Change… requiring of us movement in a direction that we are not as familiar, calling upon skills we are not accustomed to using, and forcing us to stretch beyond our well established and often too small, comfort zones….can be hard. Sometimes we do anything we possibly can to avoid it, even when it is what is best for us and everyone around us. It can rock our foundation, threaten the equilibrium, and wreak havoc. But, it can also rock the foundation and then give the ingredients necessary for a stronger foundation. It can threaten the equilibrium that has been maintained for so long, but isn’t necessarily the healthiest. It can wreak havoc as it encourages us to continue on the path of awareness and growth. It’s crazy that we as humans would much rather cling to something toxic than step into the unknown, even though we cognitively know it holds a promise of something better. It’s not familiar. And we don’t know. Another way to say that perhaps, is that we’re desperately afraid OF the unknown, the change, so we cling to something, even if it’s toxic.
I’m working to be friends with the change that is flamboyantly present in my life. And at times it feels incredibly clumsy and extremely terrifying. I’m learning. Stretching, growing. But I can’t forget my I, is a we. The my I just referenced is actually an our. That’s just another part of the self-discovery piece…we do not have to travel it in solitude. No one has to navigate these things on your own. If you are single, lean on your closest friends and family. If you don’t use them, you’ll feel alone. And then possibly feel incredibly distant from them, for they have no idea. And then feel even more alone and even more hopeless about your ability to go through this with any semblance of grace. If you are married, use your partner! Don’t leave them behind. It’s their job to be with you, just as it is your job to with them. Don’t ever forget that.
Picture a team of horses, pulling a wagon. We’ve probably all caught a glimpse of this in real life, some of us an even more personal, up close experience. Imagine all those ropes, each one with a purpose, each being vital to the operation of the entire setup. Once fully assembled, the driver now has a clear line of communication open with both of the horses. Imagine what would happen if the horse on the left decided he wanted to do it this way. And the horse on the right disagreed. What would happen? Catastrophe. And face it, there’s nothing the driver can do to force two +1500 pound animals to do what he wants them to do if they don’t want to do it. He’s powerless, along for the ride. Life doesn’t have to be that dangerous. Look to your partner. Talk about transitions. Embrace the changes.
I’m working to be present with mine. To seek agreement between my head and my heart, between my human longings and my faith in God that my needs will be taken care of. I’m working to do it with grace and strength. I’m not always successful, I don’t always do as I should, I forget to practice what I preach. But I come back to my center. I want to embrace the changes, the gift of growth and forward movement. I’m so thankful for my husband, my rock, my partner. For my family and friends. And for my church.
Almost two full years ago, I felt a stirring for something new. I began to connect with and understand pieces of myself in a more mature and holistic way than I ever have before. I credit the amazing community around me, and the stirring of the Holy Spirit.
Being someone who is somewhat apprehensive about change, I went through periods of time trying to sweep the thoughts and feelings under the rug. It’s easier to stay where we’re at, and a challenge to venture into the unknown, especially when things are so uncertain. I tried, and failed. The reminders kept creepingback, and God wouldn’t let me forget. So began, the active phase of seeking.
There was a time when it seemed that every door I knocked on failed to open. And then there was the moment, when I transitioned my thinking, from hoping someone else would accept me, to seeing myself as the one that needed to make it happen. Perhaps the heavy doors were meant to have stayed shut. They were rigid for a reason. Interestingly enough, when my mind shifted gears, the doors became easier. I fell into invigorating possibilities. Ranging from hopes of this connection or that, to realizing my absolute dream career was just outside of town, and had been there all along, I had no idea. Had those rigid doors been accidentally left open, it may have been some time before I literally stumbled upon this place. So I sought to sow the seeds. Thankfully, unlike my own garden, which I can forget to water as the summer goes on, these seeds were cared for, and tended to, and subsequently flourished. And as the fruits became recognizably enticing, it was even clearer to me that changing my present situation was absolutely necessary.
I think I hung on to my perception of security as long as I possibly could. It’s funny to think that what I thought I was doing was being practical, was really just being fearful. Letting go of the rope as you swing over the bay, trusting your body to land where it’s soft, trusting the water to be there, praying it wasn’t an illusion. I clung. And then let go. Since that point, I haven’t been filled with regret, despite the fact there is a great deal of uncertainty now! I’m not certain how my material security will arrive, but I trust that God will provide.
So far, I’ve been listening to His guidance. This is all His doing. The doors, the grace, the community, I can’t even begin to explain it any other way. They keep saying, this is the time of greatest growth…you’ve let go of your fear and put your trust in Him…He has led you this far, and you feel the peace, it HAS to work Anna. So I find myself here, in the space of quiet, in-between. And comforted by the knowledge that I am not in control. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
Why question? I know, I believe, I feel. My roots, foundation, is being fed and watered by the Giver of Life. My roots are my faith, my family, my health, and my self. When struggle comes, I will persevere. At the wire, I can make do with very little, and am very open to the conclusion that I have way more than I need. And when I feel this, I will, because I have been, and believe I will be, blessed.
I’m thankful for the journey, even though it was hard at times, for it led me to where I’m at. I’m ready.