1. the state of being stretched tight.
2. mental or emotional strain.
apply a force to (something) that tends to stretch it.
Tension is the result of opposing forces acting at the same time, often in opposition to each other.
In life, tension is also the result of opposing forces. Our lives are meant to be lived in some measure of tension. Tension reminds us that there is more than we are capable of and also helps us to see where our limits might lie. Tension ensures that we do not remain stagnant but it also enables us to find the edges of our capacity. If you have never stretched a bungee cord as far as you can, you have never lived… unless you accidentally let it go at the limit of its tension, then you possibly died.
Tension is both exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. We experience tension in many different places – our relationships, our finances, our careers, our spirituality, even in our health. The tension is a reminder that we have not yet arrived at rest.
Sometimes, however, the tension is telling us that it’s time to let go. Sometimes tension is an indication that something is wrong and the very thing that we are holding onto needs to be released. Have you ever had your jacket or a sweater catch on something as you moving past it? First comes tension, and if the tension is not resolved, then comes tearing.
Tension is fine but tearing is destructive.
For the last six months, I have been working among a group of people in Kansas City that have a very strong and clear vision for their community. Initially, we felt welcomed and even celebrated for our contribution to what they were doing. Never at any time did I feel like I was not given the freedom to be myself but over the course of time I began to feel more and more tension in my spirit. That tension, as it became clearer, was the result of differences between what I was called to do and what they were called to do.
I am okay with tension for a season, but tension is a signpost that is trying to tell us something. There is a conflict at work here. If you ignore the signs too long, you are going to end up tearing.
So last Monday, I decided to release the tension before it became a tear. I resigned my position at the community I was a part of and once again embraced the unknown that comes from living a life led by the Holy Spirit. Though there were some unresolvable differences that led to the decision, making the choice to leave when we did allowed it to remain amicable.
One of the greatest challenges in life is deciding between what is good and what is best. Sometimes it is hard to tell until the decision is made and everyone has moved on. A week later, I know we made the right decision for our family and for the church we were a part of.
The question from many of you who have followed our journey over the years will be, “what now?”
I have some things in the works at the moment but nothing concrete. Both KC and I have some work that can fall back on for a season (so, no this is not a support letter!) and we will continue to trust the Lord as our source of provision. All I can really say is that KC and I feel the wind at our backs for the first time in a long time. We are genuinely excited about the future, hopeful, and thankful that the Lord really does know what He is doing.
Thanks for your continued support and encouragement over the years…
Ben and KC Woodward