- Letting go of several women that I had discipled for several years. After pouring many hours of time, energy and love into them, I watched them move out of my life. (See my blog entry for February 23.)
- Letting go of the first half century of my life – my supposed youth. On April 26, I turned 50. (See my blog entry for that day.)
- Letting go of women’s ministry event planning. When I finally admitted I could not (and should not) do this anymore, God called another to take my place.
- Letting go of trying to fix my loved ones. This has been an on-going lesson, but this year I think I finally, really and truly, let it go.
- Letting go of my sons as they transitioned to independent living. I am grateful that this transition was gradual, with first one son moving out, then the other going away for a six month mission experience and finally, both getting an apartment together.
Letting go is hard. For a variety of reasons. I wanted recognition and appreciation for my time and labor. I wanted to stay young and avoid physical decay. I wanted to cling to what is familiar and comfortable. I wanted to be in control. I wanted to be needed. I wanted my identity and role to remain intact.
But letting go was crucial if I am to grow and become more like Christ. I think this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Phil 3:13). In letting go of my disciplees, they are able to walk more independently and I am able to turn my attention to others. In letting go of trying to live out my youth, I am able to embrace the combined experience and wisdom of my years and serve God even more effectively. In letting go of some ministry responsibilities, I enable others to use their gifts and I can learn new skills. In letting go of trying to fix others, I actually challenge them to step up to the plate and I free myself of unnecessary burden. In letting go of my children, I empower them to mature and I enable myself to embrace a new exciting chapter in my life.