I sat tense and impatient in the middle of the outdated patterned loveseat across from my therapist, he effortlessly read the morse code my foot tapped revealing my level of anxiety. “Stephanie, what’s going on in your world? You seem distressed. You have a look of worry?!” Shrugging my shoulders in an attempt to shed the weight of his observation, “No..nothing. I can’t think of why?! I had a list of things I was going to bring to discuss with you but I can’t remember them so they must not have been important..” In between the answering and asking of questions in an attempt to unmask the villain behind my anxiety, the generic Iphone ringtone fills the air interrupting our progress, I excuse myself to attend to the questions of concrete and gravel. After the fifth phone call within 10 minutes my doctor passive-aggressively asks, “How many times does that phone ring in a day?!”
I responded with an awkward laugh as I searched the paneled walls for an answer only to give up an exhausted “I couldn’t even tell you.”
His eyes lit up and opened wide and it was as if I saw the lightbulb flash above his head. “Stephanie, what all have you got to do today?” I didn’t want to tell him. I didn’t want to hear the same song track that my husband plays on repeat from my therapist. The words sounding so matter-of-fact meshed with pity triggering my shoulders to grow broader and my back to straighten as I position myself to deliver my defense. I was an expert in this fight. I had fought it so many times with Donald I knew just what to say to shut down the opposition’s argument.
“I have to do it because if I don’t it won’t get done and that’ll just give me more to do tomorrow.” I felt a tinge of satisfaction as the words left my lips with such confidence. I knew that I had delivered the final blow and it was over. I could slump back into that magnolia patterned overstuffed chair and continue to answer other questions in between phone calls.
“Do you know where your worth lies? It’s not in your performance. It’s in the simple fact that you are His child. Just like you love your child exactly the same if they make an A or a F, God loves you just the same. In His word He tells us to be still, David wrote that He lays me down in green pastures and leads me beside the still waters. Stephanie you gotta make time to be still. God commands it.”
I’m going to share something I read somewhere once..
“If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”
I had fallen all too eagerly for Satan’s lie. The lie that busy is best. The lie that I must do it all, all the time.
As my therapist scribbled on a post-it note scriptures for me to read the tinge of satisfaction slowly morphed into regret as his words hung heavy in the air around me. I sat quietly as I tried desperately to breathe in all the fragments of wisdom before they dissipated at each cry of my phone. We ended our session with a prayer and I quickly shuffled to my truck and there I sat.
“Father, forgive me. Teach me to be still. I’ve been a Martha instead of a Mary. forgive me.”
God has a sense of humour but then again He knows me so well He knew He would have to physically restrain me for me to learn the lesson of still. I woke up Friday feeling dizzy, stuffy, and exhausted and even after a visit to the doctor and a steriod/antibiotic shot I wasn’t where I needed to be for the slumber party my eldest was having that night. With each passing hour my energy waned more and more until finally at 1:00 a.m. I waved the white flag of surrender and used the mom/teacher voice on that gaggle of giggling girls forcing them to turn the lights out and turn in for the night.
It wasn’t until I physically couldn’t do that I was still. I laid in bed all day Sunday and do you know who met me there? God. My Father and I were just still. He had drug my stubborn, exhausted butt to the still waters. Do you know what He told me?
It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being present.
So Momma your husband doesn’t require perfection just your presence. Your children don’t know if you’re screwing up, they just want you. Your friends could care less if you remebered their Great Aunt Susie’s birthday, they only want a safe judgement-free zone to rest their weary Momma head when their toddlers are acting like tiny terrorists. And most importantly God doesn’t want you rushing in and out of His prescence in an attempt to acheive some impossible level of prefection..especially when it’s already been accomplished for you.
He just wants you. All of you. Not perfect, present.
*Highly recommend this book by Carolanne Miljavac. God’s using this woman and I don’t want to miss a bit of it..and I don’t want you too either.