“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
I had a plan to write about God’s kindness today, but I can’t seem to focus on it. I can’t really seem to focus on much this whole week actually. I’m over emotional and exhausted and frustrated. I keep finding myself on the verge of explosion. It’s not my favorite.
Everything in my world seems to be changing and I’m having a hard time managing all the moving parts. I haven’t been able to put my finger on what’s actually bothering me. I am aware that all these changes are for the better. It’s good change. But my heart is hurting about what I’m leaving behind. It’s still a loss.
Then I realized. I’m grieving.
You don’t just grieve when someone dies. You can grieve and mourn the loss of many things. You grieve when relationships end or change and when you enter a new phase of life. I’ve grieved relationships. I’ve grieved jobs. I’ve grieved the loss of friends who moved away. I’ve grieved friendships that changed because of life changes. I grieved the loss of my little yellow Chevy Aveo, Daisy Sunshine. I loved that car. I miss that car. *sigh*
I’ve learned that when things change (or we lose people or jobs or move to a new place) we need to grieve the things that we’re leaving behind. Grieving is the process where we let go of what we had so we can open up to receiving the new things that are coming. I’m grieving right now. I’m grieving that I don’t get to hang out with, high five and hug my youth kids every Wednesday anymore. It’s only been a week, and I miss them. But I know that it’s time to move on to other things. God spoke and confirmed that to me. I know that I know that I know it’s time. But I’m still grieving the loss.
My understanding of grieving came over time. It started when a crap ton of my close friends got married over a couple year span. I was happy for them genuinely. But I really struggled with the new status quo. My girls were gone and they were replaced with couples who had different priorities. Some moved out of town and one even left the state. I was so depressed. At first I thought it was jealousy, but that wasn’t it. I had no interest in being married. Then I thought I was just selfish, but that wasn’t it. I really wanted them to thrive in their marriages. I didn’t understand that what was actually going on was that I was grieving the loss of the way things were. I didn’t want things to change. I wanted my girls to always be my girls. It took a long time to get over, because I never acknowledged and mourned the loss of the closeness I had with those amazing friends of mine.
Then there was the man I had loved for a very long time. I always thought we’d work it out and get back together eventually. So did he. But it never happened. I asked God in the middle of a hysterical fit, “Why can’t you just let this happen?” He answered me very matter of factly, “If you want him, you can have him. But you will miss everything I have for you.” That stopped me dead in my tracks. I was like what? I can choose to go outside of God’s will. I didn’t want that! I prayed that His will would be done. And I meant it!
God was true to His word. He let the door open and I stood face to face with the man I’d loved for most of my life. We could have gotten back together right then and there. We were both available for the first time at the same time. We both wanted it. We both still loved each other so much. But deep down I knew it would hurt us both in the long run. I fully understood for the first time that I was wrong for him and he was wrong for me. I saw so clearly that we would both be settling for less. Not that either of us are bad people, we just aren’t the right people. In my car on the way home, I sobbed. I truly grieved the loss of our relationship and I let him go. I still love him to this day, but the ache is gone. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Grieving him set me free. I was, for the first time, truly ready for the man God had for me. (Ahem…I’m still waiting, God… FYI)
The first time I actually recognized that you can grieve things other than people was when God showed me that the plan I had come up with was simply not going to happen. I was devastated. I went home and literally collapsed on my kitchen floor and wailed. I had one of the ugliest cries I’ve ever had. I mourned the loss of my plan. I sobbed and sobbed. “Why God? Why can’t You just use my plan? It’s what I really want!” I was absolutely acting like a 2 year old, complete with stomping and whining. Then after about an hour of kicking it toddler style…I heard very clearly…”Going there is not safe for you. You will backslide. You’ve prayed for My perfect will for you, and I’m preparing you to receive that. You need to let go of your plan. You need to trust Me.” I stopped crying and I stood up. I repented and I let go of my plan.
When I let go, I felt lighter. I felt free. That’s when God began to prepare me and speak to me about my future. About His plan for me. About the purpose and calling He has for me. I had been holding on to what I wanted so tightly that I couldn’t receive anything because my hands were already full!
What are you holding on to? God cannot give you anything new until you truly let go of the old. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there’s a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. It’s so true! There will be a time to grieve and cry, but then we need to let go. We need to laugh and dance and move forward. So for your own good, acknowledge what you need to mourn, grieve it and let it go! You won’t regret it!