Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Fixer

Hi!  My name is Becky and I'm a Fixer.  I've been a fixer most of my life.  What that means is that I've felt responsible to fix things--either situations or relationships--or circumstances involving both.  I guess a nice way of saying it is I'm a natural born nurturer.  A not-so-nice way of saying it is I'm a control freak.

I think the key phrase in my life the past few months has been "feeling responsible."  I've felt responsible to fix relationships.  I've felt responsible to intervene between key people in my life.  I've felt responsible to fix situations around me.

Honestly?  I think moms come by this naturally.  We're forced into that situation as mothers.  We're negotiators for hostile takeovers by our children constantly.  We fix relationships by making our children kiss and make-up.  We fix situations by disciplining them when they disobey.  We're fixers just by having the role of MOM.

But if I'm completely honest, I would have to tell you it began in my life much earlier.  It was a little evident when both of my brothers called me "little mama"...and that wasn't a term of endearment.  I fixed my brother's lives by tattling constantly.  I wanted to make sure they walked the straight and narrow....just like me.  (This little problem with pride grew as I did.)

Not much has changed.  People in my life have felt the effects of The Fixer in their lives.  I've fixed Andy plenty.  I think, as wives, it's easiest for us to fix our husbands.  We want them to be loved and respected.  (Isn't that noble?)  Not just by the outside world but even by their own children.  So we want to tell them when they may have overstepped their bounds with their kids or hurt someone's feelings.  We naturally want good relationships in our family.  But we also don't want to be embarrassed by what our husbands may say or do in public.  So we may correct them later in private.  (not sure how I know that one!)  And we may actually feel good that we did it in private.  But God has stepped into my life in this area and told me to lay it down.  (Put the gun down, Becky...nice and slow.)   No more fixing.  No more feeling responsible for anyone but me.  When I feel responsible and intervene, I'm actually preventing what God may be trying to do in someone else's life.  They can't hear God for hearing me--loud and clear.  (It's pride...and it's ugly.  And it's the whole log and splinter thing, too.)

So...I've laid it down.  And there's no way I'd actually be sharing this ugliness with you young moms except I was talking with a mom of grown children today who told me she realized how overburdened she was feeling because she was feeling responsible for everyone in her life and too many situations to count!  It was affecting her physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually--to the point she was ready to throw in the towel!  It made me realize this is a problem common to us women.  I'm not alone--I'm not the only Fixer!  I was able to share with her the journey I'm on.  I'm learning to say to myself, "I am not responsible" and let the chips fall where they may.  I'm also trying not to intervene when the chips fall and chaos or hurt feelings ensue.  But just so you know, feeling responsible can become a very familiar place!  And in a stressful moment, it's easy to go right back there.  I know the only way to overcome this is through the power of the Holy Spirit--quickening my spirit in those moments and reminding me that I am not responsible.  The only person I'm responsible for now is ME!

As a mom of young kids, you are The Fixer.  You have to intervene, teach, train, and negotiate with your kids...but not your husband.  And you don't want to intervene between your husband and your kids!  They are his responsibility, too.  And you just need to know that you need to work yourself out of a job as The Fixer in your kids' lives as they grow.  You'll do yourselves both a favor.

I'm a slow learner.  But I am learning.  I'm learning how much more God can do when I'm not The Fixer...and am out of His way.  He's waited a long time for this opportunity!


amy wright said...

Ouch, me too! Thanks for giving me permission to lay it aside. :)

Julie Simmons said...

Wow! SO needed this! Thanks for your honesty (in small print-love it) and exhortation. I may identify with you...just a two younger sisters used to say to me, "I do NOT need another mother. I already have ONE!!" :) <3

Ronnie said...

So been there! A long slow lesson for sure. It's a painful but necessary lesson. Just let go..