I’m a control freak. Yup, I said it. It’s a joke in our household that I’ll be a dictator someday of my own country on some faraway island… population: me. (My anguish over society doesn’t help… doesn’t anyone else want to join Nim and myself?) My Myers-Briggs personality type is ENTJ, the Commander. Oddly enough I’m scared of being the one in charge, but when I am in charge it comes naturally to me. As the oldest child I’m independent and am used to figuring things out on my own and not asking for help, usually because I’m expected to have it all under control. The problems come when in reality, I don’t. So many times I want to ask for help but everybody else is working on or focusing on something or someone else. That means it’s up to me to be responsible and figure it out, or else. I often make rash and foolish decisions, meaning well, but messing up badly. Despite this, God doesn’t give up on me, even when I have a hard time “letting go and letting God”. Even though I mess up time and time again, my instinct in times of uncertainty is to figure it out on my own, not pray. The prayer usually comes later, after I’ve messed up and have no where else to turn. Unfortunately, my lack of reliance on God means that I worry a lot. I think that since I’m in control, I have to make sure I don’t mess up, or else I have nothing in life to look forward to.
I have a friend who’s going to college soon, and that puts education as a top-priority worry. Will my grades be good enough to get me into the college I want to go to? Will I have enough electives? What career do I even want to pursue? I like ____ and understand it, but will I understand it in an unfamiliar setting? (college) Am I even learning the right things? Will I be totally lost in a college setting? (#homeschoolproblems) As these thoughts are swirling around I find it really easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed over everything I can’t control.
But, surprisingly, The Valley of Humility is a good place to be. There God presses pause on my speeding cyclone of despair that’s threatening to suck me away. He speaks to my heart and says, “Hold on, child. Trust me. I hold the world in my hands, the very atoms in your body obey me. Nothing happens without my timing. You need not be afraid.” Peace, if I choose to accept it, is offered to me. But so many times I push Him away, saying I can handle this on my own. That’s when everything falls apart and I get a C+ on my science test, or struggle understanding a basic Algebra concept that made perfect sense the day before.
I think that these are all ways that God gently nudges me (or, in some cases, rather abruptly turns me) to His arms. He knows I can’t do anything, and wants to dispel my imagined fantasies as soon as possible. If I could accomplish something on my own then I’d start thinking I could do anything, so it is imperative that God stop me from my own plans.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I love these verses because I need them so badly.
I recently discovered a new musical artist named David Dunn and on the first day when I pushed play on his album Crystal Clear, the chorus of one of his songs jumped out at me.
When my world comes crashing down around my head and I,
I feel like I’ve got nothing left,
I’m not in control,
But it is well with my soul.
Like, hold the phone, man. Yes, I’m not in control. I’ve realized this through all of my epic failures. But what? It is well with my soul?? That’s the complete opposite of how I feel! I am worried, stressed out, and trying to plan out my whole week! That’s when I played that part a couple times through, just letting it sink in. Although I have no idea what in the world is going on or what’s going to happen next, I can still be at peace and should be! Wow! God is giving me peace, am I going to accept it?
So, I’m going to rephrase that opening line.
I’m a recovering control freak. Yup, I said it.