I laughed to myself after my last post because I started thinking about how this series really could have been positioned as letters of apology to my family. I didn’t live Trying Hard and Fearful somewhere alone in a cave. I did it right up front and center in my own home.
I really would like to say thank you to my poor husband who is my polar opposite, but has loved me and endured all my attempts to figure this walk out for over 26 years. When I talked about ‘mothering’ fearfully, I did use that word specifically because parenting is a two-person process (really five if you are wise enough to include the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). When our girls were little my husband was definitely a ‘let-them-touch-the-hot-stove-so-they-never-do-it-again’ kind of guy, while I was a ‘let’s-cordon-off-the-entire-kitchen-so-they-never-even-know-there-is-a-stove’ kind of girl. It never occurred to me that God had put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden in the first place AND had actually pointed it out to Adam and Eve. I am a slow learner.
Somehow God knew that if He paired us together our kids just might make it. And they have more than made it. They are all three beautiful miracles who love God and all have their unique expression of Him. It is a testimony to God’s goodness and not to any formula I managed to concoct and adhere to.
So back to ways not to reign in life…I always think of tiaras when I think of reigning (Princess Diana and Princess Grace rocked the tiaras!).
My mom likes to say that I was born 40 years old. She was referring to the fact that I seemed so mature and responsible for my age, almost adult-like.
Well, on the outside it made me a ‘good’ child, but on the inside it was a crushing weight. Somewhere along the way I believed a lie that I was responsible for EVERYTHING. How I got there is complicated, but let me just say that all the approval I got for being mature, responsible and good, launched me on a life of independence and self-sufficiency.
I learned very early on that if I didn’t do it, no one else would. Sadly, I even believed this about God. I lived thinking (not necessarily consciously) He wasn’t very good at His job so if anything good was going to happen in my life I would have to make it happen. There are a 1000 ways this played out like killing myself to get straight A’s in school, working full-time in high school, going to the right college, and above all else NEVER asking for help.
It’s a very lonely existence being Superwoman. No one ever asks if you need anything because you’ve trained them not to. And when you do raise your hand (think of a drowning person weakly lifting their hand above the surface of the water), often there is no response because you have so distanced yourself from others. True community and relationships are forged in a mutual dependency on one another and God. I knew absolutely nothing about that.
There’s a reason the Bible tells us to ‘bear one another’s burdens.’ We can’t walk this journey alone. We either won’t get very far or we will be crushed under the weight of it.
The funny thing is I did have relationships, but they were based on need. Other people needing me. I forged fast friendships based on some way I could help others. But when it came to my needs I felt as if there were something wrong with either having them or sharing them.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 (NASB) – “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
I thought that verse was just in there for the weak people. I had no idea Jesus was talking to me and that in fact He had become my Sabbath rest. I could actually cease striving for my own success because it was really all wrapped up in Him.
I didn’t get it until my good flesh stopped working for me. I hit the wall. Actually I hit the wall a bunch of times (maybe that explains my wonky eye???), but when I finally hit it and then could no longer pick myself back up it made me ask, “Why?” Asking why and honestly being open to the answer was the beginning of a paradigm shift.
Bottom line: Self-sufficiency is definitely another tiara-tilter and abundance-drainer!