God often uses the simplest things to reveal my ugliness to me. I may as well call it ugly, because that's what it is. Sin is always ugly when you get to the root of it. As for the use of simple things? He knows my head doesn't do well with the complicated.
One month ago we were getting ready to do the move. I had been dreading it. I know it sounds ridiculous, (we were moving 50 feet away) but this move wore me out. Usually I am organized and every single box is labelled on two sides. This time there was no packing involved. We simply used 6 empty containers, loaded them up, carried them across the muddy (ick ick ick) yard, and put everything away in the house. It made it simpler in the long run....it was just A LOT of work. Thankfully Gord rigged up a sidewalk of sorts because both of our moving days included rain.
Almost everything that we moved needed to be wiped down. I knew the dust was bad...but I was still horrified at the layers of it everywhere. I finally realized that I needed some help, and yet my stubborn, mennonite mentality kicked in. I have a hard time asking for help...and an even harder time admitting that I need it. But I didn't have much choice. Family was coming from out of town to help us move and, ready or not (dust and all) they were going to move things that were disgustingly dirty. Oh my pride. Some people could care less, but I care...very much.
Two ladies kindly took rags and water, and proceeded to wipe down every single jar full of food...and I can a lot. They wiped the filthy shelves, and my inner self was filled with shame that they would see my lack of cleanliness. I cringed when I gave them a new chore to tackle, knowing very well what they would find when they started cleaning. I tried so very hard not to apologize for the state of the shop...and failed. I really did these woman a dis-service. My actions said that they judge the value of our friendship, based on how well I manage my home. Yet, I know these ladies love me for who I am....not for what I can do. I was, and always have been, far too concerned as to how people perceive me. I do not like to fail, and I was taught not to. I always had the impression as a child, that appearances DO matter. Unfortunately I have carried that viewpoint with me into adulthood.
This isn't the first time I've been aware of this. I'm starting to think I should be given a sign to wear with a capital 'L', like they do in BC for the student drivers. Contrary to what my friends and I said, the 'L' stands for 'Learner'......not 'Loser.' Although those days when I'm in a battle, I usually feel like a loser. And so comes the vital part. Separating truth from fiction. I AM learning and I will not lose a battle that God has already won for me. I've come along way from where I used to be...a 'people pleaser' by nature. But every now and then God continues to refine that area, and every time I cringe at the intrusion. The sad truth is that if I crave the approval of man more than the approval of God, then I have a serious problem with Idolatry. And since Misery loves company, I am greatly relieved that I am not alone in this camp.
It is easy to place my identity in everything, EXCEPT Christ. And yet, that is the only thing that should truly define me as a being. I am a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, and a Friend, BUT one day I will stand before Christ. It will not matter if I was not a sister on earth, or if I wasn't a mother. What WILL matter is whether or not I am HIS Child.
The titles I hold now are a blessing. God requires that I be a good steward of them. They help me grow in my relationship to God, but they should not define me. Think about it. In Heaven I will not be a mother...not even a wife. My earthly flesh struggles with this concept, but (and I am paraphrasing Kara Tippets) all the relationships here on earth (especially marriage) are a crumb compared to what we will have when we reach Eternity.
When I truly look at who I am in Christ, everything else should fall away. "In Christ Alone" should be my daily prayer. Thank God that He uses simple ways to bring me back. He used dust this time, it could be envy or fear next time. Regardless of His methods, He will always reach me in a way I can understand....and He's pretty creative :)