Tested. Tried. Picked, poked and prodded. Run through the ringer. Rode hard and put up wet.
Yep…that’d be me, right about now.
I have been struggling and striving for good things to come my way, my whole life. I have never actually had my life so much as appear to have ‘fallen into place’ until recently. It has felt like my life was FINALLY going in the right direction. Until the beginning of this year.
I have been marveling, in great gratitude, at the strides that have been made in my life the last two years. While it has not been a particularly smooth dance, each step appeared to have purpose Even the backward steps helped me to regroup and move forward. Sometimes it feels like a slide or line dance, that kept me moving in circles until the music stops. Sometimes it’s more like a tango with a lot of back and forth, with broad, sweeping motions, full of twists and turns, with sharp dips, sudden changes and a heart-pounding conclusion. Either way, I’m feeling pretty exhausted and wrung out.
This year has confirmed my faith and relationship with God in the worst way. I have never felt more sure of God’s love for me and His plan working out for my best interest. I have never been more secured in my devotion to my church family. I have never been more affirmed in my decisions to love unconditionally, forgive quickly, celebrate goodness and rejoice in ALL THINGS.
This confirmation has not come without great pain and great surrender. I have had to acknowledge how very NOT in control I am. I can only make MY choices. I am not responsible for the choices of others. And to be in this world, making connections for the sake of furthering the Kingdom of God, I have to accept that free will is EVERYONE’s gift from God, not just mine. To work together means we have a common goal, but we each have to do our part as we are individually lead of the Lord.
I say it all the time, “My name is NOT Holy Ghost, Junior. Fixing you is not my job.” My ability to ‘shape’ a situation in my favor does not exist. The heart of the king is still in the hands of the Lord. He will turn it however He pleases that He may be glorified. And, if I am going to truly be a vessel for His glory, I have to be okay with that.
And so, my job in all of this is to maintain consistency in who I know I am and what I say I believe. That consistency has to reflect in, not just my decisions, but in how I respond to the decisions of others. How, even in my dissidence, I must maintain the grace, class and dignity befitting my royal bloodline.
Having said all of that, this year has felt like a major regression. My feet have not slipped. I have not deviated from the plan. I have certainly not changed my mind and my heart is still in it. But, I appear to be in a state of excessive tension, backward and sometimes circular motion that is beyond my control.
That’s the thing about a slingshot…
You remember slingshots, don’t you? Whatever variation you have seen, held, or heard about, there are some common points of reference.
There are the kind that are made with rubber bands. You take something and cradle it in the elastic, hold it tightly, pull it back as far as the band will stretch, to release it in a particular direction.
There are the kind made out of fabric. You take something and cradle it securely in the fabric, swing the fabric around rapidly to be released in a particular direction.
I’m sure there are other ways to create a slingshot. But the experience is pretty much the same. There is force and tension applied, keeping an item in motion and in a particular state of distress and stasis, so that when it is finally directed and released the constant velocity of the item will project it a great distance to a specific goal.
In a nutshell? While it feels like stagnation; while the regression and running in circles is frustrating, aggravating and even depressing; while I may feel dizzy and nauseous and achy and strange; the accelerated progress I am about to experience at the point of my ‘release’ will be worth it all. I will see the promises of God come to pass…SPEEDILY…if I don’t give up, turn coward and quit.
Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
I hear the sage advice of my darling buddy, Dave Brooks: Staywiddit.