Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hold On Loosely

"Hold on loosely, but don't let go.
If you cling to tightly, you're gonna lose control." - 38 Special

I don't usually get my theology from rock and roll stars of the 70s, but you never know where you'll find a little gem.

Holding on loosely has become a way of life for me. I didn't know it then, but I used to be a control freak. It didn't manifest itself in obvious ways all the time (although some of the time it did), but I had a need to be in control. When my children were born my controlling ways came to an ugly head. It wasn't that I was trying to control them, but I was trying to control what happened to them. I lived in fear at all times, always imagining the worst thing that could happen next.

It was easy to imagine such things. I read legal opinions for a living, and every day brought a parade of horrors. Things really DO happen, and I had proof! Our wills were in order (they still are), the forms providing who could make medical decisions in my place were handed out to the appropriate people, money went in the bank and I was in full protection mode at all times. Still, I didn't see that the fear was ruling me (although my friend Dawn delivered some stout hints!).

Then my husband suggested I quit my job. QUIT MY JOB!!! At first I was angry. How dare he suggest such a thing! Then I decided he surely didn't know what he was talking about, but maybe I just would quit my job and show him. What kind of sense does that make? (none) Finally, I went to God in prayer about it. Then the lessons started pouring in.

Suddenly sermons and discussions and television shows and Bible verses were directly addressing me. At first I considered myself fully exempt. (I had proof, after all!) Eventually the lessons began to sink in and I began to see that my anger about quitting my job came from a fear of not being in control. What if James lost his job? Who would pay the bills? I may not find another job like this one! I may not find a job at all! We would be doomed!!

Slowly all my fears came to the surface and I realized how tightly I was hanging on to control. I argued with God about it, believe me, but I was always proven wrong. Eventually I GOT IT. I don't HAVE control. I never did. It was an illusion!

I don't have control.

I was hanging on to nothing and driving everyone crazy in the process!

From the moment I got it, I let go. Life is much better now, believe me. I did quit my job, only to get it back (with blessings from Jame, too!). I still love my job, but I'm hanging loosely. I'm enjoying the ride. I still protect my children, but out of love, not fear. The feeling I have? Freedom.

God is in control.

So hold on loosely.


Blogger Mel said...

Good reminder of an important lesson!

11:13 PM, July 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I still have pangs of guilt about that. I don't think I was very nice in my own WORRY about you!

Colin, James and Giles are heading off to the water at Lake Hefner. Jan decides Colin will hurl himself into the shallow depths and never be seen again.

"Jan ... stop that. You are going to give yourself a heart attack."

Did it go something like that?

Or maybe, I remember it like this.

"Jan, hold on loosely. God is in control. The Bible tells us not to worry about anything, but give it all to him in prayer."

Yes, that's what I said. The "d" translation, similar to The Message, isn't it? Getting right to the point.


8:03 AM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

D, don't give it another worry. It WAS a slap in the face, but I needed it. I hadn't remembered anything about the exact circumstances or what you said, I only remembered the frustration in your voice, which clued me in that this was not a one-time infraction. You were fed up! LOL. s'okay. It started the turn-around.

So, do you think I'm any better now? (hint: just say yes)

8:14 AM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for posting on my site and for pointing me to the Rwanda blog. I have some friends who are hoping to go to Rwanda in the future. In fact, they just returned from a survey trip recently that lasted 3 weeks. I look forward to keeping up with your blog in the future! Blessings...

12:04 PM, July 29, 2005  

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