Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cleanliness is next to Godliness... right?

A little-known, fun fact about me: I wrestle with OCD.  If everything is not in its exact place, I get stressed out- almost to the point of anxiety.  When we brought Shepherd home from the hospital, the house was clean-ish, but there was a little bit of clutter laying around so I had an emotional meltdown and sat, crying on the stairs for about 30 minutes.  I know a large part of that was hormones, but on the other side of that was my struggle.  I cannot go to sleep at night unless the house is in order (for the most part) because I will lie there and think about all that needs to be done and it will stress me out.  This week I have fallen back into that same rut- not sleeping because I am overwhelmed with the amount of work left to do before this house is organized. 

We moved in about a month ago and I have yet to finish unpacking.  I was laughing at myself last night as I made my to-do list for today.  On that list was a section entitled: LISTS TO MAKE.  Seriously.  I know I have issues, but I started to wonder why.  Why do I struggle with this- this need to accomplish perfection?  And will I ever be able to move past this?  Will I ever be able to sit down and watch a movie with my husband and not feel that nagging in the back of my brain to get up and get things done?  Will I ever just be able to enjoy my children without them having to be clean?  Will I ever be able to enjoy this beautiful house without feeling like I have to constantly clean, organize, or "do"? 

Some of this may just be our current stage of life but I think there are other issues at hand.  Looking at how much time I spend doing housework, organizing, and making sure everything is "perfect", I have to wonder if the enemy is using this as a foothold to steal joy from my every day life.  John 10:10 says "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." 

The thief is coming to steal any joy I might find from spending time with my children or husband by distracting me with thoughts of discontentment.  He is trying to kill my dependence on God by giving me a sense of control over this "stuff"- because when it's organized, I feel in control. (Sick, I know...) He's trying to break me down emotionally and mentally by sending thoughts of discouragement and hopelessness, often whispering lies like the serpent in the garden.  I hear things like: "If your house isn't perfect- you are not in control, you are not a good wife, you are not a good mother." 

The funny thing is- God doesn't love me because of what I do, but, rather, who I am.  His presence in my life is what makes me whole.  He can love my children through me.  He can love my husband through me.  All I have to do is get out of the way.   In my quiet time this morning, I stumbled across this verse:  "Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God." 2 Cor. 7:1

I believe I have let this OCD defile my spirit, causing depression at times and discontentment.  I'm not saying that I should settle for a dirty house or complete dysfunction.  I'm saying that I need to find the balance and not let this "need" to clean come in between me and the things God has for me. 

So this week I'm starting a new study on my own.  Because I feel like it's fitting and I really do enjoy cleaning, I am going to be walking through the metaphorical rooms in my life, cleaning out the CRAP.  As I get one "room" cleaned out, I will share what God is showing me.  Today He showed me that I struggle with a desire for control and perfection.  I also struggle with worshipping the idol I have made out of my house.   Just like my ongoing battle with weight loss, it's not going to go away over night.  But I truly believe my God is a God who saves and I believe he can and will deliver me from this stronghold the enemy has been allowed to have in my life for way too long.  So, for now, I'll pray and take it one day at a time. 

Surrender can be a very powerful thing  As strong as I like to think I am, my God is so much stronger and when we all put control back in His hands, where it belongs, amazing things start to take place.  Chains broken.  Lives made new.  In surrender, we find freedom.  In surrender, I become no longer I and God becomes the one and only Lord in my life. 

No longer I.

1 comment:

Janice said...

This is fantastic, girl! I'm so proud of you - not just for writing this, but for letting God show you the rooms that need cleaning. What a great analogy for life!