For months I’ve started and stopped numerous blog topics. There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to write about but it’s felt draining and uninspired once I’ve started – so I took a couple months off. I knew I’d be ready and today happened to be the best time to get the ball rolling again.
I’m sure most of you are undoubtedly reading this because of the flashy and gruesome car picture that is accompanying this blog. Hang with me though. I wish I didn’t have to have the experience that led to those pictures to find inspiration to write again but it always seems trials are when my best writing comes to pass.
One of my favorite songs I referenced early last year while in Paris has, again, resonated with me and if you’re new to the blog, perhaps you will appreciate it as well. Taking it back old school! Anyway, the lyrics are as follows:
This time I’ve got to trust You
I’ve got to accept Your plan
I have tried to guide my circumstance
But there’s just no way I can
When will I learn this lesson
Your ways are not like mine
Lord, help me to surrender
The control I try to have on my life
When I let it go
You take my hand and gently lead me
Then You let me know
Just how peaceful my life can be
When I let it go
Your never-ending blessings
Like a river start to flow
When I let it go
Too many times I’m searching
For the things I think I need
When I try to look for more
I always seem to give You less of me
Lord, help me gain this wisdom
My foolish mind still lacks
‘Til I find a way to let go
Of the part of me I’m holding back
It’s no secret I have struggled and do still with letting things go. Because I’m a planner, because I’m an INTJ… But mostly because I’m human. We want things to often be a certain way, especially if it’s something we feel we can control. But, life is a myriad of uncontrollable circumstances and the only thing truly in control is our attitude.
While over the last couple of years a lot of my writing has been centered around relational observations and, at times, frustrations and I have been very open in my fitness journey and imagine I always will be, I am fiercely protective and private around most of my personal life. However, sometimes there are those moments that come into play and are too serendipitous not to share. And, it just so happens one of those moments came this weekend.
B, my “person”, and I were in the midst of discussing something that had caused me to throw out the “let me fix it/control it/etc” part of my personality and in that moment of me melting down into a puddle of “Whys & I don’t understands” he looked me straight in the eye and put his hands on my arms and said in the most steady way, “You have to let it go.” And, the Patty of the past would’ve simply kept saying “but why, blah blah blah” I instead nodded and said, “okay okay okay.” Accepting. That not everything is controllable – that it’s not always a bad thing. That sometimes you simply have to just let something go and not get so hung up on the way you think it should be. That often times the very best things in life happen when we are not hanging on to the past, or hanging on to the idea of what things should be – but when we have let go.
How does this relate to the mangled mess of metal displayed in this blog? Well, in true story telling fashion I welcome you into the twisted humor of yet another car escapade in my life. Not all have been documented, but all have usually been harrowing. On this particular morning I had managed to drive through a good bit of snow/ice/sleet/weather from Satan himself using every bit of wit and knowledge (seatbelt, drive slow, no sudden movements, don’t slam on the brakes) known to man when I was approaching my destination and my car began to spin out of control.
I’ve hydroplaned, I’ve had fender benders, but I have never in my life felt so out of control in a situation as I did this morning. Despite my best efforts to regain control of my car it began to spin faster and faster to the point where I simply, you got it, let go. I had a feeling my car would flip because of all of the turning and spinning but one thing was certain and that was a line of trees was coming straight at my viewpoint and there wasn’t a single thing I could do about it. I remember praying and saying, “Please God” – I told GK it would all be okay, I covered my face, and I waited. Waited for the impact, waited for the car to stop, waited to wake up in eternity. My life didn’t flash before my eyes, I didn’t have a flood of regret – I strangely felt at peace. I had done all I knew to do, I had opened my lips to my Maker, and I let go.
In seconds that seemed to drag on for minutes, my car finally slammed into a tree and the spinning and racing toward the finale had ceased. I took my hands away from my face, made sure GK was okay, and sat in stunned silence. In awe. In thankfulness. Yes, I was thankful. I was alive. I had tried to “fix it”, I had tried to “control it”, but my only hope was to “let go” and trust that my purpose and my life still had some living to do.
My poor little car’s last sacrifice. Twelve years of protection. As I sat in the pouring rain waiting on police, a tow truck that never came (but a bigger blessing of my best friend C coming to follow me home), thanking the numerous random strangers that stopped to make sure I was 1) okay and 2) warm while I waited, I thought back to the same thought I have had every week as I work towards finishing up studying for my personal training certification – how can anyone believe God doesn’t exist?
There is luck and there is serendipity and there is fate, but there is something bigger than those words that fill the glittery pages of greeting cards and movie titles – there is God. It’s not by luck my car didn’t suffer worse damage, it’s not by luck I walked away with not even a scratch, it’s not by luck my windows didn’t break or my airbag deploy, it’s not by luck I didn’t hit the trees head on, it’s not by luck my little 10 pound puppy wasn’t hurt… I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what happened to me today could have been… should have been… so much worse.
And, while I’m sad it’s going to (finally, after 11 years) be time to say goodbye to my car and move on, there is nothing but gratitude and thankfulness and an immense feeling of being blessed in my heart. I have all the things that matter – I have health, I have a warm place to sleep, I have the most wonderful people in my life… I have life.
And, while the concept of letting it go isn’t usually as simple as realizing the chocolate ganache on my scratch made cake won’t always be perfect or as life changing as a potential fatal wreck… letting it go doesn’t always equal weakness. Letting it go can often be the strongest decision we can make. If only we would just learn to trust a little more.