This week has been a whirlwind of activity. On Saturday, I moved from Georgia to Florida. It was an exhausting day. I was super tired because I spent the previous night hanging out with a dear friend, so I went to sleep way later than usual. But I still got up as early as usual (think 3rd watch of the night). Loading up the car was a heavy physical task. I don’t own much, but what I do own fits into totes and when they are full, they are heavy.
Car loaded, I made my way to visit another dear friend on the way. Then I spent an additional 5.5 hours on the road to my new dwelling place, in the middle of nowhere, Florida. I mean seriously. It was and wasn’t what I was expecting. I found myself reacting in all those ways again, expectation rearing its ugly head.
With only one day of rest spent with my Gville contingent, I got up Monday to head to the new job, no expectations other than to find the way. I spent the day in orientation, feeling only disorientation, worry, and sadness, wondering why I have so much trouble with transition? I really do love traveling. I really do love meeting new people. I should be overjoyed because I’m only 1 hour away from my people. What gives Lord?
Today, I have so many questions running around in my brain. What’s going on with me? Why do I struggle this way every time I move? Why am I focused on what’s gone instead of the adventure that is today, that is yet to be?
The struggle to unconditionally surrender the past is real. I am still in the thick of it. I am still committed to giving it all to Jesus. I trust him. I believe he will help me. I have hope in him.
‘This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls… Jeremiah 6:16
“Just let it go.” That’s what people say about stuff from the past usually related to poor choices and mistakes. It’s what I say. You can’t change the past. It is what it is. But “just let it go” is way easier said than done.
Yet, to live in the Kingdom of heaven means unconditional surrender, it means I have to live a “let it go” way now. I want to live a “let it go” way, but how? Who I am now is a new creation living in the old wine skin of who I used to be. Who I used to be was influenced by multiple people and events that have taken place over a lifetime. Why do I hold fast so hard to who I used to be?
A couple of months ago, I decided to seek counseling to find out. I’ve tried this multiple times over the years without much fruit to show for it, mainly because it is really hard. I so don’t want to relive the past. There is a lot of heartache going back there. But I’m really tired of the past influencing the now. I’m tired of reacting to life in the same way that I did then. I’m tired of the old me getting in the way of the new me. I’m tired of running away when things get hard and/or scary.
I want to be all in. I want to love and be loved fully, not holding people at arms length because of this crazy fear of heartbreak, because of what might happen. My strong need for self preservation is getting in the way of unconditional love and unconditional surrender. It’s like a sinking ship. I’m hanging onto the railing of the bow all the while the Lord is trying to pry open my frozen grip to save me before I drown.
Oh I want to be saved! I choose unconditional surrender. Whatever it takes. Even a hard, scary trip down memory lane. I want to be whole.
‘ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ Psalms 23:4
Back in the spring, I began to grow restless and sad. I wasn’t happy being confined to one place. I wasn’t happy with my work. The thought of spending one more summer in the blazing furnace that is Phoenix was wearing me down. I decided to get back into travel nursing.
I found a contract in Georgia, packed up my cats and my life, threw it all in the car, and drove east. I left behind my apartment, friends, and favorite roommate/son#1. I headed for rainy weather, a new OR, and more time with my favorite son#2, expecting to spend lots of quality time with him because we’d be closer in proximity. The dreamer in me expected a seamless, happy, exciting transition for all of us.
The reality was deafening silence in the new apartment apart from my favorite roommate/son#1. Starting over at work. Being unknown. Having more time with son#2, but not as much time as I wanted because he was still 6 hours away AND newly engaged. Being more separate from my people than I had been in years. Feeling torn between pursuing my dream of backpacking the Appalachian Trail and spending time with all the people who were now even farther away from me.
I did this. I did this to myself. On purpose. Because I thought it would be good. Somewhere deep inside I still think it could be good. But it’s been hard. I’ve been sadder than I have been in years. I’ve been angrier too. Because things aren’t going the way I expected them to go.
And so unconditional. Unconditional acceptance of the choices I’ve made and the ones to make in the future. Unconditional surrender of my expectations to allow God to mold me into the person he created me to be. Unconditional forgiveness for myself and others because we’re all just trying to do the best we can down here.
I don’t know all the things coming my way this year, but I do know the One who knows and I hope I really will learn to be unconditional with my whole life.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5