Last night I lay in bed wrestling in my spirit. I lack human words to adequately express it, but in simple terms I just needed God to help me. I didn't want Him to allow me to fall asleep until He had "fixed me." I'm a broken mess. No, nothing major going on. Just a reality check on how I'm doing as a parent, as a wife, as a vessel of His...and the fact is that I fail more often than I care to admit. I know we all fail, and I don't expect perfection. But this was different... It's as if I KNOW that I'm to be a humble servant leader in my home, and I do really really well in the quiet alone hours of the morning. If you could peek into our home, you'd see me many mornings trying to find ways to love my family...making a homemade breakfast, lighting candles, putting soft music on, writing little notes to each person, praying for them. I'm great when I'm alone, but once the troops descend the stairs, many times I begin to fail. I don't extend grace...I bark out orders to please-flush-the-toilet and please-don't-irritate-your sister and stop-talking-rudely-to-your-brother (and at the end of my barking, I find myself using the exact rude talk that I had just corrected!). See what I mean...I'm a MESS! Back on my knees to confess it...then back up on my feet to chase little people and try desperately to keep them on track...then more confessing. You see my endless trap here, don't you?
So, last night I had come to the end of this mess. I'm weary of trying and failing. So, I began speaking to my Lord (we have an ongoing conversation...He is my best and closest friend, and He is the only One I don't drive off with my messy-ness). "Lord, PLEASE help me here! You know my heart. You know I want to be a good and faithful servant, but I cannot seem to move beyond this stuck place. I don't want to go to sleep tonight until you deliver me from it. I need you to fix it NOW." (I have some patience issues, but really this has gone on long enough!) But there was no magic fix last night, and I ended up drifting to sleep.
I awoke this morning wondering why He had allowed me to go to sleep in such a mess of human-ness. I climbed down the stairs and grabbed my Bible and fell on my knees. This was desperation..."Please, God, please guide me."
And He did. He's always faithful. He led me straight to Isaiah 57 and 58. I began to read it and almost quit because chapter 57 was about idol worship, and that doesn't apply to me. I don't worship idols...I love my Lord deeply...I'm not materialistic...I'm not "bad"...and I don't even watch American Idol! :) The subject of idols simply did not apply to me. But in my spirit I knew that YES INDEED this applied to me. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing something that turned my stomach sick. I knew all at once that yes I have worshipped an idol. It's not an in-your-face obvious idol. It's a quiet behind-the-scenes idol.
My idol is CONTROL. I don't see myself as a truly controlling person...no ladder climbing for me, thank you! But if I'm gut-level honest, I'd tell you that I need to have a sense of control over things. I want my children to walk on God's paths and yearn for Him with their whole hearts, so I devise a list of ways to accomplish this. I try to control this.Sometimes I want my husband to see things a certain way, and I try to control this. I want my family to stay healthy, and I try to control this. On and on the list goes. No wonder I am so weary of failing! I am walking in shoes that only God should walk in.
In Isaiah 57, God reminded me: "Now I will expose your so-called deeds that you consider so righteous. None of them will benefit or save you. Let's see if your idols can do anything for you when you cry to them for help. They are so helpless that a breath of wind can knock them down! But whoever trusts in me will possess the land and inherit my holy mountain."
On my knees I fell! What an awful feeling to know that what I thought was a good thing (control) is really an idol! God corrected me with a firm yet gentle touch in my spirit. The path He has us walking (serving our family and serving orphans) can ONLY be walked with HIM in full control. Yes, I play a huge role in loving my husband and caring for my family, but He never ever meant for me to be the one in the control tower. Amazing how His correction brings such peace and a deep burden lifted from my shoulders!
My place is in His footsteps. "The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: 'I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts'." (Isaiah 57:15)
Today, Lord, remind me over and over again to cast down the idol of control and rely fully on YOU. Keep me humble and contrite so that I feel the presence and comfort of You inhabiting my life fully. And as I follow You, please guide my little ones to follow You too. It is YOU who controls them, not me.
Well, I've written too much this morning, and my crew is heading downstairs. (Pray that I will stay on my knees in my spirit today!). Perhaps soon I will share what God showed me in the next chapter He led me to...Isaiah 58. In that chapter is a huge KEY to serving our families and serving orphans.
Until we blog again, have a blessed week!