There’s a way to guarantee our misery. To necessarily create an ever-increasing bad attitude. But there’s also a way to grab hold of joy. And herein lies our daily battle, a battle that must be fought and must be fought well. A battle we absolutely have the power to win, if we’d but engage.
As today’s guest, Jennifer Henn, shares in her poignant and transparent post, the choice is ours.
I’m too big again. My frustration grows, I’ve taken over and I’m miserable. How did I let this happen? I told myself to be careful. I even used to think this could never happen to me again, but it has, and I’m sorrowful. Saddened. Thank goodness there’s a remedy for every time I’m the biggest thing in my life.
In my journal, I circle “ME” and draw a line through it, hoping a visual will help. I go to my Bible and look up the words of John the Baptist, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30 NIV).
Making my life about me causes Big Me, Little God Syndrome. This syndrome comes on every time I make my circumstances bigger than God. Then overwhelming feelings of worry and doubt take over.
Then I remember, more of You Lord and less of me.
The thing I’ve spent the most time worrying about are my children. We are a homeschool family and like other homeschool moms, there have been times I’ve wondered if I was doing enough. Times I doubted whether my kids’ academics were up to standard with public school kids. Also, there’s the whole socialization thing. Are we weird homeschoolers?
When my sons were middle school aged, and my daughter upper elementary, my health failed. We had no choice but to enroll the kids in public school.
Now I would know if my schooling measured up.
I went from total control of my kids’ curriculum and activities, to no control. I loved schooling my kids at home, but I held on too tight. I craved homeschool success complete with learning, fun activities, and a fairly clean house. I also thought middle school would be the worst time to enroll your kids in school for the first time. My plan fell apart and God gave me the gift of letting go.
There were lessons in letting go. The basket of my life was turned upside down, my circumstances were beyond me, but God remained the same. I learned to trust God with an open hand. A God is with me no-matter-what-the-circumstance, kind of trust. The balance was turning in the right direction, more of God, less of me. For two years I struggled with multiple health issues.
The situation was beyond me, but never God. My kids went to public school. God’s grace was sufficient for the adjustments they had to make, and they did well academically.
That was seven years ago. I went back to homeschooling and two have graduated. I also had a sort of graduation. One day another homeschool parent said I was the most laid back mom she knew. What a surprise, I had changed. Laid back is not my natural tendency.
However, the battle isn’t over. I fight a continuous habit of making my life too much about me. The remedy comes by looking closer at who God is. God is my Rock and Salvation, my Lord and King, the one I put my trust in. I think of these things in practical terms as I go throughout each day. My part is small, God’s part is big. I need to make God the center of my prayers, not me. When I remember who God is, once again, I become smaller and Christ bigger.
We all struggle with Big Me, Little God Syndrome from time to time, but the more we focus on ourselves, the more miserable we become. It’s when we die to ourselves (surrendering our dreams, our will, our desires to God) that we truly come alive. That’s when we are freed to live authentically, to be the women God created us to be.