Sunday mornings my husband is home, so in the few hours before church I can get a lot done while he is keeping an eye on the kids. It is typically not a day of rest for me. For whatever reason that Sunday I chose what was "better" and sat in the quiet of the morning and was still. Sitting at the table I saw an eagle soar through the sky into my neighbors pine trees. The first thing that came to mind was Psalm 103:5, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Immediately I was expectant.
We got ready for church, piled in the car and took our position on the front row. Worship began and immediately I knew God was doing something. It was one of the mornings where His Spirit was thick in the room, I could feel Him all around. Everyone felt Him all around as people openly began praising Him and worshiping Him. It was one of those "moments", those "moments" you really cannot describe, but anyone who has experienced it knows exactly what I mean. I began to sob, a deep, deep sob that seemed to penetrate right to my core. I needed it. I had been burdened all week.
This is going to get really personal, so if that freaks you out stop reading NOW.
My husband and I have had a rough marriage since the beginning, we have struggled with a lot of things. Recently we both realized one of the biggest problems in our marriage is ungodly order. I think we both always knew that, but did not have a clue how to change it. We went before the Lord and repented for our roles in that. I was excited until I had to walk it out by faith.
Releasing my husband to be the head of our household meant that I had to give up a lot of my roles, responsibilities and requirements. I had to give up control. Scary does not begin to describe the emotion that I was feeling. Sheer terror and panic was more like it and that in itself is what kept the ungodly order in place. I was so afraid that if I did not take care of things everything would fall apart, so I took care of everything and that was easy for the Martha in me, but the Mary in me was dying spiritually because there was no time to spend with my Daddy, no time to crawl up in His lap and say, "hold me I am scared, lonely, exhausted." There was no time for anything, especially anything fun.
The burden I had been carrying all of that week was due to my first encounter of actually having to release my husband to lead. In my opinion he was making bad choices, choices he had made in the past that led us both down some pretty rough roads. I sensed the enemy was setting up circumstances for a repeat performance and he could not see it. So, in my new position I had to trust. Trust my husband, no? Trust God! I realized I did not trust God, the fear overcame me and the thought of having to submit to my husband freaked me out. I was a wreck. I could not trust God to protect me in spite of his bad decisions. What do you do with that? I had no clue. It also made me realize being a perfectionist comes down to not trusting God. I do not trust Him with anything, so I take things upon myself and try to make them right or perfect, never achieving, but continually striving - kind of like a hamster on a wheel. No wonder I am always worn out.
Anyway, our pastor started his sermon that morning with this:
When you bump up against something that is Holy, you have two choices:
- You can die or
- You can be changed
I had just encountered a Holy God in worship and although I may have felt like I might die, my heart really wanted to be changed. I wanted to be free from perfectionism and not trusting God or anyone. It hurt too much. It had already caused too much grief and destruction. I had been living in a constant state of fear and anxiety.
I made it through the sermon with only a few more tears, then worship began again and so did the sobbing, but this time it was accompanied by a physical pain in the pit of my belly and uncontrolled audible sobs. I was very conscious of what was happening, but determined not to stifle what God wanted to do, so I gave in and it continued. I went to one of our pastors and asked him to pray for me because:
- I just realized I do not trust God or maybe anybody for that matter
- The perfectionism that had taken over since we bought the business was too much to bear
He prayed with me and as he prayed I sobbed louder and the pain got worse. I ended up on the floor because the pain and pressure were so great. I again determined to stay there until the Lord was finished. (As I am typing this I realize that required trust - Praise God). I trusted God enough to let Him do whatever He was doing in me and wait for Him to finish. I was there a long time, about half an hour. I just let it go. I think I let a lot of things go that Sunday, a lot of pain and a lot of grief. When I stood up I felt weak, but better somehow.
There is a Mary in here that wants to take her place, but Martha has got to move aside. I cannot do that myself, so I am TRUSTING Him to complete the good work He has begun in me.
Being confident of THIS VERY THING, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Phil 1:6