I woke up late afternoon and made my way downstairs to the family room. I found it empty. At first I wondered where hubby and the kids were but glancing down the hallway I saw the open basement door I had just absent-mindedly passed. I retraced my steps and followed the occasional burst of laughter to find my family seated on the basement floors surrounded by several boxes and bins.
My husband had started the task of decluttering our storage room. Apparently we needed to get rid of unused items to make room for more important stuff.
So there they were, sprawled out, going through picture albums, greeting cards and other collected items. I sat down and joined in on the fun, reminiscing over baby showers, weddings and old school mates. I even found my high school yearbooks. Sorting through all those items brought back some beautiful memories.
Anyways, ever so often, my hubby would hold up an item and say to me "You want this?" and I would make the decision to keep or discard.
This decluttering task reminded me of something the Holy Spirit revealed to me not so long ago. There was something God asked me to give up but I had held on tight fisted, keeping it in storage. I had guarded it dearly, after all, it was mine.
What is it, you ask? CONTROL!!!
He asked me to surrender control to Him!!!
Yep, I tell myself. That's what happens when you pray those dangerous prayers..."God I need you to change me. Help me to trust you."
God showed up and Holy Spirit began a gentle yet relentless pursuit as He set in motion the answer to my prayer and beckoned me to become an active participant in that answer. He said to me "Surrender what you have in that box."
What does the word of God say? "Faith without works is dead."
And so I had a choice. I could retreat and keep telling God "not now" or I could pull myself together, take a deep breath and say "Ok God, I freely give what you ask of me."
With trembling lips I chose the latter. Trembling? Yes because change is not always easy. In fact, it can be down right scary, especially when it is the change of one's self.
I looked at the items in my box. There was the need to make a thorough list for just about everything.
The need to do things myself because no one else was capable of getting it done just right.
Anxious thoughts about the future along with the what ifs.
Then there was the need to always have things clean and organized.
Doesn't sound too bad, does it? In and of them self, these sounded pretty normal but through the eyes of God they led to something deeper. Tethered to the root of all these items in my box was FEAR.
Fear that if I did not have a grip on everything then I was left vulnerable and helpless. I didn't have to look far to see what drove this particular fear in my life. God brought that revelation too. He is good like that, isn't He?
He lovingly reveals the PROBLEM and the CAUSE before leading us to the HEALING.
I was 9 years old. My father returning home inebriated from an evening out with friends, accidentally set himself on fire. I remember the powerlessness of watching my dad, fully aflame and not knowing what to do. His eldest child, with a pregnant mother and I could not help him. He died 2 days later.
Forever imprinted in my mind, this tragic event left me not only with feelings of great loss but with the awareness I had no control over life. And so, feeling anxious and afraid, I took control where I could.
But in doing this, I had taken the steering wheel of my life and given God the passenger seat. From that traumatic event as a child, I developed trust issues and I needed to protect my world. I needed to make sure I was always prepared and ready to ward off anything that threatened to dismantle my life again. Of course it didn't work, that was only for God to do and He was more than capable to do it. He did not need my help and I became aware of this more and more. In fact, I was tired of playing God.
Now my prayerful plea for Him to help me change meant I had to switch seats, give Him the wheel and trust in His ability to take care of me and all that concerned me. With help of Holy Spirit, I came to realise that I needed to let go and lean into God as the source of my hope and peace and trust Him with the unknown.
Come on friends. Join me on this incredible journey to a better every day life with an extraordinary God. It can be scary but it is so wonderfully freeing.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the God of peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."