SERIES TITLE: CONTROL FREAK ARTICLE THREE: Barbie Steps, I mean 'Baby Steps'...
Paul and I were sitting over breakfast in our boutique hotel in San Francisco on a little week-long getaway in June of this year, and I started to cry over my bacon and eggs. This is normal - the crying thing, that is- also bacon and eggs are a normal part of my life too. I love bacon.
We had both been reading the book, “Supernatural Ways of Royalty” by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson, and we were talking about different parts of it that stood out to us. Then Paul posed a question which sparked the conversation that brought me to tears. He said: “I wonder in what areas of our lives we have a pauper mentality?” Not an overly emotional question, but for some reason, it went straight to the heart for me.
Growing up, my family was far from rich; we were for the most part in the middle class, and at times, very possibly below what would be considered the poverty line. One thing I do remember is that we always had a roof over our heads and food in our fridge. There were times we were on food stamps and my parents were without jobs, and times where they both had great, well-paying jobs and the food was plentiful. There were times when on Christmas Day we got everything we wanted, and then there were Christmases where a box of fresh crayons was the most precious gift I got that year.
But for me, the one gift that stood alone was Holiday Barbie. If I got Holiday Barbie, in my mind we were rich!!! Now here's where the poverty spirit and control issue go hand-in-hand.... if I got the Holiday Barbie as a child, she was so special that she didn’t even come out of the box... ever. I was so crippled with fear that she would get ruined and that our family didn't have enough money to get another one if she did get ruined that I never, ever played with her, and Barbies are meant to be played with!!! Even the collectable ones, if that's what you want to do with them! And let me tell you, if my brothers or sister came near her, they might have lost a hand, or their life. Barbies were my thing- I wanted them, I needed them and I had to have them. I was obsessed.
So when my daughter was born in 2008 (my only daughter out of my 4 kids), what do you think I bought her for Christmas??? Holiday Barbie! Because I could tell that my four-month-old baby girl desperately wanted it! OR, I was vicariously living through her and was determined she would have every Holiday Barbie there ever was because I never had that. The only problem was that, as she got older, she wanted to open her Holiday Barbies (the nerve! Actually play with them?!?!) and this was a no-no. As a control freak mother, this caused me to be on the verge of climbing into the corner, assuming a fetal position and sucking my thumb until the questions of opening the Holiday Barbie boxes stopped. So my solution was to shove them up into the corner of her closet where she couldn’t see them and would no longer ask to open them. It’s hilarious writing this because the logic is so messed up. Hiding toys from your children so they won’t play with them. Who does that?!?! Apparently I do.
This all stemmed from a pauper mentality, a 'poverty spirit', and was directly connected to my control issues... control deeply rooted in fear. Deep down, I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough, so what we did have had to be kept safe in case of emergency (like Toys R Us running out of Holiday Barbies I guess?!?!).
What are you afraid of? Better yet, where are you afraid in your life that you might lose control? Because that is smack dab where God wants to close the door of fear in your life... if you'll let Him.
So let’s go back to crying over my bacon and eggs in San Francisco...
I felt God give me a 'baby step' to my freedom... I heard Him say "When you get home, the first thing you should do is open up all of the Holiday Barbies you've bought for Finley so she can play with them. Then ask for forgiveness for withholding from her what was always righfully hers to enjoy."
I got home from that trip and my daughter didn't know what hit her. I took her into her bedroom, pulled down the Barbies from their hiding spot in the closet, and in her excited, over the top Finley voice she said: "DO WE GET TO OPEN THE BOXES?!?!" I nearly cried. The grace that so simply flooded from my little girl toward me as a total control freak over the years astounded me. She wasn't mad at me; she was just excited like she was opening them as gifts for the first time all over again. I got the scissors, opened them all up, and let her go crazy! I apologized for hiding them from her and asked for her forgiveness. She nonchalantly said, "I forgive you", because she was too distracted playing with her beautiful Barbies.
I learned so much through that process. That letting go is a step-by-step process. Yes, you can be delivered and set free in a moment through prayer, but then you have to make the decisions on a daily basis that line up with that newfound freedom to remain in it. For me, it was a 'Barbie step'. I wonder what it is for you?