I admit it...I am a recovering control freak. As with anything we are OCD about "recovering" means I still have those tendencies, but because I'm aware of them I can try to keep myself in check. In my hay day as "controller of all things" I wouldn't have been able to tell you that that was what I was doing. Sometimes we even kid ouselves into thinking we actually are in control. Imagine! Who sets goals for something that's impossible to achieve? Apparently, I do. When I look back now, I see that I was just trying to protect myself. And I had plenty of good reasons for doing it. We deceive ourselves into thinking that by controlling things we will keep ourselves from getting emotionally hurt.
So how does one become a recovering control freak? At some point trying to control our world gets downright exhausting. Not being in control means that we leave it up to someone else and the possibility that they will not come through for us. Not being in control means that we stop worrying, especially about the things that are clearly out of our control. Not being in control means SURRENDER. There, I said it. The big surrender word. Give up, white flag surrender. But realizing we cannot control the things we want to control can feel hopeless. I was in my lowest of lows when I finally realized what I was doing. It took other people to lovingly show me. And the best part of all was realizing that there actually was someone in control. Instead of trying to make my life turn out the way I want, someone else has the plan.
God has a plan. He is in control of everything. The only thing you can control is how you think and how you live (Francine Rivers). If things aren't working out in your world, maybe it's not just your world that's the problem. Sometimes we need to take a hard look inside. Why do we make the choices we make? Who are we living for? Where do we put our trust? And trust is a whole other story (read A Little Something About Trust for my take on that).
Part of the reason I'm writing this is because I'm struggling with it today. I want to have all the answers. I wish I could "fix" people's problems. It would be great if I knew exactly what choices I was supposed to make, the magic thing I could say, or the perfect thing to meet someone's need. And then I wind up feeling exhausted again, and then hopelessness starts, and I feel discouraged. But then I remember...His hands are open, ready for me to hand the reins back over to Him, so that I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Why is this so hard? Oh, because I'm "recovering" and I'm not perfect.
But He is!
I'm picturing you driving a stage coach, cracking a whip wildly over a rough terrain, then just before nearly running the whole thing over the edge of a cliff, bringing the coach to a sudden stop, jumping out of the driver's seat, flopping into the passenger's seat, exhausted. (Run-on sentence intended...take a breath here.) Then with a loud sigh saying, "Okay Jesus, You drive. I don't know where we're going, but it's okay. I know I don't have to have it all figured out when we get there, because You do. You love me in my imperfection and that's all that matters."
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