I am a fixer. I am a problem solver. And I can tell you that learning to take a step back in the face of uncertainty is THE hardest lesson I have faced over the course of the past few years. It’s one that I still have trouble with.
I am once again in a season of change. Once again in that uncomfortable place of an uncertain future. And I find myself coming back to this lesson. Coming back to this idea of giving things time and space to come together.
It was an impulse purchase. Like most things not-on-the-list from target are. In an effort to minimize the expansion of the middle section of my body, a couple of years ago I found myself standing in front of the workout DVD’s. and after having seen her on tv, I decided to go with Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred.
As I was somewhat fit from years of running and yoga, I managed to get through week one without too much trouble. But of course as the weeks went on, the workouts started getting increasingly more difficult. I don’t recall now exactly which week it was, but at one point in the series while doing some god-awful whole body exercise, Jillian is looking right through the screen at me yelling, ‘GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE!’
Whether it’s powering through plank-jacks or coping with big life changes, there was a lesson to be learned there. And in all truthfulness, it’s one that i’m still learning.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
But here’s where that concept completely falls apart for me…I am a fixer by nature. My friends, problem solver is my middle name. I come from a long line of hardworking, intelligent, industrious folks. And if there is a problem, the best way to fix it is to tackle it head on. Get in there. Take it all apart. Get a good look. Figure out what the issue is. Fix what is broken. Then move on. Go on about your business. And maybe I suppose, when it comes to Ford trucks and Kenmore sewing machines that is a good way to go about things.
These past few years though, I have come to believe that when the problem is with your life, maybe that’s not always the best plan of action. Sometimes it is ok – no essential! – to sit with things…things that don’t make sense. things that feel empty. Things that are uncomfortable. Things that are uncertain.
One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~Andre Gide
I recently came across a fascinating article about monarch butterflies. There is a period in their lifecycle – the pupa stage – that by all outward appearances seems as if nothing at all is happening. At this point, the butterfly is really nothing more than an ‘embryonic soup.’ A fluid, filled sac of cells. But inside of that protective chrysalis, nothing could be further from the truth. Miracles are taking place. Things are coming together. Tiny cells are differentiating into the butterflies various organs.
But here’s the really amazing part…everything the butterfly needs to transform? Well it was already inside the caterpillar. All those specialized cells, although they were in their infant stages and/or dormant, they were there inside the caterpillar waiting for the right time to move into action.
I often wonder…if butterflies really knew what was in store in this process, would they still choose to go through with it? Because for this problem solver, that middle part? When things are so uncertain? Wo womperjawed and discombulated? Well it royally sucks.
But…what i am finally starting to get my stubborn brain around is that this middle part…it is full of Grace. God is in there. And I can see now in my own life where, after I fell apart and dissolved into apparent nothingness, God was there…moving things around, putting the pieces back together, rebuilding me. It just took a little time and patience on my part. well that and a whole lot of faith.
But oh the joy when things finally started coming together.