'Control freak' gives control over to God

PROSSER - Grandview native Mary Lou Guinn calls herself an "organizational junkie," and says it was only when she picked up the Bible instead of a day-timer that she found true contentment in life.

That was her message yesterday, Monday, during the Lower Valley Christian Women's Club luncheon.

She said she knew the basics about Jesus when she was a little girl going to Sunday School. But her belief couldn't overcome guilt about her past mistakes and sins.

That, in turn, led her to try to control other areas of her life. "I was a control freak," she smiled.

By the time she was in high school she was already mapping out her life. "I was going to be married by the time I was 21 and I knew what the names of all my kids were going to be," she said to a tickle of laughter in the crowd.

She says she felt God hadn't forgiven her, and so she had trouble forgiving herself.

So, she threw herself into her planning and her work. Working for a bank in the Lower Valley, Guinn said she thought if she plunged herself into everything her work place offered that would make her happy. She says she even entered the Bloomsday marathon in Spokane one year with some friends. Without training and with improper footwear, Guinn said she was already in trouble by the first mile. "I hate running," she said she told herself. "Why am I doing this."

After finding a church to attend, she felt if she kept busy there that would satisfy her need to plan. "I took the church bulletin and wrote all the events down in my planner," she said.

She did indeed attend all the church's activities, but still felt emptiness.

At the age of 23 and feeling like an "old maid," Guinn said she felt despair. Finally, one day instead of picking up her planner she picked up her Bible and started reading.

The familiar verse of John 3:16 brought a new awareness to her. "There were no conditions to God forgiving me," she said she realized. That in turn led her to re-commit her life to Jesus and gave her that freedom of guilt over long ago mistakes God had already forgiven.

She eventually met her husband through a co-ed softball league and today she home schools their children at their home in Gig Harbor.

It all has worked out, she says, much better than she could ever have imagined.

"I had a plan for my life," she told the club members. "But God had a better one for me."


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