I’ve been sitting here in my bed for the last half hour or so as I just continue to stare out into my room. My clothes are strewn about. Socks lay next to my boots instead of the hamper that’s only a few inches away. The bag of paper trash is more than full. Jackets are falling off hangers and I lay in a bed that still remains to be unmade. If I can say so myself, I’ve come a long way since high school.
I am no longer that girl who could not have people in her room for too long without the fear of it becoming messy or the person in the house who hated the sight of food left out on the table. I still take pleasure in being early to events and meetings but arriving ridiculously so is an old habit to me now. And among many other things, having a few unplanned extra things in my day doesn’t leave me at my wit’s end.
It’s amazing the things God does to you and for you when you take the time to pray about it.
It was about a year ago that I noticed how a bit overly dramatic I was when it came to having things done my way. If I didn’t complain about it, I sure was silently stressing about it. It was never a real problem to me though because I found joy in the sense of control I had. Unfortunately that bubble burst after I realized how little the amount I actually had after my sister got married (In the Nigerian culture, as well as probably hundreds of others, after the older sibling settles down everyone in and outside of your family turns to you to find out when your wedding will be. I’m sure they meant well but it still left me with a lot to think about). When the time eventually comes for me to get married what if my husband is great in all areas except cleanliness? What if he leaves the cereal bag inside the box unraveled? What if he he’s the type to leave his clean clothes in the dryer for days after they’re done. What if he leaves the toilet paper roll facing up not down? (Okay my need for clean wasn’t as cray as the direction of toilet paper but still) My head was processing a thousand What ifs per second?
Using all the faith I had, I prayed that God would start working on him now. That he would go through a series of life events that would make him turn into the clean man I needed. However, like most things in life, God always has a different plan. Maybe it was the fact that I was so intent on what I wanted that I failed to realize until a few months later that God said:
"You need to allow room for more dirt in your life."
And to that I replied, “God say whaaaat?!” I mean isn’t there an old saying that goes cleanliness is next to Godliness?
You see, what I have now come to realize is that it was never about being clean but an extreme way to control things. A way to make myself feel better about myself. A way to make myself feel better than others. When God told me to “get dirty” He didn’t actually mean become a slob. He was trying to show me that things were not in my power to control because that was and still is His job. He also wanted to show me just how much I needed Him to make me even better than the standards I had for myself. Additionally, while all that was going on, getting rid of these overly zealous ideals allowed more room for new and older relationships to grow. Just because some people were not as organized as I would like them to be didn’t mean they were bad friends, co-workers, or family members. Who was I to judge? I was a clean freak and look how I terribly I thought of other people.
Anyway, long story short, I began to understand what God was doing, who He was trying to turn me into. After that I then began to pray for the opposite. Instead of making my husband cleaner, I asked Him to allow me to accept things that do not go my way. Allow my heart to be content with situations, people, and yes, happily welcome “dirt” into my life.
It’s such a relieving feeling to relinquish control because I know something greater than me has my best interest at hand and also has the power to do far more than I ever thought possible.
PS. I’m not going to leave my room in the current state I just described - I will clean it up...eventually ;)