By Monica C. Voskamp
What do you when things are beyond your control? (Like seriously beyond your control.) You’ve been living life and suddenly a situation comes in and just throws a tailspin. A tailspin on your heart and life…
I had that recently. Metaphorically, I’d say a few hand grenades were thrown in my life. Like any trained soldier when I saw them coming, I tried prevent them and say ‘Let’s all just relax & keep those pins on the grenades.‘ I even called in reinforcements to pacify the situation, but it was too much. Those ‘grenades’ went off and my lovely plans for a new start this year went up in smoke.
I got evicted.
Ya, you read that right…You know, as in being kicked out of the place you lay your head down at night? Eviction. I’m still shocked it happened.
It’s not always a fair or beautiful world out there. There are ‘hand grenade’ situations.
Grenades are meant to cause destruction. They hurt. Over the past couple months, I interacted with people who truly cared and who didn’t care; both made me cry. I experienced love and meanness simultaneously. A couple times I had the lie come: ‘You’re all alone in this.’ My heart hurt from what I was going through. I told my heart, “Mon, you are not alone. Look at all the people caring about you!”
The people in your life caring about you are your team. The eviction made me very aware of my team. They ranged from people I didn’t even know to friends, family and God. My team made sure I didn’t crash & burn! They had my back through the whole eviction process. The month of January felt like February 14th came early. I honestly felt so loved on. 🙂 ❤
This situation also made me accept my limits. I had a crew of people being strength for me. My team wanted to help…they gave me expert advice, a bed to sleep on, listened and encouraged me, prayed, house hunted, moving help and the list goes on. The important thing was I let them help me. I wasn’t strong enough to do this all myself. I’m truly grateful for my team. (*thank you* 🙂 )
Often in life’s struggles, I’ve pushed through by my own power. Truth is, I haven’t opened myself to seeing myself as part of the team. I’ve stayed independent; however, I AM allowed to be to be weak, dependent. You are allowed to be weak. We humans get knocked down. We get injured in this life. You and I both NEED a team to support and nurture us in life’s journey.
Getting through struggles is NOT about how strong I am. I have wrongly equated strength to independence. Because of this, I’ve lost valuable opportunities for personal healing and growth. Strength is NOT about achieving a solo flight in crisis times.
The “I got this” mentality is wrong. Be it a Dutch thing (‘wooden shoes, wooden head, wouldn’t listen’) or a Voskamp thing (it’s nicer to blame some of the genes 😉 ), whatever way stubborn strong isn’t that helpful.
Strength is not about independence. Strength is the unified force of a team, held together by value, commitment and love for each other.
It’s incredibly wonderful to do life as a team; we help each other! Yes, it is crazy humbling to ask for help and allow people to see you when you’re are fragile and broken, but in doing so, you gift your teammates (and yourself.) You gift your teammates with: #1. Ability to exercise their gifts (and expand in them!) and #2. Freedom to also be vulnerable in their struggle/crisis times. You also free yourself of carrying a load you are not made to carry and open yourself to healing and personal growth.
From what I experienced, love isn’t selfish. I’ve discovered more about love by not having a home and facing tension in the place I was living. I found “home” in the people who truly care, *that’s* where I felt safe. This is when I realized: love is a safe place.
Sometimes what is meant to harm and push us into darkness will actually open our eyes to a light we weren’t seeing before.
Eviction. It opened my eyes to the importance of living as part of a team and experiencing the strength and love in my own team. I may have lost a physical place to lay my head to call mine (for a time), but I gained much more than I lost.
Life throws hand grenade situations and they do hurt. In these times, you let love hold you. Let your team be your strength. “Hand grenades” get thrown, but love is always stronger. Love remains the greatest. ❤