I am a Realtor. When people ask me how I like being a Realtor, my response is that “I love it!”. That’s mostly true. I have to be honest and tell you that I have noticed that I love it most when deals are going my way. In my favor. When everyone agrees on a reasonable price and reasonable repairs. When there are no surprises and my listings sell quickly and the sellers are happy with me. When we find the perfect house in record time and the sellers and buyers can come to the closing and are nice to each other. When all of those factors are present, I really do “love” my job.
But here is a little secret in Real Estate–and possibly in your job and maybe even the remainder of life in general–things don’t always go this way. In fact, it’s rare that any “deal” that involves breathing people will ever move along flawlessly. We all bring so much to the table. It takes a lot of sorting and shuffling and managing the baggage to get anything done at all. It’s really a miracle any of us can collaborate and negotiate to come to any conclusion that is beneficial. We all carry so much fear about not getting what we want and about losing what we have (whether it’s stuff or control or power or security or even love) that it can quickly rise to the surface in some not-so-pleasant ways.
But I digress, because my real reason for writing all this down is that I am struggling. I am struggling to live in the truth that I know, which is, “Things aren’t necessarily going badly just because they aren’t going my way.” So I need to reason this out on paper, with you, to hash out the irrational fears that cause me to “not love” my job and my life in general. Does anyone else ever get trapped in this type of thinking?
We have desires and goals for ourselves and our marriage and our fitness and our parenting and sometimes we even set some pretty nice goals for other people (which they don’t even seem to appreciate or intend to work toward!), yet nothing seems to be going the way we planned.
Or worse yet, the way we prayed. We are working the hardest for the end result and it all seems to be going in the opposite direction. It doesn’t look anything like we pictured it or expected it to look if God actually loved us. We are convinced our life is horrible and God has not heard us or is maliciously withholding good things from us. Maybe that’s just me.
I guess it comes down to this: I don’t always get MY way (luckily) because HIS way is better and bigger than MY way. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it when I get my way, and my husband and parents will tell you that I am pretty good at getting it. But I can also think of many, many times that If I had actually gotten what I thought I really, really wanted, I would have been in deep weeds. The outcome would have been disastrous and heartbreaking. It’s also important for me to remember that my happiness is not always the only priority in the situation. Go figure.
Sometimes a house not selling when I want it to is about God bringing that exact home to the exact right person exactly when they can afford to buy it. Sometimes He doesn’t lift all the pressures of mean friends off my kid because He is teaching them something about forgiveness and compassion and trust.
Sometimes I can only reach the goals I have for myself by learning through the challenges and frustrations that come with conflict and opposition. Sometimes my limited vision and knowledge of my circumstances causes me to doubt the reality that my world is not the world. There are bigger things at stake for people around me that require things to not always go my way.
Right now feels like a good time to interject a juvenile “DUH”. Maybe you are all way ahead of me in this area. I pray that is true. But in case you occasionally question why you are having such a “bad” day, month, year, maybe you can try to remember these truths with me and
TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL YOUR WAYS, ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE WILL DIRECT YOUR PATHS. (Proverbs 3:5)
God’s path tends to look very different from the one we have mapped out for ourselves (and passed on to Him for approval). But if we practice trusting that He has a plan and we are a part of it, we will be able to relax and take it in stride when things don’t seem to be going our way. We will eventually build a track record of trust, knowing God’s way is always the best way.
(There. I think I have sufficiently talked myself off the ledge for now. Thanks for your help. 😜 )