Working at an international organization, I have realized that letting go is an every day experience for our staff and overseas professionals. Letting go of homes, communities, relationships and expectations are all a part of of our routine. But it is also a part of our daily lives, no matter where you live in the world.
Learning to let go has been prompted by major losses in my life. My recent losses include loss of my marriage, home, dreams, security, the familiar, and direction. Loss is disorienting and comes in all shapes and sizes. Loss of a loved one, loss of a community, loss of job, loss of identity, loss of finances, loss of security, loss of trust, loss of youth, loss of health, loss of mental and physical abilities, loss of life.
With loss comes grief, suffering, and questions. Why? Where are you, God? How could you let this happen? Regardless of what our losses may be, loss is what we all have in common.
Loss begins the day we are born when we are thrust out of our warm cozy home, where we never have to think about what to eat, what to wear, what we look like, where to sleep, or how to provide for ourselves. We come into the world screaming, fists clenched, like we’re trying to hold on to what we’ve just lost. Clinging to whatever gives me some sense of security in the midst of my world being turned upside down comes much more naturally to me than willfully or gracefully letting go, surrendering my fears, and trusting God.
The desolation of loss and letting go reminds me that God alone is my portion and the only good and sure thing that I have.
Learning to unclench my fists and let go of my life (and what I think it should look like) has come with grief and pain that sometimes feels unbearable. Healing takes time. But I am beginning to catch glimpses of resurrection. Letting go frees me to embrace new life and possibilities. It can create deeper intimacy, courage to take risks and help me become more of the person I was created to be.
If you are in the midst of loss, first remember you are not alone. You are not forgotten. On the contrary, God is lovingly attuned to your every thought and emotion. Always ready to comfort. Always healing and restoring.
And second, there is Hope. A new world is waiting for you once God knows the time is right and gives you the grace and courage to let go. Hope has the ability to transform you and help you take the next step. Hope can save.
About the Author: Deirdre works in the IDEAS office as the Administrative Specialist. She teaches Hebrew, is an avid runner and enjoys meeting up with friends for coffee.