I'm a bit of a control freak.
Okay, maybe that's not much of a secret... it's actually pretty obvious.
I mean, I made the majority of the decorations for my wedding myself (because I wanted them the way I wanted them!), I regularly have my assistant go back over things and redo her work if it doesn't meet my standards, I work better by myself, and I rarely ask for help.
It's not always a great thing.
Controlling everything stems from a lack of trust.
Trusting people is hard. People are fallible, disappointing, forgetful, imperfect. And when they let us down, it's hard to trust again.
But the lack of trust in my life doesn't just apply to human beings. It also extends to my relationship with God.
It's taken me a while (and some difficult situations) to really understand that my trust in my Creator is often superficial at best. God has shown me, in the past few years in particular, just how little I actually trust Him.
I still somehow believe that my plans are better than His. That if God would just get with my program and follow my agenda, everything would be fine.
Trusting that He knows best for me? It's difficult for me and I fight against it- hard.
Maybe you're in that place right now. That fighting place. That un-trusting place. Maybe God's using something painful or challenging or scary to show you just how much you need Him after all. Maybe He's breaking you and making you vulnerable to Him alone.
I'm there. I'm still working through all of this stuff, honestly- both in trusting people and also in trusting God. But when it comes to putting my trust where it truly belongs, I've learned a couple of things I can do that help me to give up my control.
Recognizing BlessingsThis has been a big one for me. Simply finding and recognizing all of the incredible gifts around me, and recording those blessings helps me to see God's goodness in my life. Giving thanks makes a difference. Not only does counting my blessings put me in the right frame of mind and set my attitude straight, but it also reminds me of how good God is to me- and why I can trust Him for good in my life.
Remembering His FaithfulnessWe've all got situations in our lives when we thought, "There's no way I can get through this," or "Nothing good can come of this," but God redeemed them for our good. He's been faithful to us in the past- and He will be faithful to us now. Lamentations 3:19-23 says:
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Remaining in PrayerDespite my very best efforts, I still have trouble trusting God sometimes. It's almost an unconscious thing. I hold myself back, sometimes without realizing it, from truly being open and vulnerable to His will for me. I'm too human- can't completely trust God by my own power. That's where the prayer comes in. I try to remain in prayer as much as possible throughout my day.
When a situation out of my control pops up at work, I say a quick, "God, I know You've got this. Help me to trust You."
When I'm afraid: "God, I trust You, even in the scary things. Help me."
When I feel the ache that comes from God's plans being so different from my own: "God, You know best for me. Help me to trust in Your perfect plan."It's only when we truly put our trust where it belongs- in God who is always good, is always worthy, and is always redeeming us- that we can truly be free to live how He wants us to live. Let's say a quick prayer:
God, we know that You know best for us... but it's so hard to let go of control. We know that You have a plan, a perfect one, for each of our lives. We know that You redeem our mistakes and all those hard situations and use them for good. We know it. But God, it's so hard to live out sometimes. Please be with us, help us to keep digging deeper, opening our clenched, controlling hands and our hard and stony hearts to You more each day. Thank You for being always good, and always worthy of our trust.
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Ally loves coffee, motorcycles, blogging, and Jesus (not in that order, although coffee is toward the top of her list). An accidental country girl, Ally often finds herself wondering how she ended up onthe back of a horse and living on a 21-acre hobby farm. She and her husband work at a Bible Camp ministry in Iowa, where they are blessed to share the love of God practically and behind-the-scenes.
Ally writes about what God is teaching her, finds the joy, and shares her blessings at A Home Called Shalom.