Around a year and a half ago, I was set to make a delicious home-cooked meal for some of my friends in Waco.
I love to cook. I love not using recipes. I love tasting as I go, adding flavors that “feel” right, experimenting with different ingredients. I love to create beautiful and delicious meals. And I love encountering God while cooking.
So on this occasion, I went all out. I planned for a shrimp and grits meal. I bought the expensive fresh shrimp, expensive nice cheese, pancetta for added flavor and spent a couple of hours prepping the meal in my new dutch oven that I had just gotten for Christmas.
The finished product looked like this.
I know, right?
I’m drooling right now.
So I gathered the dutch oven into my car and made my way to the house where everyone was gathered. I had reminded them to “come hungry!” This was going to be good.
I parked out front, got out of the car, and opened up the door to the back seat to grab the dutch oven. I placed it on the back of my trunk, then turned around the grab my purse out of the front seat.
No sooner had I turned around then I heard a sound that made me sick to my stomach.
I whipped around to see that my 3 month old dutch oven had slid off the trunk and was now lying face-down in a pile of leaves near the curb. The pot, now cracked and dented, no longer held the amazing dish I had just created. The contents buried themselves in a pile of leaves and dirt. Everything, including the dutch oven, was ruined. Not a single bit of it salvageable.
Everyone, with stomachs growling I’m sure, gathered outside to see my meal, along with my pride, in a heap on the road.
And you know what I did?
I burst into tears.
Wailing, big, crocodile tears. Like a 5 year old.
I didn’t stop crying for 2 hours.
In fact, the next morning when I woke up, I was still upset about it. And I cried again.
All of that work, money, time… wasted. There was no way of getting it back.
Why did this bother me?! Worse things had happened before in my life! Why couldn’t I let this go?
So I asked God.
“God, why does this bother me so much?”
“Because you can’t fix it.”
And I burst into tears again. I couldn’t fix it. The reality of that hit me like a ton of bricks.
That phrase. I hated it more than I ever realized.
YOU. CAN’T. FIX. IT.
I’ve been told I’m a mom before.
Somehow, I was born with this innate sense of caring for people and carrying those I interact with really deeply in my heart.
Although this would seem to be a good thing, lately I have been realizing that I don’t just carry people well… I hold people and don’t let go. I don’t trust God enough to let Him fix it when things go wrong.
And it’s absolutely destroying me.
It ruins me to my very core. Because with this “mom sense”, a nature of being a “fixer” comes with it. I see a problem and I want to come up with a solution to fix it. Someone I know is hurting? I want to do whatever I can to make it better; to make the pain go away.
What I’m coming to realize is that’s me trying to play God.
I am not THE Healer. I am merely a vessel through which He can heal… if he chooses. But He doesn’t need me.
The other day I told God “I feel like a nurse… like I’m caring for so many wounded people.”
He chuckled and said, “Exactly. And I’m the doctor.”
Of course. If I am a nurse, He is the doctor. I might help with stitches… shots… antibiotics… but He is the ultimate Healer. He is the only one permitted to open the wounded up and fix them. I can’t do that as a nurse. I can only hand Him utensils when He asks for them.
When He asks for a scalpel, I will hand Him a scalpel.
When He says pray, I will pray.
But I am learning what it is to give space for the Healer to be the Healer. I can’t keep trying to mend things with my temporary solutions. I have to trust God enough… that He WILL heal. He WILL restore. He WILL provide. He WILL supply. And if He wants to use me He can.
But it isn’t up to me to fix it.
So here’s the question I have for you.
How do you love people well without trying to “fix” them? How do you “bear one another’s burdens” without insisting that you be the one that heals them?