For over a year now, I have lived back in my home town. College was a cliche time of "finding myself" apart from the people who have known me for years. It was a time of reinvention. I had a clean slate and continued to find the voice I had only begun to scratch the surface of in high school. Being home has been an all new adventure in understanding who I am. But, it isn't a mission to find myself so much as it is one where I remember who I am in Christ. "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13b-14
My old haunts bring back memories of people I loved whom time has removed; activities I excelled in which I am now incapable of returning to; and places full of memories and milestones. These things I see as I drive through town, and I struggle to let go. I struggle to forget, as the Bible says. I am a firm believer that our past shapes us. Every day adds to the person we will be tomorrow and next year. Often the days that have come before are more comfortable, or, dare I say it, safe. Maybe that's what makes change so hard. It isn't safe. It's unpredictable and often equates to loss and heartache and more misplaced memories.
But, I will choose to look at it this way: Proverbs 25:4 says, "Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith." Dross is equated with impurity. When the bad material is removed, the silversmith is free to mold the material into a planned shape and design to serve a specific purpose. When the silversmith sees the correct image, his job is not only complete, but perfected. I am choosing to view change as the process by which the dross is removed from my life, so that in my next transition stage to God knows where, I am a little better for having gone through the process.
"We fight to hold on. We fight to let go." I wish I could tell you that I've mastered the balance. The truth is, I wish I had. This will be a lifelong process for me. Maybe my struggle to let go at the moment exists because I am on the brink of finishing something that could potentially change life as I know it. No going back. That reality is not safe.
But forgetting what is behind, I move on to see what the Lord has in store for me next. Hopefully, in the next stage, I will be a little wiser and slightly more equipped to let go of clinging to my comfort zone.
What are you holding on to?
"I'm Letting Go" by Francesca Battistelli