Oh, how I love the fact that the TV remote control has a pause button! I can be in complete control of what I watch and when I want to watch it. During a workout DVD, I especially like being able to pause when I need a drink of water or an extra minute to catch my breath. The fact is I like to be in control with the ability to order my day as I see fit. I can control the TV, the music, the ceiling fan, lights, even the waterfall in the pool, all with a remote control. I hold the power to control those things, but that’s about as far as my super powers go.
Unfortunately, I have no remote control for life. Regardless of what I would like to think, the reality is that I have no control over other people, nor many of the circumstances that happen around me. No amount of planning, organizing, ordering, goal setting or manipulating gives me power over many of the situations I live with on a daily basis.
I’m making a tough confession here. I’ve spent several years of my life feeling unfulfilled, like there was something more for me somewhere out there, some purpose that was just beyond my reach. There was nothing I could do to bring it to me any faster. I just had to wait. Most of us don’t have the patience for waiting or being placed on hold. I particularly hate waiting and yet I’ve been doing it for years.
Recently I was reading a facebook post and one word that the writer used really hit me. She was talking about making a “pivot” in her life, changing direction. She talked about the “nothing space”, the empty void that there is when you take the risk to change direction in your life. You take that leap of faith off of the cliff, often into nothing, thin air. You then free fall for what seems like an eternity, but is really just a matter of seconds. She described this time as also being a “pause”. That’s the word that hit me. That’s where I’ve been, in the “pause”, just waiting for that great thing, my sense of purpose and fulfillment to come along.
I’m sure some are wondering why I’ve allowed myself to be in this “pause” for years. I encountered one of those seasons that I really had no control over. Lots of “life” happened around me during those years, much of it involving family matters that required my full attention. It just couldn’t be all about me. Others had to come first. Many of those years were extremely, overwhelmingly, stressful, to say the least. I would say, even hellish! I felt my very being was not only broken, but crushed beyond recognition. This isn’t the time to get into all the events that took place, but as a result of those things, my life was put on hold. Something bigger was holding the remote and interrupted my happy program by hitting the “pause” button. The situations demanded that my plans, my ambitions, my hopes and dreams be pushed aside for awhile. It’s been an excruciatingly painful, long pause.
Life has quieted down a bit over the last couple years. Not that all the wrinkles have been smoothed out, but it’s not overwhelming anymore. You see, I’ve discovered the power in the “pause”. Valuable treasures have been built into my very being during this pause. I’ve grown much as a person. I’ve gained wisdom and learned important lessons. I’ve developed tenacious perseverance, a never give up attitude. I’ve become stronger than ever in my faith, which that in itself gives me strength and hope that’s unshakeable. It allows me to “rest” in my pause. That means I can be ok with being on hold.
Unfortunately, for most of us these treasures can only come to us through the storms of life. Storms are a powerful force. We’ve seen the fury of a hurricane. We’ve seen the wide path of destruction in the wake of a tornado. You’ve also seen the victims of these events, rise up and rebuild afterward. My life storms had the power to break me, but they also contained the power to rebuild a better and stronger me. It was a pause in my life. It was inconvenient, maddening and uncomfortable. But oh, how I love it’s power.
If you are wondering where I am at now, I’m still in the pause. I’ve recently made another pivot though; yes a leap into thin air. I know the one who is in control of my life and I’m no longer fighting for the remote. Those hopes and dreams are being reawakened. That thing, that sense of purpose and fulfillment is closer than ever. I can feel it. There’s a giant finger over that play button and it’s going to be “game on” any second now…