To those of you who have been challenging my thinking about the Early Intervention appointment this afternoon–thank you.
My first reaction was, “Huh? Why is it wrong for me to want our dirty house to be cleaned up before the inspectors come? If I didn’t have that realistic goal, I would want it to be clean by Monday night at the very latest.”
But you forced me to think through this whole issue, and here’s what I have realized.
The house did need to be cleaned. Our house is small and elderly, in need of some repairs, and full of people. The deep cleaning has been long neglected in favor of attempting to keep the basics going. Some of what others would consider basics have been neglected, like the leaky refrigerator and the permanent marker on the sofa. We are dealing with more here than scattered toys. Words like “impress” and “perfect” don’t even come into my mind when thinking of our house! This has been an area of my life where I have needed to be very creative with what we do have, give up my desire for perfection, and accept the limitations God has placed around my life. I have come to find a lot of joy in this giving-up, and would not choose to live elsewhere as long as this is God’s choice for us.
We regularly have people over to our house, lots of people. But they are all like-minded believers. The ones who are uncomfortable because it is small, or who don’t like how dirty their children get when they play on our property, well, they haven’t tended to come back. Most of the people we know would not live in our house if they had ten children, and some would not live here at all. I was assuming their standards when I was picturing today’s appointment.
All that being said…!
The first truth that I needed to recognize and state to myself was that here again is a hard experience that God has hand-picked for me. He knows that my desire to avoid humiliation springs from pride. And He loves me and intends me to learn humility. So will I fight Him on this? Tell Him that I am just being reasonable and He is asking too much? Or will I accept hardship from His hand as gladly as I accept the joy? Accept the hard things knowing that they are His tool to form me into the image of His Son Jesus?
The second truth was one that did not come into my mind at all until my aunt sent me the words of my own mom. “The Lord reminded me that my heart being prepared is more important than my house being prepared.” And a good friend stopped in to visit, and shared how God had helped her overcome her fear of looking foolish in situations where she was way out of her comfort zone, too. She said that she learned to make it her goal to be a blessing. That is simple, isn’t it? I am ashamed to confess that I had not been thinking of these folks as people I may be able to minister to. At all. The sad truth is that I was thinking of them as official inspectors from the government who have expertise that we need and don’t have.
So thank you to all of you who challenged me to examine my motives. My motives were wrong, and God used your words to expose that in me. I don’t want to resist Him, and I don’t want Him to resist me. I am praying that God will work these changes in my heart, and that He will use me however He wants to in our interactions with the Early Intervention and therapy folks. And since He chose to make our journey so public, I will be bold to ask you to pray these things for me, too. Thank you for telling me the truth.