A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine posted a status on her Facebook wall. She’s a new wife like me and a writer, too. She and her man have been walking through a similar season as N. and mine. Her status was simple, and it said:
I had been scrolling nosily and swiftly through the Facebook newfeed when those words perforated through the screen and whacked me in both eyeballs.
As most of you know, Nathaniel, along with nine other super-talented guys from his college a cappella group, Exit 245, auditioned for a show called The Sing Off. The opportunity came with a thick, scary contract that could potentially call N. away for 2 months to a year. I tearfully thumbed through it, allowing irrational stabs of fear and panic into my mind. I wouldn’t be allowed to know what he was doing. I could visit, if it was approved, but we couldn’t stay together. N. and I sat outside at a Mexican restaurant, our salsa getting watery in the 105 heat index. My hair was curling and sticking to my pink forehead. Nathaniel was kind and patient and understanding while I was being selfish and crying hot tears into my chicken tacos. I was only thinking of what this opportunity would mean for ME. Afterall, I would be left here alone for all those months. I wouldn’t be allowed to know what he was doing. I didn’t know or trust the culture that N. would be living in. I was scared. I was insecure. I was flailing at the thought of neither of us knowing what our marriage would look like. I was a wreck, y’all. Like uncharacteristically, irrationally and overdramatically upset.
Looking back, I see that all of my deepest, darkest fears were in some way or another being poked at by this opportunity. And that was the only thing I could focus on. It was selfish. And irrational. And, praise Jesus, it was eye-opening.
I don’t think we can realize the depth of our control issues until that control is threatened.
I don’t think we can realize how cancerous our fear is until it becomes a real, live possibility.
After a few days of letting my thoughts simmer, praying with N., and relinquishing control to Jesus, my fears began to dissipate. I actually got excited. I felt giddy and like I could support my man in the way he needed. We could talk about the future without getting defensive or having meltdowns.
It’s freeing to relinquish control.
Nathaniel and the group didn’t end up getting on the show, and I was surprised to find myself a little upset.
But now I know as we walk into even more uncertain and exciting times, that
“in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.”
Thanks for sticking with me, people. You’re all saints.