Making Room

We have all heard “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It sounds so pleasant, but it can be very difficult.  Sometimes it can happen abruptly and without warning.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  The first unfortunate event was the second accident in my minivan.  I was on my way to the body shop to get an estimate for a rear end collision that caused some minor damage to my rear bumper.  I had planned on doing some Christmas shopping as well.  I had my mother and my two-year-old son in tow at the time when a pickup truck crossed the median,  T-boned another truck which in turn hit me, pushing my van into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway.  The first truck went on to hit the car behind me. Fortunately, the oncoming traffic was far enough away not to hit me again.  After the dust cleared, I checked to see if my mom and son were okay, snapped my dislocated thumb back in place (yeah, I’m tough like that), I realized all of my airbags had deployed which meant my van was surely a total loss.  The drunk driver who hit us had destroyed my mommymobile and caused so much damage and injury to others as well. The last person hit was seriously, but not life-threateningly injured.

The paramedics came to take us to the hospital and as I could see that my mom and son were okay, I wondered what lingering aches and pains would follow us in the upcoming days, and possibly years to come.  I hoped my thumb was not broken.  It wasn’t, and my mom and son were fine (my mother and I needed several weeks of physical therapy, but on the whole, we were okay).  After my family and I made it safely home from the hospital, I started to think about my mommymobile.  I had purchased it when I was still working.  Now as a full-time, stay-at-home mom, my family was living on just one salary. I wondered if we would be able to get another vehicle comparable to the one we had.  I loved that van.  Fortunately, we were able to get a used van identical to the one we had.  This one even had all of the bells and whistles my base-model had not.  Something I loved was replaced with something better.

I think of this story when I have challenging moments in my life.  There are times when I need to make room for better things.  I cannot get too attached to something that may be blocking the place of something better.  Go with the flow.  Allow things to be transient.  Oftentimes we tend to hold on to things with the mindset of scarcity.  The world is abundant.  We have more than we need at our disposal and should never hold on so tightly to things with the belief they cannot be replaced.

I would like to challenge all of us to make room.  Purge the old and tattered and make room for something new.  We deserve it!

 

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Letting Go.

 

I have been absent from this blog for a while.  I started it as a way of stepping out of my shell and being vulnerable.  At the time, blogging felt the safest for me.  Since that time I have been willing to be vulnerable in my everyday life.  I have been sharing my story with other people, making new friends, and taking baby steps toward letting go of my insecurities and limiting beliefs. The results have been miraculous!

I currently have a job that I love.  I am helping people and in turn, I am helping myself.  I am in a position to use my experiences to help others.  Opening up and being vulnerable has not only helped me, but has been a blessing to those I share with.

This year I decided to be a youth leader with my church. I lead a group of 8th grade girls.  I intended to be a leader for high school girls as I work with college students, and felt I could better relate to them.  I particularly did not want to lead middle school girls as I had assigned my middle school experience to the whole group.  When it was time  to assign leaders to groups, the youth pastor found  they had a surplus of high school leaders and not enough for middle school.  I cringed.  I did not want to lead a group of middle school girls.  I began to have flashbacks of all the judgments, name-calling, and the awkwardness of being part girl, part woman.  I did not want to relive that again.  I was assigned to a group of girls.  Some of them I found an instant connection with, some were very quiet and awkward like I was.  I was surprised to find that I was not afraid of them, but afraid of what my thoughts and feelings I had about myself coming to the surface.  This led me to do so soul-searching.

We all have insecurities, some we get over, some we don’t, and some we push so far away we think they are gone, but they are not.  I was wrestling with the latter.  I went through the typical preteen growing pains, but I held onto a lot of the insecurities that surfaced during that time.  I have been insecure with my appearance.  I have good days and bad days, but I often tie my expectations about how people are going to treat me to how physically attractive they think I am.  Sometimes that is the case.  In my interactions with adults, I had accepted that and had gotten over it. I was confident with my physical appearance.   I did not feel, as an adult, that my physical appearance would in any way hinder a connection or relationship.   Now I was back in the 8th grade, and those insecurities resurfaced.

As I walked into the first youth group meeting,  I surveyed the other leaders.    Most were young, cute, and fit.  I instantly thought the 8th grade girls would gravitate to those young ladies.  I stood there with my graying hair, with my purse on my shoulder (apparently purses aren’t a thing anymore), still dressed for work as I came to church immediately after, wondering how would the 8th grade girls feel about me.  I envisioned all of the leaders in a lineup being chosen by the girls to lead them, and I would be the last one standing.  All the leaders met before being assigned to our groups.  I was partnered with another leader in her twenties, who was bubbly and cute.  I was immediately insecure.  Not because I am older and grayer, but I was insecure about how the 8th grade girls were going to feel about me as I stood next to a human Barbie.  My insecurities came from my experience as an 8th grade girl and not feeling adequate, popular, and attractive.  As an adult I am confident in most areas of my life, particularly my appearance. I had held on to the insecurities of my youth and they came spouting up when I was about to face a horde of adolescent girls.

It took me a couple of weeks to realize my insecurities had nothing to do with the 8th grade girls and everything to do with the healing that was yet to take place.  I had to extract the roots of my old insecurities and let them go.  I was needlessly holding onto something that was not serving me.  This caused me to examine other things that I need to let go.  It’s on ongoing process, and like this experience has taught me, there may be firm roots beneath the surface lying in wait to attack at any given moment.

I would like to challenge all of us to do a self-assessment and figure out if there is something we need to let go.  Some of them may be relationships, ideas, habits, etc.  We need to eliminate the things that are not serving us and make room for the good things that will enrich our lives.