You know, I’m not really a religious person. I grew up in the church but I’m not what you would call a religious person. However, one of my favorite shows was Greenleaf, which follows a family that heads a church. On one of their final episodes, the oldest daughter, worrying about mending the relationship with her adult son, was trying to manipulate and control every aspect of the situation. Her father, a pastor, told her something along the lines of,
“You are trying so hard to control everything that you’re not leaving room for God to move.”
We're so busy trying to control everything
As I said, I’m not a religious person but that statement stuck with me because it applies to so many situations. Sometimes we’re so busy trying to control everything, that we forget to also just leave space for what will be.
When I finally decided that I was ready to have a serious relationship, I tried to choreograph every piece of the process. I laid out everything I wanted and needed in my online dating profile. I was prepared to stick to my guns, too.
What happens if someone comes along?
And then a woman from halfway across the country sent me a message. I was hesitant; more than 1200 miles separated us and I had decided I did not want a long-distance relationship and I didn’t see myself relinquishing my new career in order to move somewhere new. I responded to the email, with every intention of sticking to my guns and my distance requirements. But our relationship grew and grew with each email we exchanged.
That was 11 years ago when Pam and I met. I eventually moved closer to her and we married 7 years ago. One of the best decisions I’ve made in my almost 44 years on this earth.
What you can miss trying to control everything
But had I continued to try to control everything about the process, we wouldn’t be here. I didn’t know back when I was being resistant that my feelings about where I worked would change and that I would be ready to make a change and that I would actually be happier in a new job. I didn’t know that I would make a new set of friends and colleagues that I value deeply. I didn’t know that we would be married.
Trust the process
See, I had to loosen the control and trust the process to get here. It can be scary; that’s without a doubt. I moved across the country to a place where I knew exactly one person. I made some important adjustments to my career. I didn’t know what would come of it all. I just took the chance.
Sometimes that’s what you have to do: you have to let go and see what happens. There might be something wonderful on the other side of that risk.
What risk are you willing to take for love rather than control everything?