I never realized what a complete control-freak I am until it came time to plan my wedding. I've always known that I prefer to be in the driver's seat when it comes to doing things (I mean, who else can do something as perfectly as me?), but when it came time to plan my wedding I became a to-do list freak. I timed, down to the second, when my bridesmaids would walk down the aisle. I made an itinerary that was at least 5 pages long for all of our wedding party...and I still agonize nearly a year later that I told the ushers to be in the wrong place at the right time and they ended up missing out on our formal pictures. I was such a control-freak that when I left to get my hair done on the morning of the wedding, my loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and bridesmaids were panicking asking Jen whether I wanted pink AND green jelly beans on all tables, or just one corresponding color. And then there was a near meltdown when they ran out of jelly beans. And guess who didn't even realize there were jelly beans at the reception until she got professional pictures back? Yep, that's right, the control freak BRIDE!
I think this control issue has only gotten worse since the wedding. And now it's started to apply to my relationship with God. I'm not sure why I think it's okay to be in the driver's seat when I'm riding in the car with God, but for some reason, I've come to think this. Today, Jeff did a sermon called "Chase the Lion." It was about doing things that are destined to fail without the help of some divine intervention...and it really got me thinking. I have some serious issues in my life that need to be surrendered to God...one particular thing that will never be resolved unless God takes a hold and shows me how to let go.
Ever since 5th grade, I have had horrible self-esteem and self-image issues. Do you know how sad it is that a 10-year-old thought that she needed to lose weight? That makes 12 years of me hating myself, the way I looked on the outside, and the way I felt about myself on the inside. This issue is so big that I really don't remember a time when I wasn't thinking about my weight. I know there has to be a time when my little, carefree mind wanted nothing to do with the reflection in the mirror, but I honestly can't remember a time like that. I rate every picture I see of myself on how "skinny" I look in it. If I don't live up to my own impossibly high standards, then it's a bad picture. This "issue" has even pushed me towards anorexia and doing stupid, stupid stuff to make myself look "better." And to be honest? I'm never going to look like Heidi Klum or any of the other Victoria's Secret models. I'm athletic. And I have my dad's calves (Lord, please help my children!). And I rode horses and swam for years. I've got some muscles!
So this morning, I decided to pass this problem of mine over to God. I'm so tired of living life this way. I'm so tired of constantly thinking that I need to be better; that I need to be prettier, or skinnier, or taller, or faster, or stronger. There's never going to be a number on the scale that is "perfect" for me and I'm never going to get to a point where I'm thin enough...unless God takes control. And I can't describe the terror that runs through me at the thought of letting go. That seems so silly too...why should I be scared to let my GOD take control? One part is fear of the unknown...What happens if I stop constantly finding something to improve on; what if I spiral out of control the other way and end up incredibly overweight? The other big part of my fear is because I don't know how to let go...I don't know how to take a step forward. I have spent so long hating myself that I've forgotten what is involved in loving myself.
This morning Jeff talked about how there are two parts to learning - one is taking in new information and the other is "un-learning" all the wrong information. I've got 12 years worth of un-learning to start...I have to un-learn that every time I get in front of the mirror is a time to critique my appearance. I have to un-learn that the numbers on the scale matter. I have to un-learn that a dress size matters. I have to un-learn that a six-pack is what matters. Most importantly I have to LEARN that my husband, my family, and my GOD think that I am beautiful, inside and out.
Please, please pray for me. I've always thought that I was always going to have to deal with this problem; I never thought that it could be gone. I need God to show me how to let go, how to love, and how to accept the way he created me.