Losing control of your car.
Losing control of your kids.
Losing control of your eating habits.
Losing control of your life.
It seems like the world around us tries to tell us that losing control is a sign that we not longer have our lives together, that we are weak, that something is wrong with us.
But I’m here to argue today losing control can be one of the greatest things that could happen in your life.
Now real talk for a moment, shall we? I LOVE control. I’m an elementary school teacher, so you better believe I know how to keep 72 eight-year-olds in line every day. I am a fitness instructor, so I love planning my workouts for the week and can get a little angsty if I have to stray from the schedule. I’m a Type A, color-coded, alphabetized kind of gal who thrives on organization, checklists, schedules, planning ahead, and my trusty Kate Spade day planner.
We all know that no matter how much planning we do, life still happens. God likes to keep my pride in check and gently remind me that I do have control issues that I need to surrender to Him.
Psalms 46:10 reminds me, “Let go of your concerns! They you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” God’s word repetitively reminds me of how He’s got this, and my daily fretting and grasping is utterly worthless.
Yet it is one of my greatest struggles and areas of temptation to step away from Him and try this whole life-thing on my own.
One of the biggest examples of this life-lesson occurred shortly after I graduated from Furman University back in 2011. I was planning on staying in Greenville, had signed a teaching contract at a local elementary school, started taking Master’s courses at Furman, and was ready to morph my 4-year dating relationship with Will into a long-distance relationship. I wasn’t thrilled about that last part, but it was part of the plan, so I was willing to make it work.
After one month of summer school at Furman, Will flew up from Dallas to knock my socks off with the surprise of my life. He had convinced me long before we graduated that we should be mature and responsible, finish school, pay off debts, and then we get married. Sounded reasonable to me, which is why I was so stunned when he got down on one knee at the Biltmore.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Michelle, this sounds like a great story. How is this reflective of trusting God and releasing control over your life?”
Well friends, at that point, the list of worries started amounting quickly. In a year, in addition to teaching full-time and getting married, I had to figure out the following:
It was Jeremiah 29:11 that really got me through it all.
While it was not easy those first few months living in Texas away from my family and friends, God showed me how He had so much more in store for me in Dallas as a teacher, wife, and friend than I could have ever imagined. It's a lot to see how God's plans and timing make sense when you look at them in reverse, right?
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of tears that first year. There was some resentment and plenty of homesickness. But I had to remind myself that I was fulfilling and following His plan for my life, not my own.
Psalms 62:8 reminds me how important it is to loosen my grip over my life. We are to “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”
God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him. When things get tough and seem to be slipping out of my control, I often find myself wanting to hold on tighter and find a solution by myself. With each passing year of my life, I am able to see this is a fruitless and foolish habit.
Eric Metaxas writes, “Faith means having trust in something…God doesn’t want people to trust in ‘whatever’ and take dumb risks. He wants people to trust in Him, because He’s utterly real and utterly trustworthy. If He isn’t real and worthy of our trust, we’d be fools to have faith in Him. The object of our faith must be worthy of our faith.”
I’d say God is certainly worthy of our faith. He’s pretty awesome. He can repair the broken, heal the terminal, and provide hope to the lost.
One way I remind myself of this is in my daily quiet times. When I read a verse from my devotional in my bible, I write the date beside it and the current issue on my heart. Months or even a year later, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and how my life is better with God in the captain’s chair.
1. Spend five minutes reflecting on your sense of control in your own life. What areas of your life do you need to give over to God?
2. Ask God to soften your heart and your hold over these things in your life. Out loud, tell Him, “I trust in You.”
3. Try praying these words I borrowed from Scotty Smith. "Father, for the broken circumstances I’d love to fix, I surrender, palms up to you. I know you well enough to realize that things are not as they appear to me, with my naked eye. Even when I try to look at some things with the eye of faith, I’m still smitten with astigmatism of the soul…Father, as this day unfolds, I choose to lean on you, and not my understanding; I choose to step on the path of grace, and off the highway of my willfulness; I choose to acknowledge you, and stop trying to inform and coach you. Bring your heart, hand and hope to bear. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name."
Have a magical Monday, y'all, and I'll be seeing ya tomorrow!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!