One thing my MS has meant in my life is learning to let go. And I am not a “let it go” girl. I don’t let go easily. When something happens in my life I often toil over it. Just ask my husband . . . telling me to let it go is basically like telling me to give you the last Reese Cup ever made, unless by an act of God and a prying hand of force, well, let’s just say – Good luck with that.
Letting go . . .
It is a lot like an autumn branch clinging for dear life to the last of its many colored leaves.
I wonder if a tree has ever panicked when it encountered its first fall. I mean, here you are this beautiful tree, just graced with your very first mane of leaves – then it’s just your luck. Something is wrong with them! Their colors have turned all weird. . . and worse they are all falling out! You thumb through the yellow pages hoping to God there is a Rogaine Center for oak trees.
The tree must know something is changing; after all, its bright green leaves have been overtaken by foreign shades. Macaroni and Cheese, Brick Red, Chesnutt Brown, Sunshine. God has taken forth his very best crayons but the fear of the “new thing” is far too scary. It is a monster in the closet. Falling asleep after eating three spicy tacos and dreaming about fifteen eyed dinosaurs.
Change is a frightening thing, a death of sorts. The death of what was. For a tree, basically “dead” in winter, I wonder if it realizes its leaves aren’t gone forever . . . simply absent for a season. I wonder if it knows it’s going to grow back stronger.
King Solomon said “To everything there is a season.” EVERYTHING. A time to be planted and uprooted. A time to keep and throw away. A tree throws away its leaves in the fall for a very important reason. If it kept its leaves it would likely die. The trees’ roots know something that the tree doesn’t yet. It needs to conserve moisture to live through winter. Leaves take up too much energy.
What seems as a “death” in real life is actually the gift of precious life. It looks as though, on the outside, that the tree has lost its favor. When really God’s favor is present with the tree more now than ever before. He is about to help it survive the un-survivable.
When you get “sick” letting go can be a quick process or it can be a daunting one. The thing is YOU get to decide which one. You can hold on to the familiar for dear life or you can let go of your leaves one by one in some-kind-of-awesome act of faith that leaves the world in wonder. Don’t waste your energy holding on. Let go. This season is a season. Nothing is ever permanent . . . everything is temporal.
Change shouldn’t be the dirty word we make it. It instead should be a challenge. An adventure of sorts in a world where everything is so ordinary. We chosen few and those who love us, we have been invited to dance in the midst of the extraordinary. We have been called to let go. We have been asked to “Let God.” We have been challenged by our internal root system to trust Him.
We chosen few . . .
Our leaves shake harder.
Our colors change more often.
We are left stripped and bared for all the world to see.
And in this we are left with a life lived awe-inspired. If you only look at the barren tree you will miss the leaves sprawled beautifully in a pile of colorful chaos. You will miss the children jumping into a fresh stacked tower of autumn. If you look only at the ice on the tree trunk . . . you will miss the nest of robins in the east branch.
And if you watch long enough?
You will begin to see the buds. Buds of new life. Both on the tree and near the tree. Both near the tree and far from the tree. You will realize that the leaves fell but so did the acorns. You will realize that you have not only been given life but you have also given life. God has reinvented you and used you. He has changed you for His purpose in this season.
With new wisdom and new faith, you will take a look at your branches . . . stronger. Your trunk . . . longer. Your color . . . bolder. You will look to your crevices supporting new life and new wonders to discover. You will lay eyes upon butterflies bursting forth from a cocoon on new stems. You will marvel at an inch worm inching to the very edge of a new leaf and thrusting itself into air on nothing but a silken strand of sheer faith.
You have become a living, standing transparent testimony standing tall for the one-day “barren” trees that will soon celebrate their first fall.
“Look at that tree.” they whisper. “So magnificent.” says the small one. “ONE day . . . yes, ONE day . . . I want to be like her.”