Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

I Am a Porsche!

on February 27, 2014
Fast Car

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This past week a couple of tremendously difficult things happened to me. One involved a man and the other involved my studies.

I felt so discouraged that the thought occurred to me–and stayed around for a while–that I needed to give the whole endeavor up.

Let it go.

Instead of hoping for a dream life of studying, teaching, preaching and ministry with a husband and children to love, I should find myself a wealthy man–who hopefully believed a little bit in Jesus–marry him and live out the rest of my days shopping, decorating and driving my Benz sedan to the spa and to the trainer.

Who needs love? Who needs calling and purpose? Why should I try to put my gifts and talents and abilities to use? Who says I even have any gifts, talents or abilities anyway?

A part of me  is willing to be moderately successful, but it refuses to allow me to stretch to my full potential. It’s as if life is a racetrack, and I am a Porsche, and the person behind the wheel insists on driving at 75 mph, because 75 is fast enough, and to go any faster is risky.

But my engine heart says, “I am a Porsche! I am made to drive at the highest speeds! I am made to be able to maneuver and turn! I’m barely scratching the surface of what I can do. Please rev my engine, shift gears and let me ride the way I’m meant to!”

And the driver replies, “OK, we’ll speed up to 80.”

I feel like the inner part of me is secretly happy about my struggles this past week, and secretly conspiring to create my difficulties in the first place. Why is my inner me obsessed with keeping me safe, even when safety is breaking my heart?

Or . . . maybe it’s not my inner me holding me back at all. Maybe the challenges I am facing are the result of my not being safe; of my taking risks. One of the consequences of risk-taking is that you might find yourself getting hurt.

Perhaps I need to re-frame my difficulties and see them as a good thing. I’m trying to date, and to be willing to let go of love that doesn’t feel right—even if love that feels right might never show up. I am trying to do work that is challenging and that grows me theologically, even if this work is different and doesn’t end up being my best, but just the best I can do under the circumstances.

Maybe this is what it feels like when a novice shifts into sixth gear, flies around a curve at 125 mph, and loses control of the steering for a gut-tightening, bowels-loosening, hair-raising split-second. Of course she will slow down, of course she will downshift, of course her adrenaline will race, her heart will pound and she will think herself 10 kinds of crazy for being out in the racing lanes driving so fast when she doesn’t even know how to drive.

She’ll think of swapping out the Porsche for a Benz sedan, of moving into the slow lanes and watching the scenery and the other people still on the track. But eventually, if she stays in the racing lanes, and keeps learning and driving, she will take another curve, a little more carefully than the first, and it will be scary but OK.

Then she will take another curve, with slightly more speed than the last. And she will take another curve, with speed and confidence and finesse.

Until finally she is racing with the pros exactly as she was created to.

Have you ever been unsure and afraid as you were trying new things? What stumbles did you make along the way and how did you move forward?

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2 responses to “I Am a Porsche!

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Yes, and it is scary? How to know which and what is the right way to go–for me? Great post.

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