My kids don’t deal well with change.
Five years ago around this time roofers showed up early every morning to pound nails into shingles above our heads. We had only recently welcomed our youngest into the world, and we were still very much adjusting to having a newborn. The new roof was just one more piece in an already loud and busy household. I didn’t think much of it; I just wanted it to be finished. My oldest, who was barely four at the time, was devastated that we were getting a new roof. “But I love the old roof,” she would wail. Of course, the roof might have been the easiest thing for her to name. She couldn’t quite articulate that adding a new baby felt like everything that once seemed stable now seemed wobbly.
There have been other resistances—dare I say, threats of mutiny—when we have talked change in our house. We have this couch. Have I mentioned it before? It’s the worst. Okay, so, it’s not the absolute worst—as far as we know, it’s not infested with bed bugs and you’re not likely to catch any diseases from it. But, really? It’s pretty close to the worst. We used to flip the cushions over when company was coming, so that they would have the advantage of sitting on the clean side. Now we don’t even bother anymore because there is NO CLEAN SIDE. This couch is stained, ripped, and sagging. I hate it. But whenever I mention how I would love to replace it, my kids protest as if I am suggesting we trade in one of their siblings. (We have now made a deal that if we still have the couch when one of them is ready to move out, that child can take the couch with them. They think I am offering them the world).
What my kids are missing is this: when we hold tightly to things, our hands are too full to accept any new gifts.
If I’m honest, I’m not that different from my kids. Oh, don’t get me wrong—I would trade that couch in a heartbeat—but there are other changes that feel too overwhelming to even consider.
Last spring was a season of endings for me, and the endings filled me with panic. I couldn’t see beyond the endings to any possible beginnings.
Sometimes we don’t get to see what might come next until we are willing to let go of what is.
Sometimes we have to say “no” to things in our life in order to say “yes” to possibilities and new growth.
Sometimes before new things in our lives can have space to germinate, to push through the soil and grow, some of the old things might have to be ploughed up, pulled out.
Are there things in your life that you are being invited (called?) to let go of so that there is room for something new to grow?
Sometimes nothing new grows in that ground for ages, and we begin to wonder if anything will ever grow there again.
How might we tend the soil while we wait for something new to grow?
Autumn lavishes us with colour, but in that beauty is a letting go, a dying of what once was. Those leaves have to fall in order for new life to grow in the spring. Autumn is a season of change: as mornings and evenings grow cooler, school buses begin rattling down the roads once again, and we awaken to new routines, new beginnings.
What new beginnings do you want to embrace this fall?