“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance…a time to seek, and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, 6
A time to seek, and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away. Everything happens in His time.
Letting go, casting away, is hard. Often times, letting go is the hardest thing we face in life. Facing the things we love most in life and having them slip away like grains of sand is inscrutable. How are we to let go? How are we to walk into an unknown future and leave the beauty of our comfort behind? How could something so beautiful come to an end?
During times of letting go and casting away, we may try to ignore the truth. Accepting facts staring us right in the face takes time. We find ourselves wondering how are we to move forward? In the confusion of figuring out this funny thing called time, we face depravation. We hope one day we can wake up and the enigmatic circumstances in our lives will make sense. We may spend days, months, and years trying to find hope that things can change – or go back to normal.
Yet sometimes the things that have changed in our lives are meant to change. Our loss was no coincidence, it was for a reason. Instead of wishing for the return of what was lost, sometimes we have to face we should instead be hoping, and praying, for the strength to cast the loss away. Casting away an incredible world we have made all our own, a world that makes us feel safe and gives us everything we could ever want feels ludicrous. Rationally speaking, letting go of our “perfect world” is ludicrous. We still contemplate why a perfect world we had must come to an end.
Ultimately, we will come to know in our hearts what we possibly knew all along – it is time to cast away. As inscrutable as it may be, we know it is time to cast away these things of precious importance to us. Yet bearing the thought of looking at something we love more than anything and finding the strength to cast it away, yes, that is incomprehensible. Casting away things we find so important often feels like taking pieces of our hearts and souls, cutting them out, and never knowing if they will be replaced. We are to move forward with this gaping feeling, not knowing what will happen next. Casting away things we find important is like losing a best friend.
Casting away these priceless things fills us with sadness. We spend so much time with these things they become the greatest representations for our worlds. They become genuine because they were raw and they were real. When the end comes, whether we wish we could replace these things or simply erase them, no matter how hard we try everything else seems to fail in comparison. Yet we should not make feeble attempts to compare one thing to another. Situations are different for a reason. People are different for a reason. And if these things we love so genuinely can still mean so much to us after they are lost, then the things that can come in as new should give us abundant hope for the future.
Goodbye is the always the hardest part, especially when we thought we would hold these things for what felt like forever. It is simple human nature to struggle losing what we love and having to cast it away. Our perfect world is now gone and we have to build something entirely new. Internally, we know we will be alright and building this new world is possible, but the initial shock of loss comes with a price. The initial shock of loss causes us to hold tight to what was. These things we lost now become ghosts in our lives. No matter where we turn, they are always there lingering. They haunt our dreams and we continue to be convicted we cannot go a day without them.
While we face this loss, we do everything we can to catch these ghosts. We swear things are supposed to be different. We seek answers in every outlet we can find. We think if we wait silently and patiently, somehow we will regain what we have lost. Daily, we will die inside waiting. Then one day we realize things that are lost, are lost for a reason. One day we realize what was once so important to us, is not as important to us anymore. We realize our new worlds can be just as good, if not better, than the worlds we lost. One day we finally realize casting away is not as incomprehensible as we once thought.
Losing something does not mean we failed, and we must overcome that thought. Sometimes our worlds simply needed to change. The things we once loved will remain priceless and irreplaceable because they were true. We will never be able to find another thing like them again. However, none of this means we cannot find new things just as priceless and irreplaceable.
In it’s purest form, the old can remind us of what is still in store for this life. We are able to cast away the old because eventually we see the beauty in the breaking and unmaking of our loss. The strength we once thought we lost is restored. We cry to God and He takes our time to weep and turns it into a time to laugh. Our time we spent in mourning becomes time we spend dancing. The answers we seek after our loss lead us to the moment we are able to cast away. The gap that was once there is filled. We are healed. We are happy.