That’s ENOUGH!

Sometimes we death-grip the very things that are destroying
us. We stubbornly wield such control over our lives, writhing, twisting, madly dashing to flee God’s gentle hand in our
situation, eyes blindly fixed on our self-made path–that He has no choice but
to say, “ENOUGH!”  To render us
physically incapable of further movement in a direction that is simply not His
best for us. This is a sad state of affairs, and one, regrettably, that I have
experienced more than once on my journey.
When it comes to this, I picture my faithful Father standing
over me, in a defeated heap on the floor, sadly shaking His all-knowing head. If only you had listened, my child. I tried
to save you from this.
You see, I am a recovering perfectionistic control
freak. Yikes. (“Recovering”, as in, not yet fully arrived–but a work of God in
progress. And I thank God for my “under construction” status! Anything’s better
than my pre-renovation state!)
For years I tried to manipulate every aspect of my life to
minimize inconvenience and pain, and construct a flawless exterior that would
be the envy of all.
I adhered unflinchingly to my babies’ schedules, oftentimes
missing out on life-giving experiences in the process, to ensure their
consistent sleep. Fearful of missing opportunities for my children to shine, I
jam-packed our calendar with lessons and social commitments, leaving our family
little breathing room. In a pursuit of perfection and societal acceptance, I
developed an unhealthy fitness obsession that ultimately brought me to my
knees. Burned by friends in the past, I wore masks to hold others at a
distance, isolating myself for years, rather than putting myself out there to
experience true intimacy with my sisters in Christ.
In the process, however, I squelched much of the joy that
God meant for me to experience in this life, and impeded the good work He was
trying to complete in me. But, ever in control, God won out in the end, thankfully.
When as a young mother I was reduced to a self-inflicted puddle
of weariness, wondering why on earth my babies were not pliably conforming and producing
the consistent results I desired, God spoke through my husband: “Leslie, human
behavior is erratic. ” It was just the reality check my irrational mind
needed!
On more than one occasion, when our swollen family calendar
has spun out of control, rendering our family exhausted in the wake of too many
commitments and too little rest, He has used physical illness to confine us to
the couch, leaving us no choice but to recharge and reflect.
When I was wearing myself out, logging excessive hours at
the gym in pursuit of the perfect physique, my Heavenly Father used a foot
injury to force me to rest. When I found myself caught up in the same self-made
hurricane only months later, He disciplined me with a painful,
character-building exercise fast that forever changed my perspective.
When my self-built wardrobe of masks had grown too large for
my aching heart’s closet capacity, God called my bluff, exposing me in front of
others in a torrent of tears as I shared my testimony with my Bible study. This
vulnerable moment He arranged, only to pleasantly surprise me with the intimacy
with others that only comes from being authentic and relatable.
God alone knows
what we need. I am learning to lean into Him, rather than stubbornly resisting,
during these times when He wants to set me straight.
Lord, thank You for Your
loving discipline in our lives, though it’s painful at times! You care deeply
about our every need, and want only the best for us. Help us to listen to Your
instruction, rather than going our own destructive way.

Come to the River…
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,
‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a
future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to
completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “ Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Personalize…
When in your life have you left God no choice but to stop
you in your tracks? What did you learn from this experience? How can you lean
in to your Creator’s gentle guidance in the future?

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