I unexpectedly received a lovely bouquet of flowers from my niece when she called round recently to collect something from us. She also showed us some family photos and said she would keep in touch, which was lovely.

Now the leaves and flowers sit wilting and dying in the vase, but I can’t bring myself to throw them out. They remind me of the weakened family ties and the nurtured hope that my sister (who I am sadly estranged from) will one day reconnect with me, too.

But the signs are not good, even though I don’t give up and still send her cards. God is asking me to let go of the worry and anxiety it produces in my soul but to retain the hope of reconciliation in my heart. We pin our hopes on so many things that prove to be fleeting or disappointing, don’t we?

release - flowers in process of dying - stages of letting go - (C) joylenton @joylenton.com

Autumn’s a hard season for those of us who struggle to let go, isn’t it? Yet the dying back it represents speaks significant spiritual truth to our fretful, anxious souls. God shows us that any emptying He might require of us is to make room for a larger infilling of Himself.

Dying leaves fall and cascade to the ground with no apparent stress to the trees. Instead, they reveal a trusting faith that the greening sap of life will rise again, and new buds and leaves will arrive, come spring. They have hope, and rest in it being met through the long months of darkness before they see any change.

Maybe we, too, can hang onto the precious Hope of God being here with us now and in the darker days ahead. We don’t have to face them alone or defenceless. We are equipped as we ask God for help and support and also pray for one another.


I want to go and lean
my worried head against a tree
and ask how it manages to easily
divest itself of its glorious leaves, 

while I struggle so much 
to let go, become empty, detached 
from the encumbrances of life
and become bare, bereft,

calmly waiting for new growth
to appear, for refilling from God
to take place within,
as I patiently sit and wait for him
to touch me with his love.

It sounds so simple
but I have failed to master the art
of such openness,
such serenity in the face of loss.

Instead, I hold on hard
to dust and dross that any opportune
wind could blow right out
of my hand, or even return again,

leaving me at the mercy
of fate, of falling down 
the rabbit hole of fear,
and failing once more
to truly show deep trust in God.

Because each new season
requires a shift, an emptying
that enables us to receive,
but we can block the process

if we cling too hard 
to the ashes that exist, 
and fail to exercise our faith,
our innate ability
to act just like the trusting trees.

So I open my arms wide
and I cry for mercy to believe
there will be a strengthening
just when I need it,
as I stay close and settle in.
© joylenton
release - autumnal trees -  empty poem excerpt (C) joylenton @joylenton.com

Father God,

Thank you for not losing patience with us but perfectly understanding our human frailties, anxieties and weaknesses. We might fear loss, resist letting go, and dread change, yet we never walk through these things alone because you accompany us every step of the way. Please strengthen our trust and faith.

Help us relinquish and release what doesn’t fit who we are now as your beloved children, or suit the people we are becoming by your grace. Give us the courage to let go in order that we might have our arms free to embrace the good, better and best you have prepared for us to accept.


My friends, this is a season where I’m facing greater health challenges, and God is calling me to rest myself and my words, both here and at Poetry Joy, into His loving charge. I hope to be back by mid to late November. May you be blessed, held and comforted in the weeks ahead as you learn to release, rest, and embrace change. Much love and hugs until we meet again. xo ❤️🌸💟