Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself

Day 326
39 Days Remaining

You may recall my desperate post from October of last year, when everything was falling apart and I felt completely overwhelmed.  My tenants all gave their notice and it looked as though I would be homeless by the following month.  My daughter was having repeat surgery on her feet.  Custody issues were going to court and I was having to face my children`s father in what was rapidly becoming an overly emotional state - which had not served me well the last time we met in court.  And to top it all off, I had an accident that ended up giving me second-degree burns and required an ambulance, a trip to the emergency room, burn dressings, and a week off school, during which I missed my midterm exams.  It felt as though everything was falling completely apart right beneath me.
Okay, maybe not this dramatic...but it can feel like it sometimes.
That dreary and panicky October was a turning point for me.  It was in that time of darkness and uncertainty that I really recognized that there was nothing much left for me to do but simply trust and let God carry me.  I did pray, both for help and for direction, but I was terrified. I had to learn to let go completely of the worry, do whatever practical things I could do to help my situation, and simply believe that I would be taken care of.  The Bible verse that I consistently return to in times of trouble reassured me: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)   To me this verse is a reminder that there is a greater purpose to my life than just to suffer through whatever is handed to me.  It's a reminder that I will get through and that I will be better for it, and that something more wonderful will be waiting when it's all over.  Even though at the time I found it difficult to believe that things were going to turn out and that I would come out the other side of that difficult month unscathed, I had to hold on to it or I would have fallen apart completely.  I cried along to a particular song by Mandisa on the radio every time it came on, trying desperately to believe her words: When the waves are taking you under / Hold on just a little bit longer / He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger / The pain ain't gonna last forever / And things can only get better / Believe me / This is gonna make you stronger (oh, how I bawled...and it wasn't even that Katy Perry time of month!).  I tried so hard to believe that I would come through it as a stronger person, but at the time it was so difficult to imagine that there would ever be a time without pain and difficulty.  

Every time the panic would hit, I would take a deep breath and remind myself that God had my back and that He wasn't going to let me fall.  I would sing a little bit of "Stronger" to myself or I would quote myself that favorite Bible verse.  I would get on the Internet and search for new places to live, or new roommates, or applications for subsidized housing, or reassuring quotes - anything that would help me to feel as though I was doing what I could to move forward.  And I learned to trust, and I slowly gained a sense of peace.

And wouldn`t you know it: things worked out just fine.  My daughter sailed through her surgery.  The custody hearing went very well (I managed to keep a cool head and we both ended up happy with how it had gone).  I decided to put an ad online for a new roommate for one weekend only, to see if it would get any bites, and found a great roommate within an hour of posting the ad (well, that was Fig, so maybe it wasn't the greatest situation...but it was a good temporary solution and served us well until the house sold last month and I moved into my new home).  My landlord lowered the rent.  My burn healed well, and I managed to get all my midterms caught up on.  Everything had fallen into place.

Since that time, I have found that there is a significant change in my thinking.  I no longer spend entire nights tossing and turning when financial worries or worries about my children and family kick in.  Along with the innate sense of joy (in life; in God; in people) that I feel deep inside has come an innate peacefulness.  It's so nice; I can't even explain how nice it is to just have complete and utter faith that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  I can trust that I will be looked after because every single time I have needed help with a difficult situation, something miraculous has happened that has saved my butt.  Of course I always do whatever I can to work toward a better end, but I don't waste time worrying about it.  (And if you will indulge me one more Bible verse - I know this blog post may be coming across a bit preachy, but trust me: I have a further point and I am getting to it! - I always like to quote Luke 12:25:  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?) Worrying gets me nowhere but mired in further anxiety.  Worrying wastes the time that I could be using to try to solve my problems.  Most importantly: worrying is not going to change the outcome.  What will happen is going to happen, so why should I spend the time leading up to that outcome in panic?

So here is the point that I finally realized the other day: If I can so completely and totally trust that God will bring into my life what I need, and will take care of my home and family and finances, then why in the world can I not entrust the development of my relationships to him?  Why have I wasted so much time feeling like I will always be alone?  Why have I tried too hard in relationships that are obviously going nowhere?  Why do I try to pick apart all the red flags that so quickly become obvious when I attempt to get to know the wrong man?  I wish that I could just sit back, trust that I will meet the right one, and do the work I need to do in order to be the right woman.  The year off; this blog and all the reflecting I am doing - as well as the mistakes I'm making and the restitution I have attempted - they are all part of that work.  Yet, in some way, it represents a whole lot of worry about a future that is inevitable.  I don't want to spend so much time analyzing everything.  I just want to enjoy my life, and the people that are in it, as it is now, and look forward to whatever will end up happening in it.
I want to trust that God has my future relationship in His hands and that He will bring it to me when I am ready.  I want that peacefulness in my heart so that I can just sit back and say, "Someday I will find the man who will be right for me, and I will recognize him."  In the meantime, I have to be able to recognize the ones who are not the right man, and - more difficult - I have to let them go.

So, on that note, here we go: finally, I can admit to myself - and to all of you: In all likelihood, the Michelin Man will not be the man for me.  I know this is most likely true, and I have known it for quite a long time.  He probably will not be the man I marry.  Slowly but surely, I am letting the hope I had for that possibility die.  And it's all right.  While I believe his intentions are good, there are too many things in his life that mean I believe I would end up short-changed if we were to attempt a relationship.  It's been nearly five months now, and we have yet to meet, and the reasons (excuses? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but it doesn't really matter) are all on his end.  We are still in touch with each other, but I have pulled back, and truthfully, he's been too busy to really notice much of my disconnect, and that has really sealed it for me.  I still want it - yes, I still see him as an important figure in my life, and I long for us to push things further once I am done my hiatus - but perhaps it`s just not the right time, for either of us.  Any other red flags I may have mentioned in the past aside, if a man is too busy to notice whether I'm there or not, then he's not the man I'm going to share my life with.  A relationship, especially in its beginning stages, requires a lot of effort.  A long-distance relationship requires even more effort.  He - whether for legitimate reasons or simply because he cares more about other things than about working on the possibility of an "us" - is not showing me (perhaps is not able to show me) a level of effort that convinces me that we would be happy if we ever actually managed to get together.  Well, he might be happy, but I know I wouldn't.  And I'm the only one I really have to worry about in this scenario, aren't I?

Boiled down: I want to trust and relax into the knowledge that I will find the man I am supposed to be with, and continue to work on myself.  I want to become content with the possibility that I may never marry again, and find joy and peace in the future that I am building for myself and my children.  I think the recognition of my longing for that peacefulness is Step 1 toward finding it.

And life will unfold, exactly as it is meant to.



  1. Love this post Lisa! I think I need to take some of your words of wisdom and apply them to my own life! :)

  2. You are blessed in that you have already found the right man for you! I am hoping that anything else you may worry about is less, since it is shared. :-) Can't wait to hear how things go for you in the next little while - I'm here if you need anyone to debrief to after the delivery. HUGS