I’m learning to let go.

There are several areas in my life where I feel it’s difficult to just let go. For instance, when I travel I like to keep all of my belongings confined to my suitcase, like little prisoners. If I’m staying somewhere for a few days I can’t stand to have them strung out all over the place, fending for themselves. No, they stay orderly and safe in my red, off-brand case that looks like it was made from an alligator painted with red lipstick. It’s for their own good.

Once I was visiting a friend, and, clearly not knowing my own strength, when I went to turn the water on in the shower the knob snapped off in my hand. Water gushed everywhere. As my friend called the plumber I found myself at my neatly-contained sleeping space in the living room. I was putting things in my suitcase, rearranging them, making them extra neat. I suddenly became aware of what I was doing and how odd it seemed. I took a moment to pray and ask God why I was doing this, and I heard, simply: “Because the water’s broken.” It was a very big “aha” moment for me. Standing there with my Ziplock bag of toiletries, I decided to simply trust–to let go. I put down everything, as slightly imperfect as it was, and walked away. My awkward, silent compulsion would not get the better of me.

I’m at a time in my life where I frequently catch myself standing there, “holding the bag,” so to speak. It’s much easier to feel in control when there’s something tangible in your hands while you wait for intangible issues to resolve themselves. It’s comforting to have something you can control and fix when everything else around you feels a little crazy. But now I’m making a daily effort to recognize that ultimately, I’m never in control. It’s a little scary, and it makes me want to organize the fridge or re-sort my underwear drawer…but at the same time it’s oddly comforting.