The Stage of Letting Go that Might Kill You (or Grow You)– Empowered by the Spiritual Life: Guest Post

Posted By Tammy Hendricksmeyer on Oct 31, 2015 | 0 comments


Guest Post: by Amy Breitmann

 

{I first met Amy in November, 2013, at Laity Lodge and remember how we howled with laughter (and tears) next to a crackling fire with Kelli Woodford and Paula Gamble. That glorious weekend of no internet, meant we connected with many of our writing friends who, before then, were mostly online. Out of that, Amy and I became fast friends and if you know her, she has a way with others, of making you laugh so hard your sides hurt. But then she takes you to a whole other place when she writes, drawing you in with her eloquent, lyrical style of storytelling. We’ve come a long way since collaborating the founding of Outside the City Gate, followed with more meetup’s, in person. She constantly amazes me with her knack of staying in touch with people in her own busy world. It was one divine appointment at a weekend at Allume in 2014 while we were roomates with Lindsey Hartz, that began her journey with ViBella Jewelry, a mission we all get a chance to be a part of. How aptly that my last post on being Empowered by the Spiritual Life would end with a woman who has a passion for others to embrace heir Beloved-ness. Please welcome Amy!}

 

amys empowered post leaves with heart acorn

 

The girl that I have known before she took her first breath is preparing to leave.

 

She is nearly eighteen and preparing for college and my sophomore boy is taller than me, carrying bravery around like his battered backpack. They are both braver than me most days.

 

The thick-panes of my upstairs bedroom window frame the bare tree as I think about this season. From my view just one red leaf is still hanging on in the late day sun.

 

It is late autumn and the leaves have all turned crimson and gold.  Some accepted change before others. It’s a wide, glorious display before the winter snow piles high over them and they become nothing but compost for spring flowers. This one tree seems stubborn.

 

That single crimson leaf seems ready to let go, veined and wrinkled.

 

I wonder why that leaf is holding on when there are so many are there on the ground, waiting to cushion her fall. The autumn outside my window swirls like the emotions in this mama’s heart and there is no denying this season.

 

I know that all of these changes will make me grow, just like that tree. Another ring will form this year. But I’m not quite ready.

 

I pause at the window and cradle my coffee cup in my hands like it’s my most prized possession. Maybe in this season it is. Autumn is lonely. There are two almost grown-ups taller than me that still call me mom but don’t call me much else. I don’t know what to call myself.

 

This morning there’s Just me and this mug and that tree that won’t let go.

 

I’ve come to understand that you can get that you need to let go and that it’s time and it can still feel like a leap toward death. It can feel like earlier seasons were more beautiful and that later ones might just kill you.

 

Autumn is tricky. There are winds that howl and spring seems so very far away. I’ve come to understand that it’s in the subtle changes where hope is found. Where we are found. But it isn’t easy. Denial has built around me like the weathered bark on that tree. It makes me grip harder when what I really need to do is let go.

 

The truth is that at this stage of parenting it’s easier to look back at photos than to look forward at the future.

 

It’s a paralyzing place, the holding on.

 

When I started on this path of motherhood I didn’t want them to need me.  In fact, in the early years I complained a great deal about how much my children needed from me.  I nearly lost myself in the coming, the going, the meals, the teaching, the cleaning and the never-ending pace of parenthood.

 

If I’m honest about why I don’t want to let go it’s selfish and prideful. Everything about their lives has had me in the picture. It’s all been about them needing me, telling me, being here with me.

 

It’s so not about me.

 

But I still hold on.

 

amys empowered post leaf on bridge

 

I take another sip of coffee and as that tree gives up that last red leaf I realize that maybe I’m holding onto the wrong tree. Maybe we all are.

 

I am not naive enough to think that my role is over. But when a girl is leaving and a boy is testing it can make a mom feel like everything she did was not enough.

 

And the truth is it wasn’t. It was never meant to be.

 

It’s just time to let the letting go become letting GOD. It’s time to trade security for surrender.

 

amys empowered post cross

 

I stand at the window with a pane of glass between me and that tree that needs to let go and I remember something as that brave tree lets go of the last leaf spiraling down red and important: God works this way. He works in the next season coming unexpected.

 

Things show their brightest colors, die and are raised back up, new.

 

He is a God that understands the letting go.

 

amys empowered post leaves on step

 

I put my coffee down, grab a sweatshirt, and open the creaking back door to rake the leaves into a pile around that tall Maple. I breathe deep of the red fallen leaf that finally let go.

 

The sound is of crinkled red and brown and golden at my feet and it all has an aroma of the past with the faintest hint of spring.

 

Something new is coming in the letting go.

 

Being a mother has made me look longer and harder at myself, my faith, and my God. I, like many, have stumbled down this path of parenting.  When I can look up and remember a loving God as my children’s true parent it empowers me to walk in the call as HIS daughter.  The truth nudges me to let go of my children so that they can walk the path laid out for them. It’s a Jerimiah 29:11 kind of faith.

 

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amy-1Amy Breitmann’s name means “Beloved” and she’s on a quest to believe it. Her boots carry Midwest soil but now she kicks it up in the south where she weaves marriage, ministry and motherhood together. As a cancer survivor, she was the Co-Founder of The Lydia Project, a ministry which holds hands with other women facing cancer.  She now serves as the Vice President of Vi Bella Jewerly, empowering artisans and communities in Haiti, Mexico, and the U.S.  She is also is a lost-sock finder, a keeper of secrets for the best cheesecake recipe, and gets grace in the ordinary. The words that tumble out on her blog Beloved in Blue Jeans are balm that the Spirit speaks to quiet her soul.  Find her on her blog by clicking here, or on Facebook  or Twitter.

 

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This is the final installment of my #Write31Days series, Empowered by the Spiritual Life. Thank you for journeying with me this month! I look forward to resting and finally, following up with other 31-dayers with time to read their whole series. If you’d like to start from the beginning, click here–Empowered by the Spiritual Life.

 

 

 

 

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