Ironic. The day I decide to write a post on releasing control, my car dies completely. The old me would have been highly annoyed at this unplanned happening. The progressed me is slightly annoyed, but at peace because I talked to God about getting a new car this month, and it looks like He’s right on time. Releasing control is an ongoing challenge, but I’m observing my growth and noting the difference it’s made.
Obsessing vs Living
It’s no secret that I’m a recovering perfectionist. That said, when I set up a plan, event, or schedule, I want everything to be flawless. I used to expend countless amounts of energy stressing and obsessing over every impromptu happening. If people were late, unprepared, or unable to follow through with a commitment, my anxiety heightened as did my attitude. I had a major aversion to going with the flow because I needed to be able to plan for every possibility. (In hindsight, this was unrealistic and unhealthy.)
If I were still that person today, my car dying moments ago would have ruined my night. I would have sulked over the change in plans and the disruption to my schedule, but instead I’m using the time to write and remembering that this is part of the plan for me to get a new car. I’m living life by navigating the curve-balls instead of praying that they don’t come. Life can’t be controlled. I learned over the last couple of years that we should expect unforeseen events to happen because that’s how life works. It’s not about praying and obsessing over sunshine, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. (It is actually raining as I'm waiting for the tow.)
Stressing vs Expecting
Unplanned mishaps always test our faith. It’s one thing to say you have faith and another to exercise it. In the past, I would stress every incident as if the world was ending. While I still very much think it’s important to vent and feel your frustrations, there’s also something to be said about having faith that it will work out.
Knowing what my bank account looks like, and all the plans I have over the next few weeks, I have no idea how this car situation will end. However, I know that when it works out, I’m going to come out on top. I’m expecting God to be God instead of stressing because of my human limitations and inability to foresee the outcome. That’s faith: seeing the reality but living in expectation.
Rushing vs Waiting
Patience is not a strength for me. In full transparency when they told me it would take the tow truck 90 minutes to get here, I was thinking about finding a way home in the meantime. However, there is power and productivity in the wait. In this moment, I'm able to use this wait time to finish my blog. I also know I have another wait ahead of me as I begin the search for a new vehicle. I can rush the process and buy something prematurely, or I can wait to see the door God is going to open (because I'm living expectantly). There is a powerful testimony there, and God won't be rushed.
At the end of the day, I'm sharing this story and the "Flawed and Learning" series because these are practices I'm actively working on. We aren't perfect, and neither is life. The trials stretch us, and we miss the lessons when we spend our time stressing over the unexpected. Things always work out in the end, so if it doesn't look right, it's not the end.