Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward” – CS Lewis, A Grief Observed
I’ve been hesitant to post pictures of my newish home. I’ve been in this gorgeous apartment since November (about four months already) and all the while a guilty voice has plagued the back of my mind saying: “isn’t this what your blog is supposed to be about?” But I’ve lacked the courage to post anything about the special EB Winterburn artwork gracing my walls, the dappled brown and white cowhide rug, the special recipes I’ve been concocting with treats from the farmer’s market, my new kitten Violet, and what has made my home come alive most – the people who spend time here.
I hesitate first of all because I love this space dearly – inordinately. 355 has become a place of peace and healing and rest. I love it too much to let it go. The space has truly become my beloved home; it’s all mine, and I love it for that. And secondly, I hesitate because I’m battling the lie that anything I really enjoy in my life is probably too good to be true and is likely going to be taken away from me, the apartment, Violet, my job at Oscar, you name it. The mental struggle is real, however the fear is unfounded. Finally, because the sheer terror of the unknown (Can I stay here? Do I need to move? Can I afford this apartment all on my own?). As a master of responsibility, it’s completely out of my comfort zone to live in a place that is outside of my budget. This place clearly is significantly more expensive than I’d want to pay (or be able to pay) for any place in the city.
Today a lot of ends were tied up and simultaneously severed. Today I’ve been challenged to hold my life with open, outstretched hands.
Letting go in the way CS Lewis writes about in A Grief Observed means holding things loosely for the right reasons. In my context, it means giving up control of my life’s timeline. Sure, I want to have a family and a partner in crime (er…life), but that’s not part of my story right now and won’t be for a while, or maybe even at all. Of course I’m not 100% okay with or completely content will the idea of indefinite singleness, but I trust my Guide and where he’s taking me. Even if it’s not always easy or fun.
It also means embracing my home while recognizing that I am not in control of whatever might happen to it. My home is cozy and beautiful, full of the odds and ends from places I’ve lived before, finally finding rest within four brick walls. This apartment has been given to me as a gift, and I must treat it like one – overflowing with thankfulness and delight that today, I will stay here. This means watching in hope that God can provide for me and Faith that he will do so. So far he hasn’t left me to my own devices. He’s given me this place for now, if it isn’t my semi-permanent home, I know he’ll open the door to another one.
Maybe not being in control is the most beautiful part of life after all. Maybe this time of pruning – where so many dear things have been removed taken away – will become one of the most beautiful seasons in my story. Chesterton said, “he can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it.” It’s high time I begin to follow his advice and begin to let go.