Learning Through Seasons Of Change and Letting Go.
Recently, my husband Justin was sifting through photos and found this gem of our three young boys from one of our favorite vacations to date!
The picture below is just four years later!
Countless pounds and inches have been added to our family (unfortunately not all of them by my boys, but that’s for another blog post).
I was so taken back at the contrast not only in the physical appearance of my boys but also how drastically different our seasons of life have changed. Four years ago no one was driving, or dating, or visiting colleges or had all their grown-up teeth. It was a sweet season full of rhythm and familiarity. Four years ago our family was “in the groove” and as a lover of rhythm and routine, this was one of my best seasons to date.
Four years later, as awesome as it has been to see my boys grow and mature, so much has changed. SO MUCH. Routine and rhythm have been replaced by lots of “firsts.” First time to drive a car; first time to go to prom; first time to visit a college. You wouldn’t expect to deal with so many firsts in the latter years of your kids growing up. The hardest part of all these “firsts” isn’t just the massive amounts of change that comes with it but knowing the purpose of it all is to eventually let go.
Let go of a season.
Let go of a period in time I will never get back.
Let go of being in charge of my children’s lives.
This is the part of the post I’m assuming you’re expecting me to impart some awesome knowledge about how to navigate through this season without constant crocodile tears. Umm…I’m not quite there yet and honestly I’m still figuring it all out. But this post isn’t about parenting but rather lessons I’m learning in a season of change and letting go.
Lessons I believe we often wrestle with in ministry but suffer through alone. Lessons about how all of us wish for the rhythm and familiarity of ministry to remain constant. Lessons, which are teaching me that change and letting go are as important as the days of familiar.
I wanted to share three lessons I’m learning through this season of change and letting go.
- The church will change.
Your church will always experience “firsts” regardless of its size. Many of us have known sweet seasons of rhythm and familiarity in which ministry ebbs and flows at a familiar pace. But eventually there will come a time in ministry, where one of those “firsts” will be embracing unwanted change. And oftentimes change leads to letting go.
It’s okay to feel the tension of change. It’s even okay to feel sad and/or hurt. But change is the beginning path to growth. It’s usually in the midst of the chaos of change we grow closer to God AND in our capacity to keep leading and loving it.
2. People change.
We grow to love our staff and the people who attend our church but often feel slighted when they choose to leave. What I’ve learned in my current season of life is I DON’T want my oldest son to leave! In fact, I would like him to stay 18 forever! (Don’t judge, like I said I’m still figuring this one out). Although God’s plan was for my son to be a part of our family for many seasons, this next season to which God is calling him to requires us to let him go. Letting him go without guilt to enter this normal and natural next season of life and celebrating him along the way.
Who do you need to let go of and celebrate even if it means they will no longer be involved in your daily life or the life of your ministry?
3. You will change.
Four years from now I’m certain you will experience change. Your hopes, dreams, desires, and capacity will change with each season. The one constant that will never change is your choice to daily choose to live life to the fullest. Because in the end, our ultimate goal is to one day let go of our life here on earth and enter to our eternal season with Jesus.
How can our Leading and Loving It community pray for you in the midst of your season?