The season of fall rarely passes by without some written poetic rambling on my part. I have a tendency to get all gushy and starry eyed about its hypnotic charm. When it’s gone, I look back and wonder why I was so entranced—until it returns, and then it makes perfect sense.
Just this morning, when I came home from being in town, I couldn’t contain my emotions when I tried to describe to my husband Chris the colourful autumn display in Peace Park. The leaves were being whisked away from their branches and gently waltzed to the ground. There were still plenty hanging on, and the vibrant assortment of yellows, reds, and oranges set my heart ablaze with praise for God and the harmony of His majesty, sovereignty and love.
It reminded me of a post I wrote two years ago called Dances With Leaves (found in Chapter 13 of my book, High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide). In it I write, “Eventually, the vibrant canopy that dazzled overhead becomes a lush, colourful carpet under feet. I love the variety of oranges and yellows and greens, but it’s the deep reds that really mesmerize me. And at the age of 49, I’m like a kindergarten student again collecting and examining leaves for the first time.”
Dances With Leaves is about the fragility of life, the season of death and contemplation of grief. I write about the recent passing of my aunt and my moms passing a year prior. This post is about letting go… the beauty of letting things go and finding rest, hope and peace in God’s control.
I had no intention of writing about leaves again. I was actually working on something else, but unmotivated and highly distracted, while scrolling through Instagram, I read this quote:
“The trees are showing us how lovely it is to let go.” Unknown
I’ve read it before, but this time, it caused me to stop and think more. In these difficult days of Covid, political and social unrest, division and hostility, we can learn something valuable from the tree.
If you are worried about what’s going to happen next, if you feel like you’re lugging the weight of the world around, or even just the weight of your own troubles; if you long to feel lighter, free and at peace, be like a tree, and let go!
It’s funny because we don’t want to let go of control, but where did we ever get the idea we owned it in the first place? We all learn early on that we can’t change the future or the past, other people’s minds or their actions or their happiness. We can’t change external circumstances. Even when we take good care of ourselves, eating right and exercising, we can’t change a terminal diagnosis. That’s when I started writing about letting go—when my late husband Michael was diagnosed with ALS.
Here are some things we can control: how we spend our time, our money, our energy. We can control our own happiness, our thoughts, our deeds. We can control how we respond to every situation, how long we think about something before we say it (or don’t say it); how we treat others, where we put our hope, trust and faith.
Should we waste another precious minute beating ourselves up for something that’s behind us; sins that we’ve confessed and have long been forgiven? Should we waste another day holding a grudge, un-forgiveness, or the pain of someone’s unkindness? Should we waste our breath arguing our point, forcing an issue, having to be right?
If we can humbly let go of things we can’t control, we will experience freedom and peace like never before.
Be like a tree!
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
Be like a tree: stand tall, be strong, let go! Let your roots grow down into God. Influence others with your beauty and love!
Other ways to help you let go:
Focus on what you can control — like breathing and praying
Have faith and don’t lose hope — Gain faith and hope from His Word, the Bible
Remember, God is faithful and with Him all things are possible
Evangelist Billy Graham, exuberantly spoke this: “Don’t think God has given up; don’t think He’s left the throne. He hasn’t. He’s still on the throne. Those of us who know Him, put our trust in Him and Him alone. I don’t put my trust in Washington. I don’t put my trust in the United Nations. I don’t put my trust in myself. I don’t put my trust in my money. I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. When all the rest of it fails and crumbles and shatters, He will be there.”
A prayer for you and me: Lord, help us to let go of what we can’t control. Help us to trust you and love you with all our heart and soul. Enable us to let go and rest in your perfect peace and sovereignty. Thank you for your amazing grace, love and mercy!
I finish with the last paragraph from Dances With Leaves:
“I am so grateful for the constant presence of the Lord in my life and like Psalm 16:11 says, ‘In His presence there is fullness of joy.’ I’m always in awe of His beauty that surrounds me and I wonder how anyone can say, ‘Where is He?’ I find His strong presence there in nature, whether I’m outside enveloped by His genius artistry or just looking through my window at the leaves dancing in the breeze, I’m frequently saying, ‘God, you’re amazing!’”
Read it in full here: Dances With Leaves
On another note, November 6 was the one year anniversary of the launch of my second book, High and Wide: When Grief and Love Collide. A huge thank you for all the support and feedback. And thank you to those of you who have given it an Amazon and/or Goodreads review!
You can read the reviews here and leave a review here. If you have read my book, I invite you to also leave an honest review. I appreciate it so much!
Learn more about my books, or to make a purchase, click here to go to my book page.