the quality of being coherent and intelligible; the quality of transparency or purity.
In academic and professional settings, I’ve always been labeled as “smart” and “having a way with words.” Oration. Writing. Punchlines. But still. Intelligence and apt expression haven’t made my life a crystal stair. Because a crystal stair is clear. And my life has been murky. Like the Delta River. Mississippi side. Especially recently. But it’s getting better.
Next to grief and despair, my thirst for clarity was the biggest motivator for tightening up my relationship with God. Because I know He is the way. The truth. The light. And I knew that if I wanted clarity and an overall better understanding of myself + life in general, I had to lean into Him more than I was. I work to lean in more every day.
I’ve already talked about how lackluster my communication and frankness can be when I’m put in adversarial or stressful situations. Even now, though, when I feel I am telling it like it is…as much as I can…to whomever will listen…I still sometimes walk away from the interaction feeling…confused. Out of sorts. Disheveled. Unsettled. And frustrated. But I’m starting to understand why. Even good, healthy communication doesn’t guarantee resolution or gratification. Especially not right away.
And I’m not someone who does well with unknowns, blurred lines, and uncertainties. I draw a lot of my comfort and confidence from knowing what’s going on. I’m not ashamed to say that, because another thing I’m working on is self-acceptance. Embracing everything about myself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in-the-know or thriving off organization and well thought out plans. I don’t have anything against people who “just go with the flow” and “take [life] as it comes,” but that’s not me. There are no wings on the seat of my pants. Is there value in channeling that attitude or mentality in certain situations? Absolutely. Will it ever be a defining trait of mine? Probably not.
I am going to be 34 in less than three months. Guessing, wondering, “playing it by ear” – all that ish gives me anxiety. From summer travel itineraries and this weekend’s agenda, to my retirement plan and investment portfolio, to the number of kids I’m going to pop out before menopause hits and “Where’s this going?”…I just need to know. About everything. ASAP. No “umms.” No “ahhs.” Just the actual factuals. And for the record, I do like surprises. But that’s what life tends to be anyway, so I see no need to accentuate that here.
On my quest for clarity, I’ve been asking more questions and doing less assuming. Why? Because it’s a healthier, more efficient way to interact with other human beings. And because it’s easier to make decisions based on fact rather than fiction. I promise I’m not a control freak. I’ve surrendered to the Most High. I told Him in earnest, I will go wherever He tells me to go. The Lord is my shepherd. I know He won’t take me out into the wilderness without water. I know He hasn’t brought me this far to leave me. I believe that the assignment He has on my life is a mighty one. Through this assignment, He will provide clarity.
But when, God? Is it a process? And if so, should I trust said process? Grant me discernment betwixt which processes to simply trust, and which ones to take the reins on. Show me when it’s time to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride,” and when it’s time to grab the steering wheel and drive. Place in me a sense of calm, peace, and fearlessness either way. I’m content to walk by faith and not by sight. But at the same time – my Father ain’t raisin’ no fool.