Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I hate my sin and cling to His kindness leading to repentence

I hate asking for help. I hate it so much that it's become an albatross around my neck. It hinders me from receiving from others. It hinders me from serving others. It hinders me from living under grace. It turns me into a faux-martyr. It makes me angry at others. It isolates me from fellowship.

While Dave and I were working with a mission-mobilization ministry we were on financial support. I hated it. I hated to ask people to support us. I hated it when our paycheck was severely low and we had to turn to family for help. I hated sending out prayer/newsletters every other month.

Now we work at a church. Dave is the pastor but I have several (self-imposed) responsibilities. These duties have grown through the five years we've been here. And I still hate asking others to help me. I enjoy serving in the church. To me it's not an obligation (because I am the "Pastor's Wife"), but rather it is because I see a need and see where our church's ministry should be and make myself available.

Last week was our annual Mother-Daughter Banquet. My women's Bible study has taken on this task for the past 4 years, due to my asking. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond many's control, our Bible study fell apart this year. So...I took on the banquet. And nearly drowned. The Sunday prior to the banquet the Holy Spirit socked me in between the eyes with my sin. Yep, a sin for not asking for help.

I've confessed, fessed up to Dave and some women. I don't know why I am drawn to not asking for help. Pride? Fear? Pride? The conclusion I have come to thus far is I hate confronting, either with conflict or presenting my needs. It seems more convenient to me to do it myself, that way I am not burdening anyone. So I suppose there is both fear and pride involved. The Tuesday after the banquet the kids and I were reading 1 John 4. Wow -
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (vs. 18)
Since I've repented of this life-long vice I am now consciously working on rooting it out further. One manifestation of this is the car. For years, probably since Dave and I have been married, I have been the one in the driver's seat, literally. I relish the control. Dave, not wanting to fight that battle, moves to the passenger seat. Probably in his wisdom he knew I would relinquish sooner or later. He just had to wait me out. So, I'm switching seats. I am calmly sitting in the passenger seat, giving him the keys and letting him drive, his own style, his own method. Literally and figuratively, I feel like I am finally giving up on control - control that wasn't good, that alienated intimacy and built a brick wall between me and the ones I love.

Several years ago Dave and I took dance lessons (just one night's worth). I was no good. Why? I wouldn't let him lead. Now I wish our small town of Sparta had a ballroom dance instructor because I think that exercise would help further establish intimacy and release me from the slavery of needing to be in control.

In all this I feel remarkably calm and right. So often I knew there was a wrong in my life, the control and the pride. And so often I swept it under the carpet and refused to deal with it - it wasn't a huge issue (or so I justified), but there have been prayers on my part and God, in his infinite wisdom, kindness and mercy, brought me to the point of accepting and repenting of this sin. So I am rejoicing. Rejoicing that I lean upon my Father who wants me to be better, a better follower of his, a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, a better friend. He hasn't left me to wallow in self-pity, anger, pride, or fear. In His gentleness He has planted in me a desire to move away from those things and move more into His likeness.


Anonymous said...

uh, yeah- you're the reason we don't dance!

You can drive anytime Babe.

Marti Smith said...

Barb, thanks for this significant post! May God continue to grant you repentence - and reformation...

Julie in SEA said...

Barb, i thought i put a comment here already! This blog was (once again) fantastic, vulnverable & challenging. I miss offering help to you. . .but I didn't remember that you'd never asked me. ;) Keep clinging to his kindness. Proud of you for always taking steps Godward. You encourage me. I miss ya, Barb! Love you, julie

Holly said...

What a great thing to have to hear how God is working in your life!