Cut. It. Out.
So we have been back for a few weeks now from a week long “vacation.” I say that and laugh but still wince a little bit because it was actually just a really ugly test in our survival skill sets. But we made it! Isn’t it funny how we think things are going to go a certain way and then they don’t at all. And then what do we do? Well some of us can just go with the flow and that’s really great, but I am not some of us. I am an Enneagram 3 wing 2 and I like order. So when things fall apart, I pout. I snap at the tiniest things. I shut down. I get jealous. I get bitter. And I don’t think I need to go on because I think you get it, I am just not keen on things that don’t go like I think they should.
But something happened to me on this trip. I had a real moment with God in the most awkward way. I was selfishly trying to squeeze in time to get a sun tan and read my book because that’s what I wanted. Coming home with a tan and half finished fiction novels was all I envisioned for his trip, and now I was angry because the most unreal things kept happening, keeping me from my goal.
But finally I’d made it to the lido deck on the cruise ship and found a chair in perfect line with the sun. And you know what happened? I couldn’t get my darn swimsuit coverup off! It wouldn’t go over my head and it wouldn’t go over my tush and I was stuck. Ok, so it didn’t go on quite so easy either, but we made it so I didn’t imagine being in the state I was currently in. I was way stuck and super embarrassed, but still determined to get a tan. I went back down to my room to figure this out without an audience. Apparently the strings on the side of the coverup were not actually adjustable, but thanks be to a Tinkle razor, they could easily be cut, freeing me from the awful thing. I looked in the bathroom mirror and could not believe I just had to cut myself out of a swimsuit coverup with my mustache razor. And then I looked at myself a little longer. It was in that humiliating moment that God said,
“Cut it out!! Stop giving so much power to things outside of your control!”
There was nothing I could do about my poor dad getting sick on the trip and having to fly home early. There was nothing I could do about both the kids getting sick and not being able to sleep at night. But even though there was nothing I could do, I still felt jipped and even responsible for what had happened. And that’s when I realized I’d let devilish lies creep in and I was starting to believe them.
Why didn’t I bring more medicine for the kids? I’m a bad mom.
Why didn’t I do this? I was wrong.
Why didn’t I do that? I am a bad person.
Now I can’t relax. Now I can’t rest.
Those were the lies I gave power to, and they spoke over the rest of my vacation.
Because I let them.
Now that I’m back to reality and the everyday grind, I can’t let that continue. I’m not saying I’m going to push through every bad day now wearing the full armor of God because I’m human and I’m going to fail. But I do not want to cut myself out of another swimsuit cover up because I’m too caught up in my own agenda to realize I’m going to get stuck.
Things are going to happen that throw us off. Things are going to happen that hurt our hearts and break our spirits. And sometimes there will not be a thing we can do about it. But it’s in those moments that we have a choice. Will we jump in the pit of lies and get stuck in our coverups, or will we heed the warning signs that something is not quite right and that we need adjustable straps?
I know now that I need to adjust. I need an adjustable heart that can be molded and shaped by my experiences, but that relies on God to hold me together. I don’t want to believe the lies anymore. I have to cut them out.
Does anyone else need to cut it out?