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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Miller-McNair

Gotta Leave it all behind

Today I spent time sweeping off the tiny white flowers from the Bradford pear trees in our yard that are falling everywhere like snow. These tiny flowers fall all over everything, but then turn brown and stick. I love the signs of spring until they’re brown and sticky all over my patio. As a means to welcome the sunshine, I spent the morning sweeping the stuck brown goo and newly plastered white petals off our patio. I began moving furniture to get underneath and found brown leaves crisp with age. The leaves had made their way under the furniture from last fall season. We have just a few trees in our backyard, enough to give shade on hot days, and enough to bring color with each season. But these leaves have been stuck under furniture for quite a while and were dried.. They’ve lost their color and have been hiding under the dark spaces of our patio furniture.

As I swept the leaves up and freed them from their hiding places, I felt a little tinge of shame from not making sure they were cleaned before now. I had all winter season to get these cleaned, but sweeping out leaves from patio furniture during winter was not my first priority. I shook off my guilt, as another thought crossed my mind. The seasons of our lives continue to change, so do our emotions, relationships, and growth. We spend seasons growing up through pain and growing out of difficult relationships. I began reliving relationships that had become hard, difficult, and now Castaway. I thought about emotions and feelings that I had outgrown, mostly grown up from, Paralyzing insecurity, fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, and daring to take steps into healing from grief. I couldn’t think of one specific season of growth that stuck out to me more than, realizing who I am in Christ.

Each season of my life I get a deeper understanding of my relationship with the Lord, but also who I am through him. In seasons of our lives we are labeled by what the world has told us. Labels like fat, unwanted, or broken. And then there are other labels, like mom, employee, employer, wife, sister, daughter,. Etc. Not all labels are bad, but most of the time those labels come with expectations that we put on ourselves or others put on us. As we grow in our understanding of who God has designed us to be sometimes those labels have to be removed or the expectation of those labels have to be grown through. One specific label stuck out to me, unwanted. If you’ve ever felt unwanted or unloved, this word can trigger so many emotions. I won’t go through the years of rejection or situations that brought me my unwanted label, but I wore it for years. Thousands of hours of therapy and therapy have helped me understand why I wore this label and how to work through removing the label. Understanding that God wants me just as I am every day has become an understanding that has been life-changing. But for me to go a lot more Growth and understanding to really except that he would see me that way. Now I can say that 95% of my time, and my days are spent not feeling unloved or unwanted. But as I swept the leaves from previous seasons out from under hidden spaces of patio. It made me realize that there are hidden spaces of my life that I don’t often realize hold onto dead parts of previous seasons. When I walk into situations or memories arise, I can find old lifeless emotions and feelings that remind me of those old seasons. Sometimes it’s all labels that I’ve held onto or emotions that are triggered because of the situation. And just like with the broom, I have to emotionally sweep away those dead parts of those old seasons. Metaphorically speaking this sounds way more easier than it really is in real life. Sometimes it’s easy enough to just change our thought pattern and say nope that’s not me anymore. And sometimes it means sitting and writing out what I’m feeling why I’m feeling it, and the truth about who I am. I sweep out leaves from past seasons from my patio. I’m also thankful that I have the ability to sweep out old emotions and feelings from old seasons of past hurt. Just as my patio is clean and fresh and ready for a new season of life, the inside of me is ready to. As I learn to walk with new labels like wanted, I am ready for new growth in my life, new patterns, new successes, and victory through Christ. I am so thankful today. The gratitude I feel is overwhelming as I realize I am given the gift of new seasons. I just have to freely accept it and be willing to do the work to sweep out the old seasons even when I’m reminded of pieces that are still there that I left.

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