I was taking a walk the other day and noticed one small, beautiful yellow leaf amongst a multitude of dead brown ones. It struck me.
I just want to sing this much praise when I’ve fallen. These small brave things, not clinging to what was. Glorying to make room for what will be.
There can be joy in letting go.
It’s an unexpected call to celebration.
Because every time we let something go, we make room for something new.
Letting go of what we know and understand and reaching for something unknown but greatly anticipated…
It feels a lot like free falling.
It feels a lot like trust.
It feels like fear and like joy and like breathing and freedom and it sounds like the crunch of leaves under your feet.
Nothing can make us better and happier people than change.
And nothing can make us more bitter, if we so choose.
Change around us is inevitable.
Change in our hearts is a choice.
Guess which change is what makes us happy?
Yeah – the one in our hearts.
It’s the change that’s made in our hearts that can make us blaze with red and yellow glory, or crumple us bitter and brown. It’s the glory that comes in choosing to let our hearts change with the change around us. That says in every circumstance, “Yes, Lord. You are still good.”
If you feel like things in you are falling, if you feel a little bare and misplaced …
That’s the thing about falling leaves. They all have their own fall, but they’re never alone.
And as we pile up our offering of what we’re letting go of, what we’re letting change, the glory that we are raking in and running through like the leaves in our back yard, I want you to remember a few things. The same things I have been trying to remember:
One: You always have a choice.
Always. Jesus died to guarantee that. Whatever situation or season you are in, you get to choose. You get to choose how you feel. How you react. What you do. And if you feel hopeless, choiceless, or powerless – that’s a lie that you don’t have to believe any more. Ask God what your choices are. And know that you have the authority to make them.
Two: There’s always something to celebrate.
I pressed a couple perfect leaves in the pages of a dictionary yesterday. Somehow it seemed fitting, pressing this reminder into a book of words that I could choose from to describe myself, my life, the gifts I was given. Celebrate the little things. Choose the good words. Talk about the small things like Jesus talks about the flowers of the field. And then remember how he talks about you. It may set your heart dancing in a place you vowed you’d never dance again. Break that vow. Dance anyway.
Three: Keep going.
When I let things go, it feels like emptying out. But I often forget I won’t stay empty. The whole point is to be filled again, and the funny thing is, we keep finding we have more and more room to be filled. Every time we empty out, what we have the capacity to hold grows. Keep going. You won’t be left empty.
Hey, little leaf – has anyone told you that you’re beautiful today?
You are. Don’t forget. Choose it.
You don’t know what change you could cause.
You don’t know who will notice your glory as you fall.