I’ve never considered myself a control freak. I’d like to think that I fall more under the category of go-with-the-flow. I thrive in organized chaos (my desk cluttered with paintbrushes and about 6 half-read books can attest to that). I love spontaneity and adventures with no determined schedule. Sometimes I eat ice cream for breakfast. I mean, that’s really letting the reigns loose on control if you ask me.
So it’s funny that the Lord is teaching me just how much I try to control my circumstances in my broken, often newborn-Bambi-like (wobbly legs and all) attempt to follow Him.
In my recent move to Tennessee, the Lord has been faithful. He gave me courage to even consider a move out of state, He opened doors and gave me clarity to walk through them, He reminded me that no matter where He has me, He will always be home. He has surrounded me with a loving church family and group of coworkers. But I’ve found myself in a season of feeling like what He has for me just hasn’t met my expectations of post-grad life. ‘Wait, Lord. I thought that life would look different right now. I thought that I would be thriving. I thought that I would be living in a big city with my best friends, and I thought that ministry would just be an easy-peasy bucket of sunshine all the time.’ I work myself into tiny moments of panic and questioning if He knows what He’s doing…or if He is even here with me in the midst of it. As I’m writing, I sort of wish I could shake myself for forgetting what He has done. It reminds me of the Israelites and their journey through the desert. Yes, their circumstances were uncomfortable, and they could probably think of a billion ways that life could be better. But they forgot that the Lord was leading them out of their shackles, that He continued to send sweet provision from Heaven, that His presence never left them. But still, they grumbled. Still, I grumble. He has carried me through the smog and the uncertainty over and over again over the last 23 years.
I work myself into tiny moments of panic and questioning if He knows what He’s doing…or if He is even here with me in the midst of it.
But the second that I don’t understand or agree, is the second that I thrash about trying to grasp for any ounce of control.
In my apartment right now, there’s a sliding door that leads to the laundry room that has quite literally fallen off the track. It doesn’t slide and definitely needs a little TLC from the maintenance man. I sort of like that it hasn’t been fixed yet though because it’s the best picture of how life feels right now. It feels like I’m falling off the hinges. Don’t get me wrong, life is good but it just sort of feels like everything is a little bit wonky. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’m learning what it looks like to release my will and to begin to embrace His. Releasing my will means releasing control. Releasing control of what I think my life should or could look like if I had it my way. I feel the Father gently opening up my clenched fists, prying my fingers off the areas of my life that I thought I could control, asking me to lay my expectations at His feet. When I come to Him, with open hands and an open life, that is where true growth and freedom will be found. That is where He has space to do big things and to teach me more about who He is, when I am not always peeking over His shoulder asking Him if He’s sure about that decision. If I truly believe that God can and that He cares, then I will be way more willing to give Him all the little pieces of my life and trust that His way is best. That is where I wrestle. But it’s also where I find His rich, patient mercy.