It’s time for us, I mean ‘me’ to get me off of my mind and stop pouring on the care-giving. I’m personally planning a retirement party! I’m retiring from self-care. No, not the good kind of care. I’m referring to the worry about who said what, or who did what and how it all affects me. It’s time for a party! It’s time for a Hallelujah! Can I get one?
While I’m waiting for God to do what He is doing through and in my life, my plan is to stay busy by asking God to make me a blessing for someone each day. In fact, a year ago, I used to drive to work each morning and talk to God. It was my prayer time, both before and after work. I would ask God to lead me to someone that I could bless and in the midst of all of the struggles and life changes, I stopped asking to be a blessing.
It’s time to drop those struggles in the clothes basket. God’s hamper. He is now in charge of washing my load of dirty struggles. I’m going to take up the cross and follow Jesus!
It’s time to start living for others. I’m starting over. That’s the great thing about God’s love. He grants start overs!
I want to start right here by saying care-giving was a learned trait. I watched my Mother take care of us all. She was excellent at it. We never needed anything. She was the best Mom I could have been blessed with. I learned to be the caregiver. I emulated that behavior from watching my mother, but I went overboard. I did these things with a right heart however. That was simply one of my ways of showing love, but anything in excess is too much.
Here is the irony and the path of my life in regard to care-giving. I received mixed signals most of my life. To start with, for years I felt guilty doing things for myself. I see this now. I would put myself last. I can remember shopping and putting everything back from my shopping cart if it was for me personally. I have done this for years. I watched my mother do the same thing! In fact we used to laugh about it. We would fill our carts full and by the time we got to the register, if we went to the register, there was nothing in it for us!
Next chapter. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and what did the doctors tell me? They told me that it was ‘time for me to take care of me’. In fact they said that’ it was time to be a little selfish and take care of me’. I remember thinking…
“oh wow…I’ve been given permission to take care of my needs for a change. This is going to be fun!”
I would read if I wanted to. I would take a nap if I wanted to. In time, I would go shopping if I wanted to. I would drive in my car if I wanted to. I would go out to dinner with friends if I wanted to. Talk about back and forth like a revolving door of emotions. I would say to my ex, “no, you can make dinner, the doctor told me to take care of me.” They didn’t mean forever, yet it was good for ‘the ex’ to do it for others sometimes. (Another long chapter.)
I see now the only way to be truly happy within is to trust my God to do whatever he has planned in my life and through my life. I can relax and not force. I can retire.
If I need encouragement, instead of ‘expecting’ my needs to be met by someone, I am going to say to God that I need encouragement from him. I will trust that He will do just that and how and through whomever He decides. Instead of ‘expecting’ someone to treat me a certain way, I’m going to give it to God! I’m going to trust God to meet my needs. I am going to ‘expect’ God to meet my needs! I’m going to say to God…
“if you want me to be happy, or want me to have love or this or that, from now on I will come to you ‘FIRST’! I’m exhausted from striving, trying to control and out of control life. I’m not that strong. If I am going to be anything, do anything, have anything – a job, a passion, a love, I am going to ask you God to provide it … then expect. While I’m waiting though….I’m going to be enjoying being a blessing elsewhere! I’m going to get ‘Me’ off my mind!
Let me go back one more time, to the time I learned to care give to the extreme! From that extreme to the next extreme of allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I was horrified when I realized I had ‘allowed it’.
When I stepped out in faith and asked God to release me from His covenant, He moved within two days and released me. Do you know when he delivered me? When I asked him directly for what I wanted if it was His will!..DIRECTLY I asked for it! I said…
“God I know that marriage is sacred and that ‘covenant’ is your word but if you will release me, I will walk in this life to bring you honor!”
I remember being afraid to ask for that when it came to mind, and yet somehow I knew to say the word ‘covenant’ this time. It was my Holy Spirit guiding me and it was His timing that God blessed me. Why had I forgotten that beautiful moment? It proves the point that when you ask God or go to God directly, he will move!
God asks us to come to him with a broken and contrite heart and I was there….and God moved! I should have stayed and prayed in that position more often. I realize that I must have fallen into the rabbit hole I recently was reminded of, only I was thinking of using the ‘rabbit hole’ for a different purpose entirely! I see now I had to fall in that proverbial rabbit hole, so God could get me to stop and let Him help me, for Him to right my position, to take His hand instead of pushing it away. I had pushed Him away so many times along with so many others. I thought I was right next to him or that I was interacting properly with God.
I also thought I was learning to stand on my feet by setting boundaries which are good yet ironically from care-giving…I went right into needing to be rescued. There has to be a balance somewhere I suppose.
I had pushed God and everyone away and allowed fear to care for me, to control me. I had wrapped myself..NO… I allowed it (fear) to wrap around me. I was care-giving to myself or so I thought.
I had to reach the point of exhaustion from all of my striving to say to God …that….
“I’m tired. I need you. I can’t move another muscle. I can’t push forward one more inch. I need you to take over. God if you want me to be happy, healthy, fulfilled, encouraged, loved. I am going to let you give those things to me. I’m going to let you make me happy. I’m going to let you show me how. I am going to let you teach me how to be healthy and fulfilled and encouraged and God I will even let you love me. I think I’m going to retire now. I know you protect me and have the best for me in your mind and heart. I know you have me in the palm of your hands and you are at my back and front door and overhead. I give it all to you! Every drop of striving. I’m tired. Can you take it from here please God? One more thing God, if I pick it up again (striving), I’m going to quickly lay it back down and keep doing so until I get tired of bending over to pick it up! God, I give you permission to take it from me should I do that for a while. I’m going to trust you now God! It’s your will and your way….
Thank you God for not retiring. I will be pressing on…. at my ‘retirement party!” Cake anyone?