Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finding Myself....

I'll never forget the way I felt on my way to the Christian counselor's home office. I was fearful and desperate, even hopeless. I'm not sure what exactly I was afraid of.  I believe now that the fear which consumed me was illegitimate. Maybe I was afraid of what might be "wrong" with me. Whatever it was, the bottom line is, I was an emotional wreck. 

I was overwhelmed with no idea as to how to fix myself. You see, I am a fixer. I always have been. Since I was 15 years old, I was the girl that many friends in crisis came to for advice or encouragement. Quite honestly I found satisfaction in the honor of being that friend for so many people. As I got older, that role slowly spilled over into family matters and I began to believe that it was my responsibility to fix.

I regularly, unknowingly, went to my subconscious treasure chest and pulled out my subconscious super hero cape. I tied it around my neck and made it my identity. Fixer. That was my name. What I didn't realize is that in my new found identity I had unwittingly begun to write my name on every thing that went wrong. When I was unable to "fix it" I believed it was all my fault. Time and time again I failed and as I did, my identity was reduced to that of an unsuccessful people pleaser; one who was weighed down by insecurity and condemnation. 

Now, there I was, once again, unable to fix. This time I was unable to fix me. I felt completely lost. If indeed I was not "Fixer" then who was I? I was a mess.

During the hour long therapy session, the counselor picked up a large basket filled with fabrics of many different colors and designs. She asked me to pick out the fabric that most reflected the way I felt in that moment. The one that stood out to me was green camouflage. I felt like I was in a war that could not be detected by physical eyes. It was an emotional and spiritual war. I was fighting for my identity and I was losing miserably. 

Immediately following she asked me to pick out a fabric that reflects who I am. Not who everyone expects me to be or who I even expect me to be but who I am at the innermost being of myself. Immediately a fabric caught my eye. It was bright, pink, green, yellow and flowery. It was a bit childlike actually. But I picked it because it seemed to reflect happiness, cheer, and joy. The real me was joyful. My mom used to tell me stories about how happy I was as a baby and child--always smiling, always sweet. But the me sitting in that counseling room that day was anything but joyful. 

The counselor then spread out the bright colorful fabric and laid it on the ground. She proceeded to stretch across the floor the green camouflage fabric laying it on top of the bright fabric,  strategically covering it completely. She moved on to explain that the real me was still there. I had not lost myself entirely. Life's circumstances had simply caused the camouflage to cover it up. But I was about to go on a journey to peel back the camouflage and uncover the beautiful, joyous woman hiding fearfully behind it. I was about to embark on a journey to freedom.

Though peeling back the camouflage proved to be a long and tearful process I learned a lesson that I will never forget. I am not the "Fixer"--God is. In fact, I did not even have the strength or ability to peel back the camo on my own. Besides, that camo was the only way I knew how to protect myself. It was my security blanket, my coping mechanism. How could I peel it away from my own clenched fists? I could not and cannot do what only God's power can.

Each time I reached for my subconscious cape and attempted to glue together the broken pieces of my life and the lives of those around me, I was attempting to fill His shoes. If indeed heaven is His throne and Earth is His footstool (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49), those would be some mighty big shoes to fill. It's no wonder I failed miserably. I was assuming a role that was not mine to fulfill.

I've learned that in tribulation it is my job to simply wave His banner of TRUTH. Meaning: worship Him and proclaim who He is in the midst of my circumstances. I can now speak to the storm and say, "You are under the authority of the only wise, all powerful God and I will not be overtaken by you because He is my protector and I am His child."

I do not need to take matters into my own hands, I do not need to maintain control. In fact those things only lead to disappointment and defeat. So in the end, I retired my cape. I left it at the foot of God's throne and by His Grace, and with His help, I crowned Him as King in my life.

Though there are days when I am tempted to go back and pick up  my old, tattered, familiar cape once again and tie it around my neck, I ask my Savior to help me keep the proper perspective and remind me of the truth he already revealed to me. You see, a large part of learning who I am in Christ is understanding who I am not. It is not I who heals, but He. It is not I who restores but He. It is not I who is in control but He. He is the great I AM."He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17.

I'll leave you with some encouraging scriptures to meditate on as you reflect on any areas in your own life in which you have striven to maintain control. I pray that you find the will to let God, in your own heart and mind, take upon Himself the responsibility to hold all things together so that you can simply rest in His sovereignty. "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."- 1 Peter 5:7


"He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

"The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit."-Psalm 34:18

"My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."- Psalm 73:26

"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths."- Proverbs 3:5-6 

"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD."-Proverbs 21:30

"A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?"- Proverbs 20:24

"For with God nothing will be impossible."-Luke 1:37


  1. Monique,

    What a powerful post. You have a gift. Keep writing.


  2. God has blessed you with wonderful creative talents - singing, painting, and writing too! I love you and I'm going to miss you when you go to CA... I hope we can have phone dates to remind me the type of Christian/wife I want to be :)


  3. Thank you very much, Tally! I appreciate your encouragement. God bless you. P.S. Thanks for following my blog! :)

    Lauren, thank you also. You are always so sweet! I am going to miss you too and I really hope to stay in touch as well! I love you, Girl!

  4. Wow! I can really relate to this! I have a terrible time letting things go. I've lived for so long believing that I was truly in control. It's been a scary ordeal for me to slowly (and I mean at a snail's pace)accept that I am not. I too have to remind myself that I am not, as you said, the "fixer."


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24