I’ve shared this meme on my Facebook page a couple times because one, I love Fall and am so excited it’s finally here after an extremely hot summer; and two, something about this quote really spoke to me.
Just as the trees go through a season of losing their leaves in preparation for new growth, we too may have to let something go in order for God to bring new growth into our lives.
If you are still trying to hang on to a toxic relationship maybe you need to seek God’s guidance in whether it’s time to let go. Letting go doesn’t automatically mean divorce if you are married – letting go can simply mean a season of separation and individual counseling until you feel certain there is true repentance and lasting change. Some times though, letting go means separating permanently to keep yourself and your children safe and free from abuse.
Letting go can be hard — actually it’s very hard, especially if you’ve invested years into a relationship. Doubts, fears, and uncertainties can keep you hanging on, even when you know deep down it’s time to let go.
Dear readers, I hung on for 20 years even when in the end there was nothing to hold on to. But the fear of making it on my own after all those years as a stay-at-home mom; the worry of my boys not having a two-parent home; the condemnation thrown at me that “God hates divorce” and will therefore hate me too; and the doubts of whether I’d really tried hard enough — all of those things and more kept me hanging on to something which had died a long time before.
The day God set me free, the day my then-husband walked out, was the most liberating day in my life, but it wouldn’t be for another year when I finally let that true freedom began. The day my ex waltzed out the front door of the home we’d made in all this weird fanfare like he was actually excited to be leaving, left me dazed and confused, but more importantly, it set me free. I was finally free from something which had been destroying me and my children. It was like being released from a prison, the door finally swung open after decades of holding me prisoner. I fell to my knees on that sunny afternoon as the front door closed behind him and sobbed.
Although I didn’t see it in that moment, it was on that day when God was beginning a new work in my life — preparing a way for new growth in me.
Life was not easy for a long time after that day, yet the reality was — life had never been easy for the 20 years prior. But this time was different. I clung to the Lord allowing Him to lead me and although it took over a year from the day my ex walked out, and nonstop praying for the Lord to open my eyes and give me clarity, the day came when I knew without a doubt the time had come to release that marriage — so it let go of what had died so I could move into living again.
And believe me, letting go wasn’t easy especially with people condemning, judging and turning away from me, but you know what I came to realize in all those times on my knees talking to God and trying to make sense of all that had been, and asking for direction — in this life people will always let you down, but the one true constant I had then and have to this day, is God.
It took me over a year from the day my abusive ex walked out of our home to finally let go of that marriage. It wasn’t something I did flippantly or with little to care about the affects to my children — it was still a difficult, frightening decision — but much less difficult and frightening than going back to abuse.
Is it time to let go? Perhaps it’s time to cling to life instead of trying to hang on to something which is dying or already dead. New growth cannot begin until we let go of the old.