Holding On and Letting Go

It’s a New Year!  Time to let go of 2010 and look forward to what’s next. In doing so, I’m pondering…

When do you hold on to a dream and when is it time to let go?

For five years I’ve wanted to get pregnant.  I was pregnant once, but had a miscarriage.  My heart was broken yet hopeful it would happen again, right away.  Three years later, two surgeries, countless doctor visits and hundreds of prayers….still no pregnancy.  What’s a heart to do?

Part of me remains full of faith…faith to believe and stand…faith stronger having been tested.  I’ve also opened up to alternative “packages,” like adoption or foster care.

Lately though, I’ve really been wondering, maybe it’s time to move on.

I’ve been here before, waiting until 42 to marry. With that dream too, there was a season when it was time to let go.

It wasn’t a magic moment, a specific day or hour, but rather a decision to focus on other dreams, aiming beyond that one dominating dream.

That journey and the one I’m on now have brought to light several principles for navigating the awkward time between dream-ignited and dream-come-true.

Letting Go Doesn’t Mean Giving Up – There is a fine-line difference here and it’s not just semantics.  “Letting go,” is much like putting a dream on the back burner of a stove.  It’s still “cooking” but my focus is on the front-burner dreams, those I can “season” now.

Dreaming Other Dreams Uncovers Surprise Gifts – Focusing on what we want is good, but in our own limited thinking we may miss other gifts nearby.

One time in my career I was desperate for a promotion.  It had been promised for years but wasn’t happening.  I felt abused and wanted to leave, hated feeling stuck.  Still, no better options appeared. So I stayed, found new outlets for fulfillment on the job and personally, and then much later, promotion came.

So at this juncture, while I’m still hoping for pregnancy, I’m also thinking about the 20-something girls I can mentor, and in a sense, “mother.”  Maybe I can get more proactive, creative, and “birth” in them something new?

Things to Say and Not Say – I don’t say, I’m Giving Up, but I may say, I’m Letting Go. Rather than, I’m Hopeless, I am Hoping for Something More. I don’t say, I’ve Been Cheated, but I am, Expecting to be Surprised. Small difference in words, big contrast in attitude.  It’s been said that attitude is everything.  I say if not everything, it’s certainly BIG.

(Speaking of what not to say, when someone is waiting for a dream, it’s best to forego advice and instead, major on encouragement.  All the advice we need is one Google search away, but encouragement?  Now that’s a rare and precious gift.  Simple things like, “I’m with you, you won’t be disappointed,” can go a very long way.

Timing Is Crucial, and Out of Our Hands – God knows our hearts, He really does, and He’s working actively for our good, a good that has to do with timing, preparation, and the inevitable domino-effect our dream fulfilled will have.  The more I rely on this truth, the more freedom and joy I experience while I wait and hold on, or decide to let go.  “Dreaming on all cylinders,” describes the posture I try to have.

So here we are, diving into a brand new year, full of unknowns and uncertainties, wrought with surprises and possibilities.  What are you dreaming of?  Maybe it’s time to make a move, shifting one dream around in your heart and mind, aiming talents and energies in the direction of another one you can really make happen this year.

I’ll keep you posted on my “Wanting-to-have-a-child” journey, I’m not giving up, but for now, I’m moving on….on to front-burner possibilities that tell me the BEST is yet to be!

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