Recently, I reached a new level of frustration with them and decided that I was done. I'm done ruminating over what people think, fearing rejection and judgment and trying to control every single aspect of my life in order to protect myself from what I fear. So, I prayed one of those desperate and risky prayers:
God, I want to be ruled by your love, not fear and control. I give you my permission to do whatever it takes to set me free from fear and control. Even if I have to endure difficult circumstances or emotional pain, I don't want to live this way anymore!
Now, I prayed this with a sober mind. I understood that I was inviting God to mess with my life. But, I can't stand feeling this way anymore.
But, what happened next has been even more surprising. God has started to wage war on fear and control in me by interfering with me having my way. These small attacks on my comfort and preferences have produced amazingly big offense.
I was so mad that I didn't think I could even say good-night to Ben last night. And, it was because of laundry. Yes, laundry. Who freaks out about laundry? Me. I do that.
Now, he had taken 2 loads of clean clothes and jammed them all back into the hamper to cart downstairs and then left it there, in the middle of our living room. But, the anger that I felt over this action was out of proportion to the offense. And, I felt strongly compelled to take control of that situation by marching that hamper right back upstairs, emptying that laundry back into the dryer to be air fluffed and then folding every piece neatly in a separate basket. Even though it was late, I was exhausted and Ben had already offered to repair the laundry offense today, I insisted that I could not accept any option other than the one I was pursuing.
As I stood in that laundry room, I realized that I was not being ruled by love, but by control. I'm not sure exactly what fear I was trying to manage in that moment.
But, there was probably some should shouting in my mind that clean laundry should always be folded and put away. I think there may have been some judgment and rejection toward people like myself who would even think about leaving clean laundry crammed into a hamper overnight. I know that there was offense against my husband for doing such a terrible thing to me.
I wish that I would have accepted his sincere apology, allowed him to fix the laundry problem today and received the love that he was extending to me in that moment. But, I'm even more glad that God is answering my prayers and challenging fear and control in my life.
Even if it means that my way and preferences will be offended.
Still Counting Gifts:
- #889: my 10 year college reunion
- #890: seeing old friends
- #891: my husband is generous and patient
- #892: pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting
- #893: a huge tree with beautiful yellow leaves outside my window
- #894: an old record player that is new to us
- #895: the satisfaction of reconciliation after conflict