Have you ever tried planning something out, oh let’s just say something small like life, and found the road you were on had a few more turns in it than the map you had initially drawn up? (If you haven’t, well, holy cow kid. You can now stop reading and go run down your straight path smiling and giggling.)
I think as humans, it’s natural for us to want a plan. We like having control and certainty to anchor ourselves to in what can be a crazy world and find reassurance in what is known. Even when we find the courage to venture beyond where we are comfortable, I think subconsciously we still have somewhat of a idea where we anticipate going taking those steps forward. And when the journey takes a turn without our permission? Fear, stress, anxiety – any of those ring a bell?
I have to admit. I was a planner when it came to life. I knew what I wanted and what was best for me – or so I thought. I would tell you I had faith, but if I was asked to give up control and rely on it, welllllllll that was a different story. A different story until one year ago.
One year ago, I decided to pack up and leave what I always knew to be home. Though I had a couple of items in place prior to moving, many pieces of the puzzle were not yet settled. I simply was looking to walk away from where and who I knew and explore beyond my comfort zone. I still vividly remember the excitement and fear that accompanied the drive out. I remember arriving and how surreal it seemed I could walk out my door to a view of crisp, clear mountains. I remember the loneliness as I sat on a red lawn chair in my living room because my furniture had yet to arrive. This may have been the only instance I was happy I knew no one at the time, because that eliminated the stress of finding a second chair. I remember walking into a new work place, feeling overwhelmed and wondering how an introvert would even begin to establish a relationship with so many different people. I remember on multiple accounts thinking “welp, this is what you wanted Emily – change.” And I remember searching for control in a new environment when I felt that I had none.
Looking back at the “I remembers”, there are “I have learned” phrases that could go along with them all . After walking through a challenging year of my life, I can now see it has been one of the most rewarding years, too. There were many times, I wondered why I even chose to move out here. I wondered why my heart felt so strongly about the move, when after arriving, things seemed like a mess. Each car ride home from work that tears rolled down my cheeks and wished I was still only a drive from home, I questioned where this road was leading. I questioned God and I felt frustration. The idea of what this adventure was going to be in my mind sure wasn’t panning out.
Though I can’t say I have all the answers to questions that have surfaced in this last year, I have realized that life isn’t falling apart, but falling into place. The lesson hasn’t been about the chaos, but in finding peace among it. There are and will be so many times in life where we simply do not have a choice what is taking place around us. Times we feel like we have questions unanswered as to why things are happening that generate frustration/anger/lots of different emotions. So often we focus all our energy toward what our next step is and fail to learn what we are meant to in the here and now. There can be a sort of freedom in surrender, when we let go of control and live in the present knowing we are exactly where we are meant to be. And though in this present moment, we may not know why something is occuring or how it will all play out, there is such a sense of calm in the storm understanding whatever turns life is taking, a bigger purpose is on the horizon.