Learn to Laugh a Little...
God’s a funny one, let me tell you. Now I don’t necessarily mean funny in the comically laughable sense (though this is true from time to time), but in the sense that he utilizes my human flaws as means to illuminate his all-surpassing power. It’s long been established between us that, for example, if I have a deadline coming up, God will wait until the very last minute to notify me of his preference.
A week and a half ago, God used the opportunity of a closing door to open a new one in Crested Butte. I was so thrilled for answered prayers, and in true Leigh fashion, began envisioning (i.e., writing the owner’s manual for) the next 18 months. You’d better believe I was getting down to precise details and building expectations like crazyyyyyyy. (Need I remind you this was just a little while after I'd written about expectations?)
All was going swimmingly when God made another grand entrance a couple days later, eliminated a huge element in my vision, and exited the scene without another word.
Talk about a drop mic…
I was speechless. Apparently, he didn’t want to play by my rules. And like a mature 23-year-old, I got upset. Much like Gretchen Wieners’ Caesar speech. I should get a nomination for my dramatic performance.
Remember that owner’s manual I briefly mentioned before? Yeah, well God doesn’t just let us go on pretending that we’re him, the supreme ruler of the entire universe. In all reality, we have no power to control what happens to us; rather, we have the power to control how we react to what happens to us. In this particular instance, God intervened to remind me of his sovereignty, and I didn’t do such a great job in my reaction. At all.
I was upset mostly because I felt as though God had lured me into a too-good-to-be-true situation and then dropped a bomb on the dream I’d created, like a mean girl manipulating her victim into the epicenter of a time bomb, just to observe the ensuing explosion of drama (please refer back to the Gretchen Wieners Caesar speech). Not cool, God. The only questions I could muster were of betrayal and confusion. Though I knew God’s loving character deep in my core, I couldn’t help but question his faithfulness and righteousness, and wrongly cast myself as a victim.
After cycling through the stages of grief and spending way too much time in the moping and catastrophizing periods, I reluctantly pulled myself together, and came to the conclusion that it was time to let go of the exhausting ironclad grip of control I was trying to exercise over every single detail of my life and future. If it took this much emotional energy for God to get to me and remind me that I’m not God, clearly my efforts were being wasted in vain. I needed to focus on casting vision for God’s influence through me.
Once I’d relinquished control, a sense of peace washed afresh over me. It was as if God was standing by my side, gently reassuring me: See? You’re still alive. You made it through. I’ve got it all under control, don’t you worry. I trusted that God’s drop mic moment was not out of malevolence, but was a genuinely caring reminder that I need to stop taking myself so seriously, laugh a little. Let go and let God. (Oh, and by the way, you are not God.)
What’s funny in this circumstance is that, just hours after I’d reached the acceptance stage of grief, God cracked open the door he had closed firmly days prior, just enough to let a little light shine through. I literally rolled my eyes at the situation. If all I could say was: Really, God? Too soon! He was laughing, encouraging me to do the same, all while trusting in his promises. So I followed his lead and laughed, knowing that, for good reason, the universe is better off in his hands.