“Just say ‘yes’” was my mantra in the year after my friend Jim died. The life-is-fragile lesson was fresh, and I wanted to be open to all that life and God were offering me.
All of the “yeses” of that year led to wonderful opportunities for travel and retreat and reimagining my life. I felt untethered and free.
I have had other periods in my life when I was in that same space, periods of transition when I felt like the trapeze artist who has let go of one swing and was waiting to catch the other. It is for me a place where the ground has fallen away and I am deeply aware of my dependence on God, because God is all I have.
While in that state, I tell myself that I want to remember the lessons of those times—to let go, to be open, to trust, to say “yes.”
Eventually, though, I come out of the freefall and start to rebuild a foundation and reestablish routine.
So now my life is now much more settled and getting back to normal—and I am aware that I have slipped away from living the lessons and have reverted to some of my old ways.
Two years ago, when I started thinking of returning to Michigan, I remember imagining what my new life would look like. I made lists of the things that are important to me, things I would be sure to build into my new life.
Some pieces of my life would be fairly easy to replicate—book club, knitting store and gardening, for example.
But one of the most important pieces of my life—a faith support network—is more difficult to find or build. In Pennsylvania, I had a number of friends with whom I could share my faith, friends who are on the same spiritual page as I am.
This part of starting over was one of the most daunting aspects of the transition.
Finding or building a faith support network requires like-minded people who are willing to expand their network. It also requires that I let go and trust, that I make myself vulnerable. In short, that I return to that liminal space where I acknowledge that I don’t know all the answers (or even all the questions) and that God holds all the cards. It requires that I be open to the opportunities presented to me, that I say “yes” to invitations.
In the short period of one year, I had forgotten to say “yes” and recently became aware that I was being resistant to an invitation to join a faith-based group.
Thankfully, God is patient and persistent—and keeps inviting me to let go, to be open, to trust and to say “yes.”