When I was asked to be a contributor for this blog, I didn’t have to think more than a few seconds before eagerly saying yes! I’ve started to embrace that I’m not too shabby with words, and realize this is an excellent opportunity to use the talent He has given me, for Him. After all, in elementary school I excelled at speaking (listening…not so much) and through high school creative writing was one of the few classes I didn’t even come close to failing. I immediately started thinking about all of the things I could write about, all of the experiences I could share, and maybe, just maybe something good would come out of it. I started praying for the blog, the opportunity to write, the women it may minister to. I told God what I wanted to write about, I told Him what I thought would be good to share, and finally I handed it over to Him. In hindsight that’s where I should have began.
Then God laughed at me. I know I’m a funny girl, I crack myself up all the time, but God…I wasn’t being funny this time. God said “Uh yeah you were. You are talking about what YOU want to write, what YOU have to say…that’s funny to me, because it’s not up to you little lady.” (God calls me little lady sometimes) Then He told me what He wanted me to work on. He didn’t just tell me what he wanted me to write about, He told me what He wanted me to work on. Hmmmm… that’s not at all what I had in mind. I agreed to write, but I certainly didn’t see “work on yourself” in the fine print anywhere. God said “yes, start here.”
So here we are, staring control straight in the eye. What does that even mean? What does control even look like? How can I work on it when I don’t even know enough about it. Do I have a need to control, yes. But WHY? And there I sat. Just me, and God, and control. I was stuck digging really deep inside to figure out, what does control even look like?
When I think of control, I think of someone like Monica off of the show Friends. She’s overly tidy, nothing in her house is out of place and if anything is changed, she freaks out. But that’s not me. When I think of control I think of someone that has it together all the time. Their home, their clothing, their family, their job, their attitude. Things have to be just so. I’m nothing like that. I’m extremely unorganized, I can’t even remember the last time I made my bed, my car is a wreck etc. I’m not physically put together. Most days, I wear a hoodie, jeans, and a messy ponytail. I look nothing like my definition of a control freak.
Again I sat and prayed, “God, what does control look like for me? Why do I need to be in control?” then He revealed it to me. For me, control looks an awful lot like fear, insecurity, and lack of trust. Control is that ugly part of my heart I don’t want anyone to see. That little girl that’s afraid of being hurt or disappointed again, the little girl that’s standing there waiting, and he never shows up. That young woman who’s tired of hearing for the zillionth time that who she is, isn’t enough (often the word “too” is used to explain not enough. You’re too skinny, too sensitive, too up-tight, too good) For me, control is sitting right there with that ugly part I want to ignore because its painful. The truth hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m afraid. I’m insecure. I don’t trust you. God, I don’t trust you. That thought brought me tears because it was true, and painful. This has forced me to not only stare control straight in the face, but to also strip control away, expose the deep dark ugly root of the problem.
I don’t desire to control all areas of life, actually quite the opposite. I’m so insecure and afraid of failing when the pressure is on, I would rather not try at all. I’m afraid to have people count on me because what if I let them down? My problem with control is mostly directed at my husband and children. They are MY family, and one area that I know I can have control over, so I try as best as I can to make sure things are exactly how I expect them to be. Having control means no surprises. My poor husband can’t even plan a date and have it be a surprise as to what we’re doing because I get myself so worked up over not knowing what to expect I make myself sick to my stomach. I spent the first 13 or so years thinking “It’s so cute! He still gives me butterflies!” No ma’am, that’s anxiety. I plan. It’s good and necessary to have a plan. Life can’t be just fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best, but there’s got to be a healthy balance. There’s a difference between having a plan, and needing to be in control. I plan so much that I chose when our second child would be born because not knowing what to expect was too much for me to handle. I needed to know where our older child would be while we were at the hospital. I needed to know that my husband could be right by my side for the whole thing. I needed to know that the process would be consistent with the first birthing experience I had. I needed to feel in control of the situation. I needed to know that the doctor that would deliver my baby was someone I knew and trusted. When I got pregnant with Ruby (the baby we lost) I planned that she would be born when it would be an ok time to have a baby because of our jobs. I learned the hard way that God was in control, not me.
Control can be a problem, but it’s not THE problem. The problem is with the underlying issues that cause me to feel like I need to be in control. What am I afraid of? I’m afraid things will go terribly wrong. I’m afraid that I will be disappointed. I’m afraid that I will have my heart broken. I’m afraid that people won’t follow through. I’m afraid we’ll do without. I’m afraid my family won’t know how much I love them. I’m afraid my kids will have wished I tried harder with them. I’m afraid people will think I’m a bad mom. I’m afraid and ultimately fear is a lack of trust. Who don’t I trust? Well truthfully, in the big picture it’s God. I don’t trust that in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, when I drop the ball or can’t keep up that God will get it right. Even with disappointment, and heartache, in times of need, all of it, God will get it right. When things don’t make sense and don’t go according to my plan, God will get it right. There comes a point when we will surrender our control, hand it back to Him and say “Have thine own way God. Not my will, but Thy will be done.” But what does He have to do to get our attention?
The bible is FULL of verses that continue to reassure us that God won’t ever leave us hanging. The bible says over and over and over again, “Do not be afraid. Trust in the Lord.” It must be a common struggle to be afraid and not trusting if God put it in the bible so many times. It really helps to know I’m not to only one who struggles with waiting and trusting that God will show up, it’s been a theme all throughout human existence and we’re given the proof that He will get it right.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and who’s hope is in the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7 NKJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and He will show you which path to take” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
“He who heeds the word wisely will find good. And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” Proverbs 16:20 NKJV
Safe. Blessed. Hope. Direction. Happy. Doesn’t that sound a lot better, and a lot more promising than fear, insecurity, and lack of trust? What does control look like for you?
I don’t know why I don’t trust you 100% God. You are God! YOU MADE ME! Why don’t I trust that you’ll get it right every time? I don’t know why God, but I’ll work on it. I promise I will. Give me hope and direction as I seek your plan for me.
In His Love,