Several months ago, our beloved orthodontist moved out of state. I cried when he left, but not because we were good friends or anything. Our whole family just really liked him and his super friendly staff.
It doesn’t take me long to get attached to people I like.
His replacement is a darling, kind woman, and we were disappointed when she closed the office location close to our house.
We were further disappointed when she joined another orthodontist’s office. We didn’t see her or the original staff too often.
Because of all this and other reasons, I decided it was time to find a new orthodontist that better fit our location and needs. But before I could do this, I had to break up with our old one.
And let me tell you: There’s not much I enjoy less than uncomfortable conversations and hard goodbyes. Maneuvering through them is like climbing a mountain: tiring, overwhelming, and just plain hard.
I managed to follow through with the break-up the only way I know how: Making myself the bad guy as much as possible. I heard my voice repeat these phrases and more:
“I’m so sorry, but…”
“Thank you so much for all you’ve done…”
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“Can we still be friends?”
No matter how I tried to pretty up the deed, I still waded through plenty of uncomfortable tension.
Living out this Christian life often feels this way, too. You know you need to break up with unhealthy habits, but the tension of living in new skin post break-up feels mighty uncomfortable. Our flesh craves the old way when it was first in line.
But here’s the good news: After wading through the prickly brambles of uphill tension, we are promised a better view. New habits form a little at a time, and we see glimpses of tension turning to triumph. And when we are tempted to do a u-turn backwards, we are promised a way out.
While our feet are planted on this earth, we won’t be able to completely break up with tension. But we can move through it, thriving in closer fellowship with Jesus while we do.
What about you? Where tension is concerned, what’s your mountain to climb?