My Crazy is Hiding Under the Bed

11:43 AMHeather

I am so blessed to have four women in my life who meet with me regularly to study the Bible. This motley group formed seemingly by happenstance...but we all know God was in it. These ladies are so real and authentic and such a blessing. We meet as often as we can, and we text more regularly. Text threads that should never be made public. One of them described our little group as snarky and sincere.

We all share the spiritual gift of sarcasm. It's an art form, basically.

So, this week as we laughed and shared and prayed together, we somehow got on the topic of when you realize your own crazy. You know, those moments when you see some weird habit or aversion or pet peeve and know that you got your own crazy happening. Two of the ladies (who were college roommates and hence have much history) talked about how they went through a season of admitting these to each other. They would pick up the phone and rat themselves out with the other one. 

"Hey, I got one! I just realized I [fill in the blank]."

We all five laughed and decided this practice of revelation and confession was something we could do together. Since we essentially do this anyway when we are able to all get together.

So first of all--you four friends can rest assured, I will not share you crazy here, on the world wide web for the planet to know.

Second of all--I am not going to just let it all hang out here for you bloggy friends.

But I will tell you today about one of my crazy things.

I tend to lean to being OCD. Okay, maybe greatly. As my co-workers in my first job might attest. Me--with all my charts and case notes that were color coded and my little zipper pouch of markers, pens, highlighters, pencils, post it notes, and a wide array of other supplies that I would carry to our weekly staffings JUST IN CASE.

Oh, sure. They laughed at me and had a lovely nickname for me, which I won't reveal because it's too hard to explain. 

But who did they lean on when they suddenly needed a sticky tab to mark their case notes during a staffing?

So, yes. I like things orderly. Yes. My sister used to pay me to clean her room, which I would have done simply for the thrill of organizing. And okay already, I once won a door prize at a women's luncheon for proving to be the most OCD person there.

That's not even the crazy I was getting to here. 

Yep. I know. You call it a sickness. I choose to call it a GIFT. 

And you laugh now, but who are you gonna call when you need someone to help you organize?

So part of this weird/crazy thing about me is my nearly frenzied response every time we check out of a hotel room. I double check that we've left nothing behind.

Except it's a bit more compulsive than that.

I triple check. And my heart rate goes up and my stomach churns and my adrenaline pumps. I feel frantic inside. Nearly panicked. As if relief can come only by looking under the bed, in every drawer, in the shower, in the closet, repeatedly.

Even if we have never so much as opened a drawer during said hotel stay.

The finality of closing that door for the last time with no way of getting back in to grab anything we forgot just about unravels me.

And props to my kids and my husband who don't laugh at me, but usually graciously agree to double check for me.

I'd like to think it's because they empathize and they want to be helpful.

But I'm sure it's because they are OVER it and want to get the heck outta there without my compulsively going back over every square inch of the space. 

Again. And then one more time.

So there's that.

Just one of my weird things that rears it's head during every trip away from home.

And then, a light bulb moment this morning revealed that this habit has long spilled into my relationship with God.

Like big time.

Because I tend to check and double check and ask and wonder and want to ask again.  

Did I miss something?  God, did I miss something? When something doesn't go my way or when we are still waiting for some things we've long asked for--what have I missed?

What drawer did I not look into it?

What bed did I not look under?

Because surely. Surely, there is something here I have missed. Surely, there was some answer I didn't hear or some choice I didn't make or some path I mistakenly took that led me to where I am.

Like the unmarried friend who once confided that she has gone back over her years of dating and adulthood to wonder where she missed the chance to marry, as she had so expected would have happened by now. A given. A dream. Now, feeling like a faded hope. So surely, she missed something. Somewhere.

And I think emotionally it's spot-on with how I feel when I leave a hotel room.

I see circumstances in my life that were not what I had planned. And I wonder where I forgot to look for that answer...that thing...that path...that choice...which would have brought me to a different outcome. I'm questioning myself. Over and over. And in so doing, I am actually questioning God.

When my kids struggle. I wonder what the answer is and how it might have been avoided or where I may have let them down. When our finances are tanking, I wonder where I went wrong or how I mismanaged our income and bill paying. I calculate and recalculate how I might make it right and where I might straighten the ship, so to speak.

When friendships hit conflict and rough spots, I'm digging mentally all around for where I messed up and how to fix it and where I was wronged and how to make others make it right and how to prove myself and validate my side of things.

When teachers have something to say about my student, I'm in a mental frenzy about it all and where we got off track and where my kid might end up.

And it feels exactly like my emotional and physical response when I leave a hotel room. Frenzied. Frustrating. Frantic. Anxiety ridden.

This morning, I realized something.

I reveal such unbelief in God's plan for my life, in his faithfulness to me, and in his sovereignty over it all when I allow myself to engage in this mental and emotional debate. 

Every single time that I am opening and closing drawers and lifting up bedspreads and looking under the bed for something I think I've missed, I am actually displaying such a deep level of doubt. 

Because I can tend to treat God like someone who plays hide and seek. And if I only exert enough energy or look in all the potential hiding places and say the right prayers and do the right things, THEN I might find him. THEN, I might uncover his plans. THEN, I might unearth the good things of my hopes and dreams.

As if God and his plans for me are some elusive lost thing, somewhere in the nooks and crannies of a hotel room. And if I don't look hard enough, they will not be found. So I cannot even fathom closing the door and walking out and onward to the next thing until I have obsessively double checked and triple checked.

And I devalue and ignore his power and his character and how he actually relates to me. I dare to think so much of myself that I could thwart or change or manipulate God and his plans for me.

All the while, he sits on the throne, ruling the entire universe that he created with just a spoken word. And he reminds me, over and over and over again.

He is not a God of hide and seek. 

But he is a God of seek and find.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

And not only does God reassure and promise me that he is not a God who hides or plays games, he adds a specific promise about his plans for me...just two verses before that.

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 hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

He knows. He has a plan. He longs to pour hope and a future out for me. If I will just leave him to it, surrendering and submitting to Him. And seeking him.

Then, I will find him.

As my pastor says, he is not a vending machine. I don't put my coins in and make my selection. And then kick and hit or try to manipulate the machine when it doesn't give me what I thought I wanted.

I don't have to search under every piece of furniture and behind the shower curtain, as if game playing, to find God and his plans for me.

I can just rest assured that when my heart is bent on following Him, he will lead. And he has a plan. And a timing. He is all for me and not against me. His heart toward me is my ultimate good and holiness. And His glory, above all else.

So my part to play is to quit searching frantically. 

To sit and embrace the places he has me. To trust his sovereignty and submit to it. Surrendered to Him, going where I feel he leads me and asking him to direct and guide me. As long as I am pursuing him and not running from him, then I can rest.

I can rest with deep breaths, all the way to a soul level, that I am with the people I am with, in the places where I am, doing the things that I do on a daily basis because it's exactly where I was meant to be.  

The ministry and spheres of influences where I am currently placed is exactly where I was meant to be. I can trust him for all the hidden things to be revealed in his timing and according to his plan. I can rest assured that he will bring to light what he intends and when he intends it. He will open doors for my future and new opportunities in his perfect timing.

And when I look around at what others have going on for them, I can be sure that if it's not where I am then it's not where I am meant to be. Not now. Not yet. When I look longingly at the opportunities that other people have and think I don't measure up, then I am essentially looking in drawers frantically to find something that is actually not missing.

If I can only learn to walk in the paths where he's placed me and move forward with faith and hope that nothing has gone missing.

If only I can stop the madness, stop the crazy and just walk out of the hotel room.

Slamming the door on some insane game of hide and seek.

Knowing that our God has it well under control. And I can look to him and find him. And then with great belief in his goodness toward me, I can fully embrace the places and people and things he has for me. Right here. Right now.

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