Do you ever have something planned out in your head so perfectly they could make a movie out of it? Then, obviously, it goes nothing like you thought it would. Instead of going smoothly and perfectly it turns into a complete and utter disaster, a gigantic fail.
This happened to me last week. I was getting ready for a barbecue with the other leaders of the Upland Church Service Jon and I are a part of. I had it all planned out: the ingredients were purchased and ready, the recipe was picked out, and I carved out three WHOLE hours to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert.
Instead of everything going as planned, it seemed like EVERYTHING was going wrong. The gluten free dough was crumbling. It took me forever to cut the strawberries and rhubarb. And to top it off, as I looked up at the clock I saw that I was already behind and the pie might not cook all the way through.
Now that I have Lupus, things take me much, much longer than they did before. I was almost never late before and now I feel like I am perpetually late. And even though this happens to me everyday, for some reason I haven’t been able to get it through my head that I need to give myself more time.
Back to the pie, I had to rush to finish. I furiously rolled out the dough, threw the pie filling in and then grabbed some more dough to top it. As I mentioned previously, I am a planer. I have been oogling this pie on Pinterest for over a week excited to bake it. Instead of looking like the pie on Pinterest, it looked like this:
I am a recovering perfectionist task-oriented person. I love to get things done and done well. Having a chronic illness and being a perfectionist do not mix well (like lamb and tuna-fish, Big Daddy anyone?). I am still not great at changing expectation and adjusting them when I am not feeling well. The pie ending up looking like a mess and I hardly got it done. I got extremely angry and frustrated. I didn’t talk to Jon for over and hour and was pretty impatient with Oliver (I secretly am more upset at how I treated Oliver).
After taking some time to cool down, I realized that what really bothered me about the whole pie fiasco was that so much of my life is out of my own control. Making a perfect pie and being on time would make me feel like I was in control. Make a disastrous pie and running late makes me feel like a failure and out of control.
With adoption, we have finished the part that I can control. All we have now it to wait until we get a call from our agency. Being out of control, especially with a major life event, can be hard especially when you are a recovering perfectionist. Right now, there are no more tasks to complete to further the adoption process along. I feel out of control and for me, it’s not a good feeling.
I am slowly trying to learn how to not being control and how to be patient. Yes, there are still days when pies don’t turn out and I will definitely run late, A LOT. But does that make me a failure?
Psalms 46 is one of my favorite Psalms. From here comes the line that everyone uses (and overuses if you ask my husband), “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth (NIV)”. Instead of using the NIV, I like how the NASB translates this verse. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).
Cease striving, when pies don’t go your way
Cease striving, when adoption doesn’t go your way
Cease striving, when life doesn’t go your way
And know that He is God.
As a recovering perfectionist, I am putting this adoption, my life, and yes even my pies in the hands of God.