Editor’s Note: Missioner Erin McHugh reflects on the truth that sometimes, you have to let go of your old life in order to fully enter the life that God has intended for you. Although this realization is never easy, this act of letting go ultimately allows us to be our authentic selves.
“Let Go and Let God.” This simple, yet powerful phrase can completely change your life if you let it! For me personally, this phrase allowed me to let go of my old life and find the life where I could be myself, the person God called me to be.
The two years I spent in college were a difficult time for me. I didn’t really feel like I belonged. I felt like the only reason I was in college was that it was what everyone my age did and what society said I should be doing. However, I felt like I was being called to something else. I knew college life wasn’t right for me, but I was afraid to let it go because I didn’t know what I would do if I wasn’t in college.
During the spring of my sophomore year of college, I went on an overnight retreat run by the Catholic community on campus. This retreat came at a perfect time since I was really struggling and needed to find some peace.
During the last night of the retreat, we went to Adoration. At end of the Adoration, we listened to the song, Let it Fade by Jeremy Camp. This song really pulled at my heart and I felt like God was speaking to me through it.
In the song it says, “ Let this old life crumble, let it fade. Let this new life offer be your saving grace.”
I remember hearing those words and just crying, realizing what God wanted me to do. God wanted me to let go of my old life and trust that I was going to be guided on a new path that would allow me to be myself.
Once I accepted this, I let my life go to God. I instantly felt a freedom that I had never felt before. I felt like I was beginning a new journey that would take me on a new path, a path that would lead me to my calling. Sure enough, it did!
Once I left college, I was soon led to Franciscan Mission Service. I was welcomed into a family of people with my same passion, a place where I belonged and where I could be my most authentic self. I didn’t have to be alone anymore; I realized God would always be there for me and continually give me the grace I needed.
I know it sounds cliché, but I truly believe that when you “Let go and Let God” you are in for a whole new life, a life you could have never imagined!
I challenge each of you to look at your life this Lent and think of something you can let go of and see what new freedom and grace you find.
Reflection Question: Do you fully trust that God will catch you if you let go? What are you clinging to from your “old life” that is preventing you from moving forward in your story?
*Featured image: adaptation of photo by Pixabay user Siegella – labeled for reuse