, I need to bring to Him. I need to repent, ask for forgiveness, and honestly share my heart with Him. I must surrender all those things that have held me hostage and living in bondage. I need to allow HIm to break those strongholds in my life by laying down those things that distract, hinder me, or have become idols in my life.

To fully move forward in Him, I need to release a whole lot. I need to give Him my fears of the unknown of the future. I need to stop trying to figure it all out on my own. I need to stop holding on to things, people, and relationships that may not need to be in this season.

The new season.

The new relationships.

The new routines.

The new way of doing things.

The new thing God is doing in and through me.

Does this resonate with you?

Letting go is scary. It is painful, and there is grieving. We can’t be afraid of that. We have grown up in a generation that has told us not to talk about our feelings or express them in any way. We live in a generation that lives in how they feel all the time. They tend to encourage us to stay stuck in those feelings.

God tells us to be honest with Him and ourselves about how we feel. He encourages us to cry and be real. Our tears matter to Him. He wants us to bring our anxieties, fears, hurts, and pain to Him so He can comfort us and bring healing.

But then we have to let go. We can’t stay in it. We can’t live there.

This process is not over in a day. This process of letting go takes time. God doesn’t tell us to suck it up, deal with it, and get moving. He walks us through this process, gently prodding us in forward steps along the way.

That day in the park was a revelation to me. I finally understood what was keeping me stuck. I cried for hours that day. I wrestled, not wanting to let go because that would mean that the truth that those days were gone was real, and that felt too painful.

My prayer has been for God to help me let go of that season for where He wants to take me. I know I can’t go there fully until I do this. I have to accept that I am older, moving into unknown territory from all I know.

Maybe you are in this same place; perhaps you are struggling to move forward in your relationship with the Lord because you haven’t been able to let go of your past, and shame and condemnation have been your norm. Maybe things are happening in life that was very unexpected, and it has thrown you off course.

Whatever it is, bring it to Jesus. Talk to a trusted friend and have them pray with you through it. Reach out here, either by comment or personal message, and we would love to cry with you, pray with you, and encourage you in those small steps forward in the life God has for you.

Each day I am having small breakthroughs, and God is leading me to this new season in Him. He is faithful to me, and He will be faithful to you!