I’ve been having one of the most intense weeks I’ve had in years. It’s like suddenly my life has been turned upside down. It started last Thursday. Out of the blue sky, an amazing part-time job dropped into my lap. I’ve been looking for a 20-hour a week job as a freelance writer because my current freelance work just wasn’t lucrative enough. I applied to a job on a job board and within about 4 days, the woman scheduled a talk over Skype with me, and after about a 15-minute conversation, I was hired. I was also stunned, particularly after she told me the pay level. It’s a job that I do from home, working with people literally around the world in Thailand, U.K., Australia and the U.S. Wow, thanks Lord! I was walking around in the clouds for the next couple of days.
But then my relationship hit a large bump. It had been going way too fast–in part, because I’m one of those people who’s always sprinting for the finish line, even when I don’t realize it. I began to expect too much out of him and he began to back off. And like many men, his way of backing off was to go into his mental cave for two days over a weekend, which left me out in the cold. He did not talk to me for at least two days…no phone call, no text. (This after regularly texting morning and night, with usually a phone call in-between.) After experiencing that in my marriage for the final four years or so, I did my own freak-out. My feelings were deeply hurt, and I thought, “Noooooo, not this again…”
Monday morning I began my new job, and found scads of emails from my new supervisor. The hardest part has been learning a lot of new software. I had made her aware that I needed to ramp up on software, but I was happy to learn. I don’t think she had any idea–nor did I–about how archaic I’ve become. But I’m working for a website that offers courses and ebooks about fairly technical subjects. It was only a matter of hours before I had the distinct impression that I was drowning.
The problem was, at least half of my brain was worrying about my relationship. I was trying to get my head around my job but I kept checking my phone for a text, even though it was sitting right next to me. Midday Monday he sent me a text, saying he didn’t want to race into a full-blown relationship, but still wanted to be friends. He said he would be happy to talk about it, but I reacted with the full force of my marital pain still intact, and I didn’t respond for another day, then sent him a sassy text that bordered on rudeness. He didn’t respond.
Everything came to a head on Wednesday. I was an emotional wreck. My new supervisor was clearly getting a little annoyed with my lack of technical prowess, and I was trying desperately to convince myself it was OK if this man walked away. On top of that, I received an offer on the sale of my cabin, and I had to make a decision whether to accept it. Meanwhile, I had two other clients who needed me to finish work for them as well. And then my pastor’s wife sent an email and asked to meet with me about starting a single women’s ministry. I was on the verge of a meltdown.
Acting on sheer impulse, I got in the car and drove to my boyfriend’s work and asked if I could talk to him for a few minutes. We walked outside and I apologized for my behavior. We agreed to go to dinner that night and talk.
Early that evening, before I headed over to dinner, I heard the Lord speak to me. “Let go,” He said. “He’s in my hands now, so just let go.” I took a deep breath and said, “OK.” As I drove over to the restaurant, I decided I was finally going to relax and be myself after trying to impress for the last month. I had nothing to lose. I was convinced this was probably going to be the break-up, so I didn’t have to work so hard at being charming and sparkling and amazing anymore. As I walked into the restaurant, I prayed, “Lord, just please bless this time.”
My boyfriend and I talked for two and a half hours. We talked like we’d never talked before. About everything. And I could feel the stress and tension fall off my shoulders. At the end of our talk, I looked at him and said, “You’ve been my best friend for the past month. Can we still be friends?” He looked at me with intensity and said, “Yes!” And I said, “Best friends?” And he said with the same intensity, “Yes!” And I knew he really meant it. He walked me to my car and gave me a big hug. We talked about maybe going golfing this weekend. And the next day, he texted me midday, just to ask me how my day was going.
What’s interesting about this is that the one thing that had made him shy away was that I’d asked him to be the leader in the relationship. But it had seemed a little too heavy, a little too serious for him, especially after only a month. Unwittingly, however, he has taken the leadership role and put serious brakes on a relationship that was running down the tracks too fast. I have to smile.
I learned this week that I was clutching onto everything too tightly. It’s my issue with control. And a lack of trust. So when the Lord said, “Let go,” I had to make a conscious decision to do so. I had to free-fall into His arms and trust. That same evening, after having dinner with my boyfriend, I realized I had to let go of my stress with the new job, too. I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “OK, if she doesn’t like what I’m doing and let’s me go, it’s OK, because the Lord will provide.”
Life is so much better today. I’m not worrying about my relationship. Or my job. I’m doing my best and looking to Him. Sometimes letting go is one of the hardest things we have to do, but it’s the only way to live with His peace. So take a good, hard look at your life and see if you’re clutching too tightly onto things and subsequently driving up your stress level. Let go and let God. Free-fall and have faith. There is no softer landing than the sweet arms of Jesus.