Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let some light in!

Psalm 73:23-24, "Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." My name is Tammy, and I am a......"control freak". There you have it, one of my deepest, darkest secrets. Can anyone out there relate? I've struggled with this for many many years. Growing up, I did not have much control of my life at home. Living with a parent that suffered from a mental illness, was a never ending circle of caos. She could not control the racing thoughts that were running through her own head, so she controlled me. She controlled everything about me. She controlled my moods, my emotions, my fears, my weaknesses, and my strengths. You are probably wondering how a person can possibly do this..but she did. Each day I watched her battle a disease that was torturing her mind. And even though, she could not control her own mind, she controlled mine. But, nothing I did, was ever good enough. The monsters in her head were too strong for her to handle. Our lives were caotic and I longed for some sort of consistency. The summer after I graduated, I left home to somehow, try and find myself. In doing this, I discovered a new found freedom...controlling my own life. I could think what I wanted to, feel what I needed to and say what had been on my heart and mind for so long, without guilt or fear. What an exhilerating feeling it was! I could finally be my own person, with my own mind. But, somehow, it turned sour. I began becoming obsessive about the environment around me. I became a "clean freak". Yes...it's true...I was addicted to cleaning! Some people would call that a blessing, but not for me. I realize now that it was because, it was my way of creating my own "perfect" environment. I couldn't control what was going on around me, as a child, but I could control it now by cleaning it. I thought that if, somehow my surroundings were picture perfect, then my life would be picture perfect. I remember one day, a friend of mine came over to visit. She walked into my house, where it was spotless. There was nothing out of place, each picture hung perfectly on the wall, and each couch pillow was fluffed to perfection. She said, "Wow! Your house looks like a picture out of a magazine. It's like no one even lives here." You would think that I would have gotten the message loud and clear, but I kept on controlling everything around me. I then began to try and control the people around me. My husband wasn't who I thought he should be, so I tried to "clean" him up to my approval. This would only create strife between us and lower his self esteem, causing him to not feel good enough. I had become my mother. I continued to battle my "control" issues for years, all the while, seeing no fault in myself or what I was doing to others in my life. I thought that maybe, if everyone saw how clean I was and how perfect I was, then maybe they would love me more. That was something I struggled with my mother about, trying to be perfect enough to make her happy so her mood swings would not come as often as they did. I also continued to claim that, "God is in control of my life." That was a lie. I was in control and I only turned to HIM out of pure exhaustion, from trying to make everything so perfect. No matter how hard I tried, nothing was every going to be perfect. Not my life, my marriage, my feelings or my house. And then it happened, God pulled a whammy on me! I went into have surgery and died. What a way to prove to me that I am not in control and that HE is. God was screaming for me to let HIM control my life and to just let go. It finally hit me, I have been so busy trying to control my life, that I haven't been "living" it. Nothing like dying, to remind you how to live! And frankly, I was exhausted trying to make things so perfect. HE had to show me that HE was in control of my life down to the breaths that I take and the beats of my heart. There had to be a point of surrender. The point where I said, "O.K! O.K! God, I can't do this by myself!" My control issue has been a very dark place in my life for a while now. God has shown me, through my relationship with HIM, that sometimes the only way to let light into a dark place, is to open up the windows. This allows the light to shine through, to over shadow the darkness and take a new shape. Light illuminates whatever it comes in contact with. It covers all darkness and creates a new path. It can guide the way to a new place within yourself. The darkness only causes you to have to feel your way around and have no direction at all. You can move around freely in the light and have perfect direction. I was stumbling around in the darkness for way too long. There is freedom in the light! That light is Jesus and having true trust in God! God is the author of my faith! God is the director of this crazy broadway play called, "My Life". He can yell, "Cut! That's a wrap!", at anytime. I have no control in that, and I can't control how perfect or non-perfect my life will be. Sure, I can control my moods, my thoughts, my fears and my emotions, but as for everything else...it's just not worth going crazy over. God is the only perfect thing in my life and I know HE will direct my life and where HE wants me to be. That alone makes it perfect enough for me. Although, I still enjoy a clean house, it's just not a big deal like it used to be. I still fuss, from time to time, and long to get a visit from the "Maid Fairy" , but life is about more than a perfectly clean house. It's about me "living" in a messy one!It's about me waking up everyday and breathing air into my nostrils. It's about feeling my heart take each new beat. It's about loving those around me. It's about sitting on the couch snuggling with my husband, even though the floors need vacuuming. It's about having conversations, giggling, and being goofy with my kids, even though the sink is filled with dishes. It's about searching out my purpose and living out that purpose. It's about coming to the realization that I'm not perfect. It's about accepting that I don't have to be perfect for God to love me or for those around me to love me. It's about opening up the window to my heart and letting God's light in! It's about being Tammy. Not the "clean freak" Tammy, but the Tammy that God created me to be. The loved Tammy! The Tammy that will do great things for God. My name is Tammy, and... God is in control of me. Galatians 2:20, "I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the SON of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Job 36:11-12, "If they listen and obey God, then they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives. All their years will be pleasant. But if they refuse to listen to him, they will perish in battle and die from lack of understanding."

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