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Being Brave About It

control freak love yourself Nov 27, 2014
Being Brave About It

I was like a little kid last night. Or, at least a college kid. I had friends over and stayed up until 3 am talking like I wasn’t 44 with zero energy on a good day.

I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. And today, Thanksgiving, I have had more than enough energy to make pretty much the best Thanksgiving meal I have ever made, enjoy my family, enjoy a nap and get to sit here and watch a Glennon Doyle Ted talk. Bliss.

God is moving. A lot.

I am equally terrified and over the moon excited! I want to run to the front of the line and I want to retreat behind a curtain. I am afraid that I am misunderstanding or making too much of nothing. And I am certain that there is no way this could be from any place but the heart of God. I feel stuck and free all at the same time.

And since I can’t pick which emotion to feel, I’ll just let them all wash over me and practice breathing deep.

The last several months have been hard (which is a gross understatement.) Since March I have been feeling as if I am in the middle of an ocean at night, in a hurricane, in shark-infested waters. But a few weeks ago, something broke off of me. I didn’t feel it. I barely noticed it. But one day I was just…different.

During this time of great struggle, I had done everything I could to get a grip. To get right with God. To relax. I tried to talk myself out of the rough patch, as if I had any kind of control over it. (This is a by-product of extreme people-pleasing brought on by years of emotional abuse. A perfect example is that I sometimes think I can’t watch a favorite football team on TV because the very act of me watching could cause them to lose. Intellectually, I know that’s twisted. Emotionally, I often sneak away from the TV…just in case.)

In the midst of me trying to gain control of the uncontrollable, I gave up. I got so frustrated of beating my head against a wall and not being able to calm my emotions that I just, in utter exhaustion, gave in and gave up. And something clicked in my brain.

Sometimes you just have to get through something.

I am a huge control freak. Type A all the way. I try to control so much of my life (and so little of anyone else’s) that on days when I can’t get control, I organize something. My kids keep scratching their heads this week that all the silverware is in a completely different drawer. It’s kind of comical to watch them over and over go to the wrong drawer now and make a little grunting noise. So cute.

It’s a really big pill to swallow that I can’t control everything. Surely if I can’t control everything, then I can control certain somethings that will ultimately give me some kind of predictable outcome that I can manage, right? Sadly, God has been breaking a sweat on me trying to teach me that isn’t the case.

Sometimes you just have to get through something.

This last year has been one of the most challenging of my life for a variety of reasons. I’ll be honest and tell you that there were more days than not that I didn’t think I would make it. I leaned into God and I knew He was there but He didn’t seem to be moving. I tried to find the lesson I was meant to learn but I couldn’t see it. I tried talking with friends, drinking wine, journaling, praying, you name it. And life stayed challenging. Until one day I felt some freedom from it.

No magic pill, potion or promotion. No heels clicked three times, no lottery won, no miracle moment of any kind. It was just straight up PERSEVERANCE.

Sometimes you just have to get through something.

As I was pondering it, I felt as if God was whispering to me that not everything is about me. It’s not about teaching me, leading me, disciplining me or punishing me. It’s not about me. It affects me, but it’s not about me. So it doesn’t matter what I do to control my outcome. Life is hard. Until you get a break.

I am grateful to be in a break right now. Grateful to see God moving again in my life in powerful, really phenomenal ways. Part of me thinks I may be dreaming this whole thing. Part of me thinks I am wicked arrogant to even begin to think for a moment that God would move in my life. Part of me wants Him to hurry up and just do it! Part of me wants to go back to bed and sleep. Glennon Doyle said life is beautiful and life is brutal. Life is Brutiful. I completely agree. There is no better description.

Listen, I sure as hell don’t love the hard times. But I do admit that it makes the good times even sweeter. It’s all about getting to the sweeter by persevering through the hard. And it’s brutiful.

Time for family movie night. Happy Thanksgiving friends.