I am a devoted and dedicated person. Surprisingly, I was reminded of a fact that our strengths can become a fault when I was thinking of this attribute of mine.
To a fault at times, I am loyal. I grasp on and hold tight. I am a ferocious advocate. A friend for life and a person who will not give up on a project, a person, or a dream lightly, If ever.
What happens though when you should let go? When someone doesn’t choose you back, or a dream no longer fits?
I am great at the concept of grit. Of “grin and bear it” and of making it work.
I am not so good at letting go, loss, giving up, and any lack in dedication.
A year after the Covid -19 loss (that we all experienced in differing degrees) I held on tight to a friend who was slowly and irrevocably dropping me. I no longer served her vision of a friend and it broke me heart. It crushed my very soul.
I choose my people for life. I couldn’t understand someone who would just drop another so quickly after so much life together. This was not a “season friendship”. But a lifestyle friend. Our kids loved each other, our husbands played golf together. We had talked about retiring in the same neighborhood together. Running businesses as teams.
The phrase “let go or be dragged” was definitely how I would describe me. I didn’t want to let go. I chose to be dragged, on purpose. One of my favorite authors uses this phrase to describe water sports. I would say my experience has more relatedness to a cowboy, at the rodeo. The one who holds on to the bullhorn of the saddle while the thrashing ensues. I always thought that was funny. Why would anyone get on top of a bucking horse, on purpose?! The horse doesn’t want it, the cowboy is going to get hurt. Even if he wins he’s going to be bruised, and sore.
I then remember me. Oh yeah…I held on tight. I was dedicated! Because I believe that no amount of time loving people is ever wasted. I wouldn’t let this fall apart. I could do this! Brutally I held on until the very end. Until my muscles snapped and she severed the tie completely. And I went flying threw the air of nothingness, landing hard with the loss of a friendship. I have found out, there are no medals for holding on the longest in this particular endeavor.
Letting go has its place too. It’s devastating and painful. It is a loss of its own. It’s not easygoing. It grabs you like porcupines going into your heart.
Have you ever exercised to a place where you saw muscle transformation? Like to see true definition in your calves or arm? It’s pretty cool. But have you ever built back a muscle that tore? I have.
As a ballet dancer I have pulled and stretched my muscles to screaming but one time I tore my ankle. Badly. I ripped tendons severely. Surprisingly not dancing but actually tripping over a chair. Three weeks on crutches and six weeks of rehab.
I have scare tissue to prove it. What’s fascinating is I now have an ankle that is 10x stronger than before.
To get there your muscle aches. It hurts when the muscles are building and when healing back together. So I reminded myself that when my heart breaks it means there is an opportunity for growth. It too is a muscle. I can be stronger.
Ephesians 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love
To knit back together stronger. To have definition in my heart! I hope my heart is the muscle that grows the most in my life! Not the blood pumping muscle (although I want that to be strong too) but my emotional soul, my loving center. I do not want the Injuries of this world to cause stiffness and apathy but greater resolve and a bigger muscle! For greater capacity. I want to heal stronger.
This is not her story, it is not for me to tell that side of things but this part; this part is mine. I do not know her hurt fully, as she doesn’t know mine – God only knows. This is not about that, this is about letting go and holding on. Simultaneously. This is about having someone NOT show up for you actually shows you where you truly belong. Because of this you can un-belong while belonging at the same time. Jesus loved people without being loved or picked back because he knew Who and what he belonged to.
I do not know when the relentlessness of life’s most hurtful things will make sense but I do know that with Jesus I find my belonging. I do not have to negotiate, or prove my worth. I find friendships potential and the utter acceptance of me. I find a friend that will not drop me, that is loyal for life! He tells me Everyday that His vision for me is still so great and that His dreams of what we can do as a team is still building!
I do not know if you have moved away from your tribe, been told you no longer serve a vision in a persons life, or have lost someone though death or sickness. I hope you know you belong. That you are important and that you matter. Valued.
You belong to Him and He will never give up on you. Just an FYI, I never will either! In all the transitions and transformations of life, I’m here.