I can be such a control freak. I don’t know why, but I feel the need to plan, prepare and perfect my life to the best of my ability and create peace for myself and my daughters. It could be related to having a dad that wasn’t really present in our lives. We moved around a lot. He had addictions and a bad temper. I don’t blame him for what we went through. He had a hard life and didn’t cling to Jesus to fill the emptiness. He left us for good when I was 15 and my mom, little brother and I moved from Indiana to Washington in the middle of my Sophomore year. I was devastated and went into a deep depression. We were homeless for a little while, living on couches in friends’ homes. At one place, I set up my own little space in the garage with a space heater. I ended up getting stomach ulcers at 16 from the stress I was undergoing. My mom was my “peace” in the storm. She was a strong, steady rock I could cling to when I felt insecure or uneasy. She worked hard and made every space that we lived in “homey”. She had a knack for turning the ugly into something beautiful.
Maybe in my adulthood I have tried to find peace for my family in trying to control my surroundings and what our future will be. I’ve realized that this so-called “peace” is fabricated. It isn’t true peace, the peace that only Jesus can give us. Can you relate to this? We try to find or create peace in our lives, but only when we let the “peace that passes all understanding” permeate our lives is when it is truly authentic. It would be like trying to make Spring come quicker. It’s impossible, right? God determines the change of the seasons, not us. We don’t need to be afraid.
Did you ever find a stray cat or dog and bring it home in hopes that your parents would let you keep it? They tell you that you can keep it until you find the owners, but make sure you don’t give it a name. Once you name it, you have taken ownership, right? I remember when we bought our last home. I was so excited and I loved it so much, but I felt like I shouldn’t get attached to it. I felt that “don’t name it, it’s not yours”. I began to pray “God, this is your house. I thank you for letting us live here and I ask you to help me not get attached. I want to be able to give it up if you ever ask me to.” So, I never got attached. I was just thankful. I have learned not to hold on to things too tightly. I have a picture in my head of me with open hands and things just kind of floating above them. I want to be able to give up anything if I’m asked. Since I broke my foot in December, God has been showing me how to give up my plans and desires and seek His face and His will for my life. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office as he told me I was going to need surgery and I was going to have to stay off my foot for 2 months, wouldn’t be able to drive, and need to cancel my trip to the Leadership Summit in Charleston. I started crying. I was so devastated. I soon discovered that I had become too attached to my plans and desires. It took some time, but finally felt peace with where I was and began trusting God to provide all that I need and most of all I just wanted to bring glory to His name.
What about you? Are you clinging to something too tightly or trying to control the world around you? What is God asking you to hand over to Him today? Will you trust Him? After all, everything is His anyway.