Posted on January 19, 2015
Posted on January 19, 2015
It feels like FOR.EV.ER since I have written in this space. I have missed the deep connection to my faith that I feel through writing here, and I have missed YOU dear reader!
It’s not that I didn’t want to write. It’s not that I didn’t have a lot of thoughts to think out loud in these pages. It’s that I have been insanely, crazy, overwhelmed BUSY! Let me recap for you:
Thanksgiving – 18 at our home for dinner, followed by my husband having a cardioversion on his heart (Google it) that didn’t work so that was followed by a cardiac ablation (Google that too), then making an offer on a house, not getting that house, going on to house number two, getting an accepted offer, going through the loan process (oh my can you say “paperwork?”), almost losing the house, going through a second lender with more paperwork, vacation road trip, 49’ers vs Chargers game (fun!), Christmas with family, packing, moving, cleaning, settling in, and oh yeah… new responsibilities/new region at work. My life has felt continually like this for the past 6 weeks:
Cluttered. Confused. Piled up.
And every day for weeks, I felt like this:
(Our sweet ShihTzu Brownie with some major static electricity. Can you say #badhairday?)
I kept asking myself “Whose crazy idea was it to cram in buying a house, starting new responsibilities at my job, Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything else all at once?” I had no one to point the finger at but myself. I’m an over-achiever, but this was just a little too much overachieverness. (What do you mean that’s not a real word?) I felt myself at the breaking point on more than one occasion, and I just kept thinking,
We should have stayed where we were. Yeah, we wanted to downsize, but… We wanted a home of our own to paint the walls and fix the plumbing and plant and grow. But… this is scary. If we stay where we are, everything is familiar. I don’t have to learn new stores and restaurants and find the closest Target. My friends are close by. I know exactly how long it takes to get to work.
Familiar = Comfort.
Why, oh why would I take on a new region at work? I already know all the people I work with. They trust me. I know their names. I know how to get to each of their offices without GPS to guide me. I know where every Starbucks is along the way. I know the traffic patterns. Now I have given up what I know to take on what I don’t know. What on earth was I thinking?! What if they don’t like me? What if I fail?
Familiar = Safe.
I remember growing up, my dad had this poster in his office of three little monkeys. I have tried to find a copy of it, but I can’t. (I thought you could find anything on the internet!) Anyway, the monkeys looked a bit like this,
and the saying on the poster was:
There are three kinds of people in the world; Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
He would point to that picture and say, “Chick, you’re a girl who makes things happen!” And typically, that same conversation would include some sort of reference to getting out of my comfort zone.
Those memories have carried me through a lot of challenging times. Affirmation from a dad who saw possibility in his little girl bolstered the self-esteem I would need to make it in this world. I thought of that poster as I was trudging through the past few weeks. I am the girl who makes things happen. I am going to make this happen!
And just like that, I’m living in fear and trying to make things happen out of my own strength. I forget that my real strength comes from somewhere deep within me – from a place that I did not create, a space that has been nurtured and strengthened by a deep faith in Christ. It’s there I am grounded and can feel safe despite the chaos around me. In the past few weeks, as I dashed around putting out fires, I became small and scared. I longed for the comfort and safety of the familiar. The only problem was, I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t undo any of it. I was forced to push forward into the unknown, way out of my comfort zone.
Last week, when I went to Los Angeles, I didn’t get lost taking the short cut to the office. Today, I only got lost once trying to get to the grocery store, and I think I may have figured out the short cut my husband told me about. Small victories as I learn to laugh at my wrong turns.
I am by no means settled in our new home and I am definitely not settled in my new job duties. I still need to hang pictures on the walls of our home and help my new team hang their trust with me. But I am settled in my spirit, because I have stopped trying to make it all happen on my own. I realize today that I don’t have to have it all nailed down, perfect, bow-tied-on-it, fabulous. I can look at what needs to be done and know that it will all happen, just maybe not today.
Soon the unfamiliar will become familiar and there will be comfort and safety in what will no longer be new. I need to remind myself of Acts 17:28,
For in him we live and move and have our being…
I have opportunity to learn and grow and become. I have new neighbors and new co-workers to get to know. I don’t have to make that happen, I just have to give it time.
Where is God calling you out of the comfort and safety of the familiar? Maybe today you can say “yes” to a small place that will be an opportunity to grow and become something new.