One of the hardest lessons to learn is when we are supposed to let go. When I was in college and my fiance called off the wedding, I was devastated. In the first few days I was numb, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. Was there something that could have been done differently? It didn’t take long to realize that there wasn’t a different ending to write for us. Instead, it was time to put on my shoes and start walking with God toward whatever the future would hold.
In the years since that day, I have had to put my shoes on multiple times to walk away from something or someone. It has often been a struggle. I don’t like change, but there comes the day when God says, “Put your shoes on, it’s time to go.” I may be reluctant, but I put on my shoes and follow God.
In the past twenty years, I have stood alongside precious friends as they walked away from abusive, destructive marriages. I have watched spouses say goodbye to their husband or wife, knowing that when they laced up their shoes to go forward, it would be without their partner and friend. I have grieved with parents, who have said goodbye too soon to a priceless child and children who have said goodbye to a parent.
Each day, I hear from another beloved friend who has chosen to lace up his or her shoes to go forward. Leaving behind pain, hurt, disappointment, sorrow, broken hearts, or broken relationships. My heart aches for them. I know what my pain felt like, searing, debilitating, and crushing. My soul cries out prayers I cannot verbalize (Romans 8:26) and I ask for God to meet them.
I pray that they will not try to see the whole journey, but instead just focus on the step in front of them. Allowing the Holy Spirit to light the steps (Galatians 5:25), one by one, as they place their feet on the path God has stretched out for them to walk.
Scripture reminds us to walk with God, step for step, side by side. Not trying to go to the right or the left, ahead of Him, or lagging behind Him. But, trusting Him to lead us and teach us what we need to know. Our paths will always be unique to our faith and our relationship with Him, at the same time, it will be the same as our brothers and sisters in the Faith (Psalm 16:11).
O Best Beloved, we must decide daily, will we keep our slippers on and remain where we are in the past, where there is no growth? Or will we put our shoes on, lace them up, and trust God to lead us where it is best for us to go?