“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth … A right time to hold on and another to let go.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6b (MSG)
I remember when it happened. I was sitting in our living room scrolling through Facebook. It seemed everyone was talking about finding “back-to-school” specials.
They were sharing deals on notebooks, paper and markers. And that’s when it hit me: My getting-kids-ready-for-school days were over. Our youngest of five had married eight months earlier, and quite frankly, I’d been enjoying the freedom of the new season. On this August afternoon, though, the tears began to roll, and I silently said to myself, I don’t like this. Not one little bit.
Life is full of change. There are natural transitions we all experience: Kids grow up, jobs change, moves happen, friendships morph, our bodies age, and loved ones pass away after living a full life. There are also unexpected changes that occur in life: divorce, illness, people make poor choices, and friends and loved ones pass away sooner than we could ever have imagined.
Every transition comes with a crazy ride of emotions. Life, like a roller coaster, is on its way up a steep hill. You take a queasy peek right before you plunge down at breakneck speed, much faster than you prefer. The winds of change smack you in the face as the emotional roller coaster twists, turns and loops, sometimes taking you to unthinkable destinations.
Struggling to sort through the emotions of my empty nest, I opened my Bible for direction and headed to the book of Ecclesiastes, remembering this is where we can find the “in everything there is a season” verses. I was in a new season as an empty nester, but I was also a Nana. With the 13-year age span of our five kids, I became a grandmother before our younger children were even launched into adulthood.
This particular morning, I made my way to chapter 3, especially verses 1 and 6. I like the way The Message translation shares it. It says: “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth … a right time to hold on and another to let go.”
It was verse 6 that stopped me in my tracks. Those words “hold on” and “let go” jumped right off the page to me, and I whispered, Lord, that’s what I need to stop the roller coaster. I need to know what to hold on to and what to let go of. If those are clear to me, I think I might be able to move forward.
That became the focus of my prayers during this new, disorienting season of life. In each new situation I’ve faced, I’ve breathed the prayer, What part of this situation do I need to hold on to, and what part do You want me to let go of, Lord?
Getting these straight in my head has revolutionized my thinking, freed me from unrealistic expectations, and given me vision for this new and different life ahead of me.
In my empty-nest season, God has shown me I need to let go of my opinions about my adult child’s choices, but I need to hold on to my passion for family connection.
Life is really one change after another. One thing that doesn’t change, however, is God’s truth that guides us. I’m grateful for the steady hand His Word offers when the roller coaster of life takes us on one ride after another.
Lord, thank You for being my Rock and my firm foundation. Show me what You need me to hold on to and what You need me to let go of as I navigate the life changes in front of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV)
In her new book and upcoming retreat, Empty Nest, Full Life: Discovering God’s Best for Your Next, Jill Savage shares what you need to let go of and what you need to hold on to as you transition to a new kind of relationship with your adult children. (Bonus offers available through Tuesday, August 6!)
One thing that never changes is who we are in God’s eyes. Would you like a daily reminder of that? Jill has a FREE phone lock screen graphic that will remind you of your unchanging identity in Christ.
Connect with Jill on Facebook, Instagram or her blog where she regularly shares about this real, messy, imperfect life God uses to grow us to be more like Jesus every day.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
If you’re in a season of change and transition, how does remembering that God and His Word are constant give you hope?
What’s one thing you can let go of today? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section!
© 2019 by Jill Savage. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Moody Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.
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