I wrote in November that I plan to go to counseling. Here I am, shortly before March, with 5 sessions under my belt. Was it helpful? Yes. Was that what I expected? Not really.
I think I expected my therapist to rethink things like me and give me deep, meaningful, and existential explanations for my problems. Instead, the way it challenged my thinking was extremely practical and factual. When I complain about laundry piles, garbage for children or frozen pizza dinners, their answer is: “So what? Will someone die if they wear dirty clothes or eat frozen pizza for dinner? “
Obviously the answer is no, that raises the question – then why do I care so much? Why does it bother me so much when my house is messed up or the laundry is reversed or when I no longer plan to have dinner? Even when I’ve done the hard work of letting go and being more relaxed, I think there’s a turning point. I can ignore the mess to play with my family outside, but when I get back in the house, I find out that they were made Another Chaos, I’m losing my crap.
I honestly can’t fully explain why I have this neurotic need for everything to be in place. And honestly, sometimes I feel completely justified to be neurotic, because God didn’t create me like this ?! That is exactly who I am. But sometimes it feels like my need for control controls me and I can’t stop being controlled even if I try. I recently expressed this to God and he reminded me of Galatians 5: 1.
“Christ freed us for freedom; So stand firm and don’t submit to a yoke of slavery again. “
It stopped me on my trail.
I have freedom in Christ. Freedom from my own need for control. I don’t have to be a slave to my personality who wants organization and order! Armed with this verse, I have confidence to declare that I am not a slave to control. Because of Christ, I can refuse to be dominated by my need for order, and I can prioritize relationships instead.
I have long tried to fight this fight with my own poor strength. Is it any wonder that I’m still struggling with the same old thing? But this verse gave me something new and filled my soul with the trust of the gospel. This is my birthright in Christ. He won that for me! I can live in freedom because of my Redeemer!
I told my husband about it and encouraged him: “Please, if you see me falling off the rails, remind me of this verse.” I use my right to freedom in Christ and I will no longer submit to slavery.
In connection with this promise, I decided to stop yelling at my children for Lent. Unfortunately, this has long been the way I deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed by my children who either don’t listen to me or get out of control. So don’t scream anymore. (I hope that I can continue this beyond Lent.) Instead, I want to pray. Loud. Instead of yelling at my kids: “We have to go NOW! Get in the car or you will get into big trouble! “I want to say,” Father, we’re late. And these kids don’t listen to me. Help me keep my patience and grace and motivate them to listen. I trust that we can get anywhere and it is okay that we are late. “
There is a quote from Connected families that I have on my computer desktop – “When children misbehave, make obedience a secondary goal and make access and walking in the fruit of the Spirit itself the primary goal.” That is the idea behind “no screaming” – instead of relying on my own strength and effort, I run to God, confess my inability and rest in His strength to achieve this.
I put this into practice last Thursday when my eldest daughter didn’t want to go to school and got a tantrum. We were 20 minutes late for school, but I left with a smile on my face. Because I hadn’t screamed, but instead connected to my daughter and found out that she simply missed me, so she didn’t want to go to school. I am really looking forward to seeing how God will work in me in the coming months.
I will end up with the amazing feeling that God serves my soul personally. I feel so unworthy of his sidelong glance, let alone his speaking into my struggles. Advice was helpful, but that ghost is the ultimate advisor.
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