Something happens, though, when fear tries to control. Confusion grows like an ugly mushroom in a front yard. It's there and try as you might to make it disappear, it shows up in another place. No decisions are made at all and lying down in the yard feels practically impossible to do with all the fungus growing around. Eww. Confusion and mushrooms are equally gross. Envy is just as ugly and I think it, too, stems from fear. Envy grows when the fear of not being good enough is thought after comparing someone else's life - their story - with your own. Try as you might, though, their story just isn't your story.
In what feels like the biggest moment of awareness yet, I have realized that I have lived with incredible fear, and not only that I have tried to control it. I have thought I am not good enough the way I am. I have envied other people's stories. It has become a real thought that my story must look like the stories I see around me. Along the way I have not discovered what I even want my story to look like. I have followed the thought that my life should be a certain way. Realizing that I cannot make my story like the stories around me, I have tried to reduce my fears of making a mistake or not getting it right the next time, and I have focused on (trying) to control just about everything. And yet, I cannot control any thing.
I didn't have the Story Book Fairy Tale when I delivered my son or went home as a different person - to live now as a mother. In looking at some people, I have thought maybe I did something wrong in not having the experience that they had. After all, shouldn't a husband and wife gaze lovingly into their little baby's eyes and just be in awe together at the little miracle that is now theirs to raise?! I didn't have that. I felt lonely and yet I couldn't dare mention it. I didn't dare let my husband help with the baby - our baby - during the night. After all, isn't it a nursing woman's responsibility?! And shouldn't someone get some sleep?! And shouldn't a wife have a good meal on the table for her husband when he got home from work, even if it is only the first day she has had a child to take care of all by herself?!
Fear of not living up to them.
Controling to reduce the fears coming true.
This leads to a life of Exhaustion.
This is a life just spinning its tires, and yet...
staying in the
I am realizing that life doesn't come with a rule book. There isn't a standard list of should's that everyone should follow...not even anyone with her first name Amy and her middle name Renee. And I am also realizing that no one is any better than me. No. One. And, with that...I am no better than any one else. No. One.
All of these realizations are colliding and I am overwhelmed with one thing more than anything...Trust steps out. Trust surrenders the should's and Trust receives Grace - Grace to live a unique story that doesn't compare with any other story out there. A unique story. Trust acknowledges fear and gives it over to a greater purpose. Trust understands that even in the fear, there is much to be learned.
In thinking about all of this I am changed. Instead of having envy for someone else's story - stories I only know in part - I choose Gratitude. I am grateful that my story, as different as it is from all the stories around me - is capable of helping others, even as I struggle to live it. For, it is in the struggling itself - in the dark shadowy valleys - when I learn about Trusting the most.
Sometimes in those dark valleys when I struggle to live my story and when the idol of self that I have created is broken in a million-gazillion little pieces, I become more like who I was meant to be all along. In the pain I am able to focus more on my story and find me without the distraction of Envy or Fear.
So, as my Father holds me around his neck, like a lamb who wandered away and whose legs the Sheppard broke so she wouldn't wander away from Him again, I am so close to Him that I feel safe and secure in myself. And it is then when I realize that the point most likely has nothing to do with what I do in my job, or whether I have another child, or if I look a certain way, or what I weigh, or how fit I am, or even whether I have credit card debt. No. The point is that every part of my story is used to lead me more closer to Trust. And in honoring my story I find much Rest. Deep Rest. And incredible Freedom!