Years ago, when I was leaning into a new season of life, my spiritual director compared going through a season of change to being a trapeze artist. She offered that as we make changes and go through transitions, it’s like a trapeze artist swinging from bar to bar. Sometimes, we can easily make the transition from one bar to the other. Other times, we cling to the old bar with an arm outstretched for the new bar, but we are not quite ready to grasp the new bar of our lives. Prayer can offer us support as we let go of the old bars of life and lean into the new bars.
Prayer methods such as the Examen or spiritual journaling can offer us space to name what the old bars were. We can reflect on what we are being invited to let go of, such as:
- An old set of beliefs
- A change in relationship status
- A job
- A city.
As we name what we are being asked to release, we can invite God into our grief, our joy, and our other emotions stirred from letting go of the old bar.
Prayer also supports us in reaching out and holding onto the new bar. If it’s a new beginning that we discerned was right for us, we can check the fruits of our discernment in prayer by noticing if we feel an increase of faith, of hope, and of love as we let go of the old bar and lean into the new bar.
I find the new bars that appear suddenly out of nowhere are the ones that are hardest to grab onto. It is then that prayer, thankfully, acts like the safety net of a trapeze artist, providing us a safe space to talk freely and honestly to God and voice our frustrations, our sadness, or our grief.
As my spiritual director reminded me all those years ago, the new beginning will eventually become more familiar to us. And we may find ourselves moving more freely through the new season like a trapeze artist swinging gracefully through the air.
Thank you as My wife and I complete the first 50 years of our life together. A new chapter seems to begin. I feel hopeful that I can now let go of my past to rest and reach out to what is to come my way. Bless you
I am facing one of the biggest fears of my life, a total hip replacement. I’m 80 years old and have been through a multitude of challenges. I know how God uses these to make us stronger. But I have this fear of surgery from a number of bad experiences.
So this message spoke to me in a funny way : transition from old hip to new hip! Let go that old bad boy hip and latch on to beautiful new one. Prayer is my safety net and Jesus will share the bar with me. Monday 6:00 AM I report to hospital. I’m blessed to go with a virtual army of prayer support and some good visuals to occupy my imagination.
PS. I spent half my childhood free time hanging upside down on the trapeze bar in our back yard gym set. You hit the mark for me with this!
Thank you. I have come to a time in my life when BIG changes need to be made. It is so hard. Spiritually, I can ask for God to stay close, but the actual physical part, is not going well.
Reliable help is hard to get; even if the monetary cost to one is high. A.M.D.G.
I’ve invited God into my feelings of grief and joy today over thing I let go thanks to this post.
Becky, I look forward to seeing you at RE Congress in Anaheim. Your workshops sound great Very timely. Let’s meet for coffee or lunch!