Learning to Breathe

Sorry, I don’t have any great theological truths to post today.

However, I do have a personal revelation.

I realized something today: I’m learning to let go. I just didn’t realize it til now.

The past few days I’ve just felt really free and content. Chalk it up to seeing real fall for the first time, or having good days, or being on top of my workload, or whatever you want. But though that may be true to an extent, I think it’s a little deeper than that.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be afraid and, in that, I’m learning to be myself publicly. I’ve lived with an unconscious fear for several years. In the past, I’ve done things that have driven friends away, so I tend to walk on eggshells with people, especially people I’m just getting to know. Plus, I’ve always had a high set of expectations. I’m not saying expectations are necessarily bad. After all, if nobody else expects anything of you, it’s hard to expect anything of yourself. But, in my case, the expectations were usually underlying. I’ll use an analogy. Sometimes, to keep dogs in an area, people have a wire run underground. The wire corresponds to the dog’s collar. If the dog runs outside the bounds of that wire, it will be shocked. The only problem is the wire is that it’s underground, so the dog can’t see the wire–it can only suspect and avoid. I have been like that dog for a while–not knowing where exactly the boundary is, but not getting anywhere near it for fear of the consequences. I wanted to be who the church expected me to be, and who my family expected me to be. I had expectations for myself, and for the most part they were similar to those of everybody else. But they weren’t exactly the same. When I was in that environment and idealogies clashed, I just submitted myself to the other party’s expectations. I didn’t want to bring trouble on myself or on anyone else. (And I imagine when I go home for Christmas, I will once again submit to my expected role while I’m there.)

Here, though, I’m not in that environment. The only expectations placed on me are those of God and myself (and I guess my school, too). I’ve noticed that more and more I say what’s on my mind (it’s usually a crack in regard to something somebody else said haha). I’m not as nervous about school now. I’ve become slightly less hard on myself. I’m disciplined, but I’m a little less slavedriverish. For the most part I feel at ease. Lately, as I’m going throughout my day, I find myself randomly thanking God for bringing me here. I’m just content. I’m not saying there will never be days when I’m stressed or impatient…or cold haha. But I’m getting out from under this pile of expectations; I’m learning to breathe. And it’s very freeing. I can’t deny God’s leading me here; I know it was Him. But I suspect that in my time here, it’s not going to just be about the geographical journey. It’s going to be a journey of the heart, too.

I’m not there yet. There will probably still be days when I “stifle myself,” as my Geography teacher used to say. But I’m on my way. And I think that’s worth celebrating.

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(Last week’s sunset. My camera doesn’t do it justice.)

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3 thoughts on “Learning to Breathe

  1. I love your analogy about the electric fence; that is so true!!You sound like you are doing really well in Canada; you sound at peace. Not to say that seminary isn’t hard or that being so far away from family and friends isn’t difficult, but you really sound like you have such a peace where you are. And it sounds like the peace that only comes from God. The peace you get when you are in His will. I’m so excited for you!!!It always brings me such joy to hear about the things God is doing in your life; things that are so amazing!! Even things as simple as being on top of your workload; that is something amazing. Something God has provided you. I love you chicka!!!! Let me know when you’re gonna be in the states at Christmas time. If I can, I would love to come see you and talk to you!!

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