Brace yourself people... I am about to get real honest up in here, so if your looking for a tooty fruity, lovey dovey, light-hearted blog post to read...this might not be the one for you. FAIR WARNING. Now here we go... so, several years ago now I secretly went to see a therapist. I am not good at talking about my emotions, but I knew I needed to talk to someone and I knew that someone would need to work hard to draw out all the junk that was piling up inside of me. Now, one specific week, I remember sitting with this lady and ... I kid you not... she looked me straight in the eye and mentioned these three simple words that almost sent me through the roof... "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" (OCD). Immediately I shook my head no and quickly threw up walls, unwilling to even consider what she had to say because clearly she had no idea what she was talking about and didn't even know me! Fast forward a couple of years and here I find myself for the past several weeks being the closer at work...which means I am responsible for making sure a certain part of the building gets locked up for the night/weekend... and can I just tell you how many times I check to make sure those doors are locked! Not only that...but how much I stress each night and weekend worried that maybe the doors were somehow left unlocked even though, if I think about it, I know that I locked them. It's got me thinking that maybe this therapist lady was a little right and maybe I should have listened to what she had to say about this...and other things...a little more carefully.
Now obviously, me checking to see if I locked the door over and over again, or obssessing about whether or not it was locked all night or weekend, doesn't mean this therapist was actually right in her prognosis. But...if I am honest... I've noticed other things I do that totally fit what she was saying too and it's a bit hard to take it all in. For instance I have all sorts of silly rituals that I do each day....I have to wake up on a 5 or else I feel wrong getting out of bed, so my alarm is always set for 5:55 or 6:25. I have to put my shoes on and tie them in a specific order or I feel weird about starting my day. I even have to drive specific routes to certain locations otherwise I feel uneasy and think my day might be doomed. Now mind you, none of this is really a conscious decision, it's just something I do and it only really sticks out to me when I change my routine and feel quite stressed out about it, as if not doing one of these things can determine the whole course of my day.
Then there's the whole other side...what goes on in my mind. Now I've always been an over thinker... like a way over thinker....but honestly there are times I can repeat the same thought over and over and over again in my head, like I'm practicing it for a final exam. I can't really explain it and I honestly didn't even think anything of it until few months ago when I caught myself literally repeating over and over again a scenario in my head and how I felt about it, as if the hours of mental replay would actually change anything about what had happen.
Now I don't share all of this to say that yes, I most definitely now agree with this therapist and its possible that maybe she had a point about me having a mild case of OCD. And, If I am even more honest, it scares me to even share these kinds of truths about myself with the general public because I know I am leaving myself open and vulnerable to criticism, judgment, and the various opinions of man. But...I share this with you all anyway, despite all that, because the more I think about it, the more I see that all these rituals and all these thought patterns come down to one specific thing...CONTROL. I have a need to feel like I am in control... and the very fact that I so desperately long for control...and that I actually think that doing any or all of these things can somehow allow me to control the outcome of my day... tells me that ultimately I am not placing my trust in God.
Now, you might be thinking, what's the big deal? We all try to have some sense of control in our lives...does that really mean your not trusting God? Well, for me, it does. I mean, in doing all these things and over thinking situations as I do, I am basically saying that I think I am somehow more capable figuring out life on my own and trusting in my own abilities than I am in allowing the God of the universe....the God who created me and knows everything about me and this world....to guide me through this life! Is that not both insanely ridiculous and awfully audacious of me to believe?!?! Think about it....here is febble me who literally cannot even control her emotions half the time, telling GOD...the one who was before all and over all... that I can better determine the course of my life on a daily basis by only ever rolling out of bed from one specific side of it or making sure I leave a specific light on in the house when I leave for work (or a million other silly rituals), than HE is able to do if I would just put my trust in Him COMPLETELY. It sounds silly just typing it out and the mental picture it gives me makes me want to laugh (or maybe cry).
Now to be honest, I am not sure when this way of life started for me....it's probably been a part of me for much longer than I even realize... but now that I see it, I don't like it. I don't like the pressure and the fear I put on my own shoulders when I think I have to do it all right or my life will fall apart. I don't like that I think I have to control situations and if I make one false move or say one wrong things I can send my life into oblivion (okay, that statement might be a little bit of an overstatement, but you get what I am trying to say, I hope.). And the truth is, I don't think this was ever how God intended me (or anyone to live). He says in His word that His yoke is easy and His burden in light. And I think when I learn to let go and trust Him to be who He IS, instead of trying to control everything all myself, I will actually experience true freedom. So that's my prayer...that God would help me to change by helping me learn to hand over the CONTROL of my life to him and to TRUST him COMPLETELY, without any "help" from me.