I grew up watching a lot of tv. It was my escape. I had many shows I loved to watch, but one in particular that I would like to mention was “Bewitched.” I just loved watching Samantha twitch that nose of hers to get herself out of trouble or fix something that was wrong. I used to think it would be so nice to have a nose like hers. (Hey! I was a kid!) But seriously–sometimes–wouldn’t that be nice?
Because I lived in an unhealthy environment, many of the decisions I made were also unhealthy. I didn’t see a healthy marriage between my parents, so I really didn’t know what a good relationship looked like. Thankfully, I became a Christian when I was twelve and had a church and Young Life that gave me great Bible teaching. I was also hungry for God’s word in my life, so I enjoyed learning and studying. I had a good foundation for my faith. But, because I was living a lie, I had a hard time being honest with myself and with God.
Of course l struggled with my self-image. I had red hair and freckles and got made fun of a lot when I was little. The two phrases I heard a lot were: “I would rather be dead than red on the head” And, “Freckled face strawberry!” I had tight curls around my face that I absolutely hated. We didn’t have straighteners back in the olden days, so I put tons of Dippity-do and tape on them. (Anyone out there remember that wonderful product?) I would look at many of my friends who had beautiful long straight hair and be so envious of them. (You can see those wonderful bangs in my class picture above. I am right in the middle with the red hair.)
God blessed me with wonderful friends during high school and college. (He knew I needed them.) Because I was a leader with Young Life, I had a community of believers who were supportive in helping me grow my faith. I still treasure all the fun times I had with them. They were saving my life!
The biggest problem I had was the fact that I couldn’t see how unhealthy my desire was for my Dad to accept me and love me. I almost killed myself trying to get his approval. I didn’t see that I wanted him to love me more than I wanted God’s love. He was my abuser, but I still wanted Him to love me and give me his approval. I didn’t see how sick that really was. He caused me so much pain, but I still wanted to have a relationship with him.
I have learned so much since then and I am so grateful that God opened my eyes to see how unhealthy I was. I think I might have been able to see things better if I would have been honest with myself and with others. I never told anyone about my Dad and now that I have read and studied all these years, that was the worst thing for me to do. Satan wants us to keep things in the dark and not bring them into the light. Once the light hits them, they begin to unravel and Satan does not want that! He wants us to stay it in the dark.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. “
Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
I believed so many lies. I thought my Dad’s approval and love was the key to my happiness. I thought if I could just get him to see things differently then he would change and my life would get better. I was placing my personal happiness on a person and I was so very wrong! I think we all have a tendency to do that! “If this situation or this person would only change…..then I would be happy.” My thinking was wrong for so many years. I was in a constant state of disappointment because of that thinking.
The person that needed to change was me! I needed to quit placing my happiness on other people and what they were or weren’t doing. I actually thought if my Dad would just listen to me, he would change. I was putting myself in God’s place. I thought I could fix him if he would just let me. Boy oh boy was I wrong! I look back and think, “Who in the world did I think I was? I can’t fix anybody. I can pray for them and guide them, but the real fixing needs to come from God. I mean…He created them in the first place and He knows them far better than I do. I need to back off and let Him be God.” Even if we have to step back and watch painful things happen to that person, we need to back off. And that is very hard to do when you love someone!
I have been reading the book “Audacious” by Beth Moore. She said something that made me stop and take notice and reread over and over again. I just have to share it. “Any relationship that ultimately and absolutely cannot withstand your audacious love for Jesus will almost certainly be a snare to you. If you remain strongly influenced by it, it will trip you up over and over, fog your spiritual vision, cloud your mind with confusion, and keep you in a perpetual state of frustration. Any profoundly controlling relationship that curtails your right to love Jesus Christ with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength could cost you your calling. It could suck the air out of the lungs of the life you were born to live.” Read it again if you are struggling with a relationship that is controlling your life. This could cost you your calling!
Those words are truth! it took me 50 years to see that! You see, you just can’t put anyone or anything above God. You will be miserable. I know! I have been there! Only God can change people. We can talk till we are blue in the face, and sometimes that works, but most of the time it doesn’t. People need to want to change. And most of the time, we need to get out of God’s way in order for that to happen. We need to walk away. We need to pray. We need to trust Him to do the work. And we need to stay strong and not get sucked in when they say they need us or want our help. Refer them to a counselor or a pastor. Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is nothing. You can love from a distance. I learned the best thing for me was to stay out of God’s way. And when you are a “fixer” by nature, that is a hard thing to do! Beth says, “Bow down and don’t play God. Let Him do His job.”
She said something else that really got to me. “We humans desire most what we love most.” This made me think about my desires. I think most of them are pretty good, but when I love my desires more than God, I get myself into trouble. I become the fixer instead of letting God be the One to fix that person. I have always struggled with intervening and not allowing God to do the work. I guess I think He needs my help! (Ha Ha!) So for all of us out there who struggle with this, I have a great reminder for us.
“Look, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too difficult for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
One of my biggest problems my whole life has been believing that I can ask God for something. I learned when I was a child that I was better off not asking for things. I became self-reliant and a fixer. I was better off taking care of myself. “Don’t ask, just do.” (I still struggle.) But, I have been asking, searching, and knocking for eighteen years now and I have found that God answers—He shows me truth—and He opens the door—He acts!
“He is at work. That we, too, get to work with Him. That He surrounds us. Meets with us. Abides in us. Abounds with love for us.” Moore
I want to encourage you to ask your friends to stand with you while you seek the Lord. We all need people to support us and pray for us. We need people who will speak truth to us when we need it. Basically we all need a support group! We need to be honest with our struggles and love one another through them. Find people you can trust to do that for you. We all need help and encouragement throughout our lives.
I want to be a follower of Jesus until I take my last breath. I want to help as many people as I can along the way. Because of the power of Jesus in my life, I hope I will one day say, “Hello. My name is Laurie. I was once a fixer, but now I am free!”
Until next time…..
**If you would like to pray for me, I would appreciate it!