Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Learning to Let Go

I have a confession: I haven't cleaned my bathroom in three months.

Yes. Disgusting. I know.

It's not that I haven't tried. It's that I haven't cared enough to go further than wiping down the sink with the leftover toilet paper at the end of a roll.

Tonight. That all changed. Tonight I soft-scrubbed. I windexed. I toilet-bowled, mats-washed, shower-cloroxed cleaned.

What may seem like a minor victory to most sane, level-headed people, was almost like winning the war to me.

Three months ago, I lost big time and that loss resulted in neglect in every area of my life.

I gave away my heart to someone who just didn't want it. It's no fault to him. It's life. It's relationships. And it's messy.

I've never been to Vegas. In fact, I've never played a slot machine (though it's a secret dream of my heart). But I imagine if I was a betting woman, I wouldn't wager much. My whole life I've played it safe. When I was in third grade, I went hiking with my mom and two brothers. While hiking a trail, we spotted a fallen tree. My brothers ran up and down that tree limb. Not me. I was too scared. I knew I would fall. I knew I would get hurt. So my sweet mom offered to hold my hand and walk with me.

Pass one: I did it.

Pass two: this is getting fun.

Pass three: Oh crap!

I fell. Well, I straddled the limb and though it took me one week to convince my mom I needed to see a doctor, sure enough, my kneecap was broken.

I don't like to place bets and I don't like to risk. But, this time, something told me differently. Something told me to trust. To bear it all. To risk it all. I gave him the deepest parts of me. The parts no one had ever seen. I gave him my heart.

Last week, I was listening to a message online about necessary endings. The speaker said: What is in your life today that doesn't line up with your tomorrow?

It's been three months since it ended. Three months of sadness, disappointment, anger and loss. Three months of not making my bed. Not calling back friends. Not playing with my puppy. Three months of wondering what I did wrong, how I could fix it, and if he would come back.

It's been three months of not letting go.

I was reminded recently of Lot and how God told Lot to take his family from his homeland of Sodom and Gomorrah and flee. God was going to destroy the city and told them whatever they did, not to look back. As the family ran, Lot's wife made the mistake of not letting go. She looked back for one last glimpse, and God turned her into a pillar of salt. Lot's wife missed out on all that God had for her future because she looked back to her past.

When I finally decided to let go and not look back, a sense of freedom overwhelmed me. And as silly as it may sound, I was able to wake up and make my bed. I cleaned out my coffee pot (which I'm sure was alive) and I made coffee at home instead of the usual run to Starbucks.

And tonight. Tonight, I cleaned my bathroom.

It's the little victories every day that remind me I'm moving on.

It's choosing to rejoice despite the sadness.
It's choosing to be whole despite the hole in my heart.
It's choosing my future instead of my past.

It's choosing life.


  1. This is a beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing where you are. Here's to freedom! And clean bathrooms!

  2. Beautifully written...thanks for your encouragement through your honesty.