Confessions of a Germaphobe

Photo by eltpics

Photo by eltpics

This summer we took a road trip out to Texas and New Mexico. This was a first for me and not my natural inclination. Robert planned our amazing trip. We stayed in Airbnbs. We drove a lot, and we rested and adventured. We ate some really good Mexican food and ice cream. We went to Carlsbad Caverns and Whitesands, NM. We learned that our children are roller coaster junkies. We had so much fun.

We did not wipe off every surface or wash our hands constantly. We did not sterilize public restrooms before we used them. We did not think about the millions of germs entering our bodies every day. 

These things we did not do were kind of hard for me. I tend to obsess over germs. I think the root of this issue is knowing the reality of something like flu, tearing through our family of seven. It’s difficult when the kids are sick, it’s difficult when the husband is sick, and it’s difficult when the mama is sick. My reaction to this is to try to prevent those days or weeks from happening, which means I’m trying to control the environments around us. Maybe that could seem like a noble thing to do, like I’m just trying to protect my family. To a certain extent it is my job as a mother to teach them good hygiene and hand washing habits, but it can quickly turn into something less than valiant when it becomes an obsession.

This trip was therapeutic for me in so many ways. It forced me out of my comfort zone, out of my normal. It helped me to lighten up and to learn somethings:

  1. God is sovereign over all things, germs included. Sometimes we’ll get sick, but many, and dare I say most, times our immune systems function very well.
  2. I actually control nothing. God controls it all. Of course, I’m still going to clean our house and tell the kids to wash their hands, but ultimately God controls what happens. 
  3. It is more important for me to be with Robert and our children than to clean our home. If I have to choose, on any given day, I choose them. They are my home, not a house

I’m trying to obsess less and trust more. I’m trying to loosen my grip and live with my hands, clean or dirty, wide open. I’m learning to release my assumed control and daily put my hope in Jesus. He is cleansing me from my feelings of needing everything to be clean because He is sanctifying me through my current germaphobia consumption. He is making all things good and right and pure. I am washed white because of the blood of Jesus and ultimately that’s the only clean I need.