After years of counseling, I have discovered my biggest struggle....CONTROL. Which inevitably rears its ugly head into the form of perfectionism. We moms don't view this as a bad thing, in fact we feed the monster. Constantly comparing ourselves to the other, praising each other when our houses are immaculate, kids are always cute and bows in tact, food is perfectly prepared....and then we get tired. And we realize a ball is going to have to drop or else we will! So I listen to the advise, once again from that older wiser mom, to let the cobwebs go. Don't worry if the bed isn't made or I am not dressed and showered until 5 pm on most days. So I swallow my pride and let it go. And then comes the ugly monster again...CONTROL.
See, this is all an illusion. The cobwebs, the unmade beds, the cereal bowls in the sink, its all an illusion. I am only trying to convince myself and others around me I DO NOT struggle with control anymore. Then why am I always frustrated? Angry? Bitter? Because I can't function in chaos. I can't function until things look perfect, or pretty close to it. So instead of being exhausted from perfectionism I am frustrated from lack of control. Frustrated I can't manage to make the house sparkle 24/7. Frustrated I can't seem to leave the house without leaving pajamas on the floor from the night before. Frustrated I can't get ANYWHERE on time. Frustrated because I am afraid. Afraid of what? Of FAILURE! It all boils down to fear for me. Fear of Failure. Failure to be a good mom, a good wife, a good homemaker, a good minister, a good daughter, a good friend. The list goes on. I live most of my days frustrated with the world around me because it doesn't fit into my box.
And then I realize, with the help of my counselor (man, I love counselors) I am letting my fear of failure dictate how I feel about myself. It controls me! It prevents me from inviting a friend over because I am too afraid of what they might thing if the house looks the way it does. And if I try to take the "high road" and invite them anyway (convincing myself I have over come this monster of control) I remain frustrated with the situation and finding myself apologizing for the mess. Who has three kids under 4 and lives in perfect peace and serenity anyways?? So I live frustrated all of the time. Frustrated with myself, my kids, my husband because they are the reason I can't make it all look perfect. Or at least good.
And then I read God's word. In Genesis 32:24-32 Jacob wrestles with an angel...and loses. He is wounded and hurt. Which is where most of our failures leave us. Wounded and hurt. Ashamed that we can't live up to our own expectations of ourselves or of the expectations of those around us. Then, the most beautiful thing happens. The angel blesses Jacob. And we aren't talking about just any blessing. He names him Israel, which means Gods chosen people. Um hello. Jacob failed and God blessed him...majorly!! So am fearing what? Yes, the instant wound or hurt or scar, but I am preventing the lasting blessing that comes through failure. God wants us to fail. It shows us we are in need of a Savior. We can't do this thing called life on our own. But I mask it with the facade of control. In fact I am so in control, I masked the issue of control it self by trying to look as if I didn't need to be (hence the dirty dishes in my sink this very moment), only secretely leaving me void and frustrated.
So when I fail, and I will say when because it will happen daily, I will know there is a blessing from the Lord right behind it. It might show up in the form of grace, comfort, love, endurance, peace, whatever it is God wants to use to make me more like Jesus in the process. So I am going to let my fear go, one step at a time. I will not miss out on God's blessing because I am frustrated and disappointed in myself and those around me. I will not miss out! Hold me to this, I love the Lord and the people around me too much to live like this. I am breaking this cycle of sin that has passed itself down from generation to generation in my family. May I drop naked and unashamed into the hands of Christ full of admitted failure so he might bless me and in turn bless those around me.
God is beautiful, free, unashamed, and ready for me to run to him imperfections and all.
Until next time,