On garbage day, my daughter, McKenna, gets obsessed with the trash collectors. This is a picture of her last fall watching them out the window:
McKenna is always super excited to see the garbage truck chugging down the street. She'll call into me, "Mommy! I see the garbage truck!" She'll watch with wide eyes as the men hoof our heavy, stinky, diaper-filled trash into the truck.
And then she'll burst into tears and wail, "Where'd my trash go? I want my trash back!"
Week after week, I explained to my sobbing daughter that the garbage men were being nice by taking our trash, and that she didn't need them to bring back the pail full of used diapers.
Then one day as I was saying this to McKenna, I could see myself in the situation.
How many times have I asked God to help me change, to grow me, to enlighten me? Boiled down, aren't I asking God to remove the yucky parts of me? To remove my inner trash?
As I pray those prayers, it's exciting to think about all the change that's about to happen. Much as McKenna stands at the window in anticipation of spotting the garbage truck, I go about my day waiting for God to show up, waiting for him to take away my inner trash.
But the process tends to be more painful than I'd like, and inevitably I find myself saying to God, "But I like that TV show." Or, "But it's normal to be impatient with my family." Or, "But that person is so difficult for me to love!"
Basically, I'm telling God, "I want my trash back!" Yes, I asked you to take it. Yes, I volunteered it to you - set it out on the curb, so to speak - but now I'm telling you not to take it from me!
Even though all those stupid things I hold onto are about as valuable as a pail full of used diapers.
And you know the funny thing? The week I had this revelation was the last week McKenna cried over the garbage men taking her trash.
Last Tuesday, she yelled out the screen door, "Don't smell my trash! It's stinky!" and then waved enthusiastically as they hauled it away.
And hopefully I can follow suit and do the same thing as God works in me.
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and www.GoTeenWriters.com.