As parent I can no longer put the words “let” and “go” together without envisioning Elsa doing her ice thing. Sometimes I even sweep around my living room in dramatic fashion just to make my kids cringe if there’s something (each other, most likely!) they need to let go of.
All kidding, singing, and arm sweeping aside, letting go is hard. I know that. For the last decade I have lived life in a seemingly constant state of letting go. Admittedly, I often left claw marks as I was drug away from whatever person, place, thing, that I was unwilling to let go of.
Wednesday, the years of letting go, being flexible, and resilient caught up with me in a way that caught me off guard. My boys are starting their third school in 3 years. My children who have never been the ones to cling to me at the door, hung on for dear life on the blacktop at their new school. As I stood there, sweating through my dress in an effort to hold it together for them, a thousand thoughts raced through my mind-“We can’t move again. I can’t do this again. My children cannot go through this again.”
When it was time for each class to walk with their new teacher to their classrooms, I could only walk with one child. Fortunately, the school staggered the walk times so I could walk with one boy and then race back to the blacktop to walk with the other. As my child was walking with his new class to his new room, he got swept up in the crush of people all eager to see their new room, teacher, and classmates. He looked back at me with a fear in his eyes I haven’t seen at school before and I panicked. I called out to him to tell him I was available for one more hug and one more kiss. When he came rushing out the door, against the current, he fell into me and fell apart. Big tears and a tight hug from a child that rarely lets his emotions be seen. I hugged and soothed and reassured all the while noticing that we were becoming the only ones left outside the classroom.
After what felt like both an eternity and a second his new teacher looked right at me, and said. “It’s your job to let go.” Um, excuse me? You don’t know me or my child or anything about us. How dare you.
I gave one more reassuring hug and kiss and walked toward the entrance of the school fuming. I had half a mind to walk right into the office and request a transfer that minute. But I didn’t. Instead I went home to get ready for my appointment that morning, replaying her words over and over and building a case against a woman I don’t even know.
Thankfully, about thirty minutes into my mental trial of this woman and all her faults, my program kicked in.
Let go and let God.
Five small and simple words. They shut the jury in my head up long enough for me to realize the truth in this recovery slogan. If I never let go, if I hold onto all the control, I can never let God do His job. My job that day was in fact to let go-to let go of all my own fear and doubts that things were not as they should be, to physically let go of my child so he could start a brand new adventure, and to let go of all the ideas I had about a woman I don’t even know. God’s job was everything else.
Sometimes I want to do God’s job-all of it. I think I’m really good at it too. Managing all the things for all the people. The truth is my job is only to let go-to let go long enough for God to do His job and send me down the path I should go.