I’m a clinger. I like rules and order. I don’t always welcome change. But I also crave variety and love adventure, in manageable doses of course. What was once a tug-of-war, balancing these seemingly at odds tenets to my personhood, has become more of a sun-dappled path on which I greet and befriend these parts of myself along the way. Not out of pride or narcissism, but acceptance. And slowly, ever-so-slowly, I am becoming whole.
Wholeness isn’t finding things to add, pursuits or whatnot to pass the time. Wholeness isn’t found in the experiential, either. No trip, no matter how epic, is going to make you whole. Wholeness is intrinsic. It’s found within. Wholeness starts with humble confidence. Seemingly at odds right? But there’s this beautiful symmetry of humbling myself before God and the confidence that in Him, I have everything I need for this life with who He created me to be.
These are fractured and fragmented times. We all want to be unique, yet we continuously measure ourselves against others. We promote body and elevate mind at the expense of soul and sacrifice Spirit at the mighty alter of knowledge. We are broken, so broken inside, but we are terrified to show it. Instead, we glue ourselves together again and again with hobbies and accomplishments and doing good, this veneer that never seems shiny enough. We want to be more, know more, feel more.
I got let go yesterday. When you work on contract, you don’t really get fired and it’s not uncommon, even with long-term clients. Business needs grow and evolve and change and sometimes the big picture no longer includes you. It wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do, and quite frankly it was a relief. For a while now I’d felt the stirrings of something else. Not something more or better, but different. And once again when faced with that call, I had to decide, do I cling to the known, the constant drumbeat of unfulfilling work and a paycheck setting rhythm to my days?
Again in this middle, another space of in-between, I must fight the urge to panic, pulling the reins in to steer, to control. After all, who is in control? No matter how hard I try, it sure isn’t me. I pull and push and stack and spin, my eyes firmly fixed on the outcome. But still this sickly sweet fear drips like oil and drowns out my heart. I want to trust that God has what comes next. He has shown me time and again that I am held, but old patterns die hard.
For so long, I believed Who I am was wrapped up in What I do. We value careers and goals and status and so much doing. But no longer. This time is different. This time I’m ready. And as that old horse Familiar gallops steadily on, I make the decision to simply let go. I know the One who stands ready to break my fall, and He is ever-faithful.
Why are we so afraid of the in-between? We desperately want to reach the finish line, but if we can’t see it from the starting gate, we back away, defeated before the gun ever goes off. I used to run races. It started as a quest to get in shape and quickly become an addiction. (Darn endorphins!) Half marathons and 5Ks and 10 milers and trail runs. And in every race I ran, I unlocked new parts of myself. Courage and tenacity and steadfastness and discipline and compassion that remained long after my sneakers came off.
In the race of life, there are parts of yourself you’ll never get to meet unless you let go and get going. And along the way, you will find strength and resilience and creativity and this faith you never knew you had. Greet each new piece of your wonderful self and welcome them into your wholeness. Chances are you’ll need them for what comes next.