I swear this to you
I wish that this was not the truth
But it’s something that you fell into
And crawling out is hard when you
Are not so sure it’s what you want to do
There are moments in life when you achieve a rare clarity; seeing something for what it is, and deciding that it’s time to change.
A couple of years ago, I had one of these moments. I was taking a break during an intense training course, and I was grateful for some alone time in my room.
I was reflecting on the last ten years of my life. I had felt drawn to Christian ministry since I was very young, so with that in mind, I went straight from school to Bible College, and made my way into an internship at a local church. During this time, I significantly burnt myself out, and took a while to get myself back together. I proceeded on to university, and into the workforce.
During the post burn-out period, I had kept my eye on “ministry”. In fact, I’d say it was a simmering obsession – the idea that one day I’d be back where God had called me, in full time church ministry. I got involved in youth ministry at every church I went to, and found myself striving to get back to where I felt I was meant to be. In the meantime, I ended up working at an international Christian NGO. It was this NGO that sent me on the course that day.
Relaxing in my room, I thought about how much I was loving the course, and how it lined up my skills and abilities perfectly. I thought about my role at work, and how I enjoyed it. And then my mind wandered to the familiar territory of how I’d eventually end up in church ministry.
At that moment, I visualised myself standing on a train platform in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a dusty wasteland. Trains would pull into the station, and every time I’d say to the conductor, “no thanks, I’m waiting for a train”, and off it would go, leaving me waiting.
There I was, waiting for the opportunity to get back to what I was “called” to do, and the whole time I was just letting all of life’s opportunity pass me by. Alone, unaided, I was going to stand on that platform until church ministry came and found me.
As tears came, I knew it was time to let go of my dream. But how do you let go of something you’ve clung on to for so many years? It was as Relient K said; crawling out is hard when you’re not so sure it’s what you want to do. But in that moment, I realised I had an opportunity to move on with my life and leave the past behind.
I let it go.
I remember getting up and feeling lighter; as if something had lifted from my shoulders that I had carried for all those years. After I let go of my dream, I began running, writing, and realised that my job was the ministry that I’d been called to. All the things that aligned for me to be where I am today were miraculous to say the least.
But letting go wasn’t easy. It’s simple for T-Swizzle to tell us to Shake it Off, or for Idina Mendzel to sing “Let it Go“, but to move on, it comes down to our choice. No matter how big the hurt, or how tough the road, the only person who can let go is you. I took ten years to recognise what was holding me back, but when I finally dropped it, I found that freedom had been just a step away all that time.
That’s my story of how I let the past go. What will yours be?