I should be in the circus. As of late, I have come to the realization that my life is a balancing act. What I refer to is not just walking the tight rope of living a balanced lifestyle of rest and work, nor is it limited to a balanced cheque book, or balanced eating. But, what I am most concerned with, as of late, is having a balanced thought life. Here is the question that begs to be answered, “How do I maintain a soft heart (meaning one that is trusting, listening, not jaded, and open) through the life’s disappointments, uncertainty, and unmet expectations?” When we tear down the walls around our heart and open ourselves to love (any kind of love), how do we not rebuild the walls or retreat when things don’t turn out the way we think it should?
More specifically, how do I trust people, when people disappoint me all the time? Or how do I remain hopeful about getting married, when the one person I thought that there might be a chance with, doesn’t feel the same way? How do I not give up hope? How do I not stop trying?
This is perplexing. My brain teeters and always wants to default to what I know and have done for most of my life–build the walls and protect myself. Just when I painstakingly pulverized the proverbial walls of my heart, I find myself rebuilding quickly when my squishy, soft heart feel threatened and exposed.
After a week of much consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really do worry and think way too much. I know I shouldn’t worry, and on the most part I don’t when it comes to work, finances, ministry, but when it comes to relationships (love and others) my anxiety gets amped up! I am worried about all sorts of nonsense, like: Should I make a move? If I don’t what if I miss an opportunity? If I do make a move, what if it is wrong or what if the timing off? Am I ready? Oh my god, forever seems like such a long time to commit, can I do it? What if I suffer? What if I like someone and they don’t like me? What if someone falls out of love with me? What if my future husband cheats? What if he wants 10 kids? What if he loses his hair? I could go on forever…and before you know it, I am neck-deep in worry and anxiety.
Yes, all those fears can legitimately happen and does happen on a daily basis. However, I think those fears and worry reveal more about my faith and inner thought life than it does about scenarios that may or may not happen in relationships. I think worry is like the warning or engine light that comes on in our cars to let us know we should check our engine. Worry is sign that we should check our inner thought life. Here is the problem, while most of us reading this right now believe in God and to some degree trust him, but, how many of us truly believe in the goodness of God? Furthermore, how many of us believe that God is not only good, but for our good too? Even further, if you do believe in the goodness of God for your life, to what degree?
These questions made me realize that, although I believe in the goodness of God and that he is working things out for my good, I need to cling to this truth and walk it out every day. I worry because I am afraid that what God wants for me is not what I want for me and somehow what I want for me is better than what God may have prepared for me. While I may be speaking about marriage right now, I don’t think this is limited to just marriage, but every area and aspect of our lives. We worry because we don’t believe that He is good and He is just working it out.
What does His goodness look like? Well, to me it means He will protect me, so I no longer have to protect myself. It means he can redeem any situation, any mistake, any fault, any sin that I do to myself or someone does to me. It means I don’t need to fight for myself because he will fight for me. It means that I will never be in lack, because he has made provision for me. It means that I don’t have to walk alone because he is always (and I mean always, there with me). It means that I can trust people and not be afraid to submit to authorities (in this case, husband) because for every bad decision or mistake someone makes, God is able to be just, repay, or redeem every situation. It means I can rest, because he is working on it.
Perhaps, I am preaching to myself, but I know I need to hear it. This helps me keep my thought life in balance and allows me to walk the tight rope of life with ease and grace. He is good, so Emily….just chill.