Letting Go- Part 2 By Jenny Seylar
Letting go. It seems to be all I have been doing for the past couple of years. Last week I spoke of letting go of my house and it’s belongings, having lived there with my husband and three children for nearly thirteen years. For a few months I have been living in a town home while I arduously cleaned out the old house. It was a mere two days after listing the house that I let go of my sweet fifteen year old puppy. We rescued this pup only a couple weeks after we closed on our house, and the little guy has enriched our lives ever since. It seems fitting that his life would end so close to the house being listed, after all, the move to the new place was difficult for him. Anxiety dominated his day, and his vision and hearing were nearly gone. Navigating his new surroundings was a daily challenge.
It has been a great struggle to let this puppy go. On the day that this little friend joined my husband in heaven, I was overcome with great sorrow, as well an overwhelming sense of guilt. It convicts me to say this, but I experienced a profound sense of relief. I knew it was the right decision, and I was reassured of my actions upon further reflection, but the guilt feelings remained. The little black and white friend was a part of the family. He made it into graduation photos, family Christmas letters, and signatures on greeting cards. Well-loved his whole life, the little guy was counting on me to end his suffering, and to be able to do so was not easy. Yet gone were the days of long walks, bladder control, and independence on the stairs. The time had come, and I was the grown-up that had to make the decision.
The absence of my furry critter has caused me to reflect on other significant relationships in my life. As a pastor, I have had to change churches a number of times. With each change I was required to let go of relationships that had been really important to me, and me to them. Difficult though it is, the congregation and pastor are charged with letting go of one another in order to form new relationships. Key companions on my journey of life had to be released whether I was ready to do so or not.
I struggle with letting go and the feelings of grief associated with it. Sometimes it feels as if I have lost my way and am wandering aimlessly in the desert. It’s lonely there, and I find myself longing for the relationships that used to sustain me, even those that were not always the best for me. So in the desolate place of letting go, I pause, I pray, and I try my hardest to move on with God’s guidance. I discover that when I attempt to let go, it provides the needed space for God to do new things in my life; things that often bless me even more than I expected. The Prophet Isaiah says:
“Don’t remember the prior things;
don’t ponder ancient history.
Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19, CEB)
It is on my “path in the wilderness” that I find myself standing. So I look to the left, I turn to the right, and I trust that God has “a new thing” in store for me. I already