In 2016, I had a major job transition. As of July 1, I had no guaranteed income, no health insurance for my family and no real idea what provision would look like moving forward. Now, to know me, is to know I’m a bit of a controller and a planner. Perhaps more than ‘a bit’. I’m most of the time too intense for most others in my drive to push ahead and plan strategically. I’m a doer and a planner, a starter, a leader, a ‘make things happen’ kinda guy. I was left with all the big questions of a Father of 3, husband to 1 and the responsibility of the majority of our income for 23 years of marriage.
I was faced with all the familiar voices to listen to: fear, anxiety, depression, anger, heaviness, despair, control, urgency, scarcity, shame, guilt etc.
Then in my raw and honest moments of genuine prayer, I began to hear a different voice. It was gentle, at peace, sure, confident, full, light, generous, gracious, hopeful, fun, creative, joyful, bold and . . . sustainable. It was a mindset I could grow to live into and let it sustain me regardless of my circumstances. I could choose to ‘lighten up’ and have zero changes to my circumstances and yet experientially live them differently. As I chose to listen to that voice and give it my attention, energy and opportunity started sparking up all around me. Even though I still do not have a traditional ‘job’ per se, my family’s needs have been completely taken care of. I’m working hard at freelancing and provision has come in a myriad of ways.
I have no ‘job’, no guaranteed income and yet I’ve never been more excited about the future. Creativity is a constant companion. Every day has been full of new opportunity and potentials are in every conversation. Instead of a heavy slave-master of having to control it all myself, I’m trusting in a Provider who has never left me without. I’m learning to ‘lighten up’ and enjoy the ride, no matter the circumstances. Even in difficult scenarios, I’m more present, more alive in the situation, fear hasn’t sucked the life out of my presence.
By no longer trying to strong-arm my life; I became truly powerful. Confidence is rising and expectations for goodness are the norm. In this mindset, my freedom and my creativity are more dangerous. I’m choosing what I want to pick a fight with and I’m enjoying every punch I get to throw along the way at life’s bullies. When darkness and doubt come to my doorstep, I War with words of thankfulness and gratefulness. In this discipline, I ‘lighten up’ and the clouds begin to dissipate and the sun rises again on my hope.
Forever the cynic, I’ve become a bit of Mr. Positivity and it’s incredibly more healthy for me. I am eager to see where it all takes me in 2017. But I’m thankful for the lesson in 2016 to ‘lighten up’.