2018 is shaping up to be a year full of transition and uncertainty. It won’t be the year we thought it would be just a few months ago– and in a lot of ways, it’s truly a wonderful, liberating thing. In the middle of this change we’re seeing form in our hearts and in circumstances out of our control, one thing is becoming clear: For our family, in this season, it is necessary for us to let go of our preconceived notions and plans and allow the best things to come.
The best things will come, won’t they? Even if they aren’t the ‘best’ we originally envisioned for ourselves, and even if we genuinely don’t know what the ‘best’ is yet. There’s still beauty in every and any situation- even the ones that you have to make the ‘best of.’ That’s what I’m focusing on, anyway, when I look at the different paths we might tread and the choices we have to make.
I was sharing this with a friend a little while ago, telling her we had no idea what was coming after our months of travel. In a moment that surprised myself, I told her that I was okay with not knowing- that it was hard, but also exciting. It wasn’t until I verbalized my feelings that I realized not knowing our future except for a month-by-month basis was not scary – it was freeing.
It’s easy to want to control every detail. At least, it is for me. To worry and stress about specifics and timing. To want to know if we’re committing to something – and then just commit already.
So purposely, in these next few months, I’m trying to let go of that control. No, not in a forgetful, unintentional way – but rather in prayerful anticipation I’m handing over the reigns to someone else. We need certain things to live (desperately), and I still work hard for the immediate needs to be met, but with the way everything continues to change unexpectedly I’m finding the more I plan, the harder it is to admit I was wrong about our direction, our next step, our life. The more I hold tightly and refuse to change course, the harder I fall when my direction proves false.
Because truly, sometimes I am wrong about what is best for our family, and often my controlling habits can do more harm then good. Preparation as a whole is healthy and fine – but sometimes, faith doesn’t operate on the human capacity for problem-solving. There are seasons for meticulous analysis, of course, but I’m learning there are seasons of unknowing. At least, the way it seems for me, most of my seasons aren’t well-put together filled with perfect knowledge of what’s to come. It seems as though every story arc in my life is filled with a bit of uncertainty, a bit of loose ends that no human can tie together. But, eventually, it all does – and maybe that’s truly what builds and destroys faith.
It’s easy to look at the essentials of our life and chalk them up as must-haves, as things we hold tight and refuse to give up control. Things we assume are best figured out in our own understanding. After all, our lives are unique and we have the best perspective on the things closest to our very heartbeat and existence, don’t we?
In my limited, short experience, I’m finding that it’s not true. I don’t have hardly any answers, and the ones I do are subject to change. The more I give up control and just let it go – not just control, but every plan and wish and anticipation for better things- the less stress consumes me, and the more free I truly become.