Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Letting God

There's a problem that I face every time a loved one's personal crisis bubbles to the surface: I want to fix it.

It is in the very nature of who I am as a person. Some people are people pleasers, some are peace keepers, some are instigators. Me... I'm a fixer. When there's a problem I want everyone to see what their part in the issue is and fix it for themselves and the people they're affecting.

Over the years I have learned that this isn't necessarily the healthiest of traits to have. It can lead to a lot of undue personal stress, codependency issues, conflict, and butt-in-ski syndrome. When I discovered the person I am in Christ and began to uncover the path that God has set for me, I realized that this isn't something to be ignored either. I can use this desire to fix to be an encouragement or soundboard for reasonable advice when requested.

So where is the balance?

Recently I confided in a friend about some issues that have bubbled to the surface in our family. This is one of those friends who, when you're in her presence, you just FEEL Jesus. You know that God has in her plan to be an encourager, a reminder of Him, and an ambassador of His love within five minutes of being in her presence. So it was no surprise to me that when I confided in her that her almost immediate response boiled down to a reminder of the things that were important for me to remember.

Encourage, don't enable. Support, set up boundaries. Love, don't try to change.

The balance on the tightrope of a sticky situation is tricky for someone who is a fixer, this is something I have learned over the years. I have learned to listen to God in the midst of the chaos to be that voice of reason to guide me and coach me through the balancing act.

"You cannot change them, leave that to Me..." with a gentle nudge on my elbow to come back to the center.

"You cannot be in the middle, it won't leave room for Me..." with an encouraging pull back to the balance of the rope.

If I do not listen to God, if I do not slow down and let Him do His work... I can fracture relationships, compromise my own health (both mental and physical), and downplay or neglect the importance of His role in the chaos.

I cannot fix everything. He can. And let's not forget that just because I want something fixed does not mean that it is necessarily in God's plan. If it is - I still cannot fix it. There are two things that I cannot ever control: God and others.

Why not?

Because He gave us free will. And He is in ultimate control. I can pray for people to feel His presence, to listen to His guidance, to know that He loves them, for Him to move in their lives and bring them to a positive place.

But I cannot control them, I cannot control Him. I can only control myself, my actions, and the degree to which I turn down the volume of the chaos around me and listen for His voice. We've all heard the saying that we need to "let go and let God": for me this is much easier said than done. But I know that when I do... when I step aside and pass the tools to God and let Him do the fixing... things always work out better in the end because they work out according to His plan and not mine.

And in the long run, it's His plan that's the better one anyways and His handiwork that can do amazing things in people's hearts to heal, nurture, and grow.

No comments: