Still on agitate, and here’s the thing! All evidence contradicts the idea that I distrust my maker. We’re on pretty good terms, God and I. I talk, he listens. Frequently he answers. Unfailingly, he answers. I know in whom I have trusted.
So why the undiligence and discontent?
It might be more accurate to say I distrust the divine within my own soul and the souls of the people I interact with than to say I don’t trust God.
Which would explain the strange item I’ve wrangled out of the depths in the last few months and haven’t had the courage to unfurl. It’s this trust issue, and it has nothing to do with God. I think.
It takes a bit of history.
I married young—let’s just lay that out there. I married young and I had lots of little kids and I was so grateful I didn’t have to put them in daycare. I was a proper stay-at-home mom, mom, mom, MOM, MOM, MOM!!!! And I was okay with that, frayed nerve endings and all. I was more than okay with that, and today I am profoundly grateful for it in a way I couldn’t have been then.
Then, I strained at the constraints of my dependency. I didn’t have a checkbook, a credit card or a bank account. When I needed a toothbrush or a pair of nylons or a shoelace, I made do as long as I possibly could and it was humiliating to have to ask.
I start earning money. I put it in “my” bank account and M doesn’t want any part of it. He doesn’t want me to cover the bills or buy the groceries or pay the taxes. This is my money.
I become the only breadwinner. I cover all the expenses. I strain at the role. I don’t like this responsibility. I don’t like trying to figure out how much to save for taxes or how much is in the bank before I get to the checkout or keeping track of the checks clients hand me when there are ten kids milling about my feet and two in my arms. I don’t have time to run to the bank before closing time.
I assign M this job. I hand him the deposit slip, the money, and send him down to WAMU.
I run out of preprinted deposit slips. For a few weeks I fill out the generic kind with my account number, name, and totals. I don’t have time for this. I start handing him a stack of checks and tell him to put it in his own account; I’ll transfer it later online into my own account.
But I don’t.
I can’t do it.
I can’t get past the mental block of taking money out of “his” account. Which, by the way is named “Family Checking” and my name is right there below his, and that is still, technically, the same money.
What is that?
I wait until the last possible day to pay the credit card bill, and then I don’t tell him until a week later that I transferred money out of his account. I tell him I transferred $1000 to the savings account, and I writhe in guilt when I instead put $600 down on the van.
Does he complain when I make a transfer? Does he even spend any of the money sitting there, untouched, in his account? NO!
What is wrong with me?
The thing is, I don’t think he ever cared. My discontent and agony over every purchase were a product of my own inability to trust his generosity and goodness. My distrust.
If he slams a door, my heart races. I run down the list of possible offenses I might have made to fuel his ire. Never mind that he’s got four gallons of milk in each hand and he shut the door with his foot.
I have done this my whole life. When I was living with relatives during college, if “Mom” ever looked like she had been crying or upset, I would spend the entire next day scouring the linoleum and dusting the plants, certain that somehow I was the cause. I do not trust your goodness or compassion. And so I am miserable—not because of you, but because of me.
Am I really that self-obsessed that I believe everything everyone feels must somehow revolve around me? Really? That I cannot comprehend the divine nature and inherent goodness in the people around me?
Just make the transfer already!