Control Freak

Hello, my name is Rebecca and…

I’m a control freak.

Yep.  Don’t judge.  You probably are too.

Oooo ya’ll, I love me some control.  I don’t even mind being at fault for a problem… just so I get to call the shots.  Here’s the thing with that:  You can’t really control things like hurricanes, divorces, failing health, car accidents… oh yeah and OTHER PEOPLE.  You can’t control other people.  This includes, but is not limited to, husbands and children.

Summer’s here, you know.  My annual pit of despair opens its mouth yet again as I anticipate sending my big kids to Florida for a few weeks.  Without me.  Outside my control.  Ugh.

Something’s different this year.  This year I’ve decided to avoid the P.O.D (pit of despair).  Not goin’ in.

God and I have had a few talks over the last few weeks.  Here’s something that caught my eye…

JOB 37

14 “Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders.
15 Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
17 You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
18 can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?

19 “Tell us what we should say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
20 Should he be told that I want to speak?
Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?
21 Now no one can look at the sun,
bright as it is in the skies
after the wind has swept them clean.
22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;
God comes in awesome majesty.
23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
24 Therefore, people revere him,
for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?[b]”

You know what?  I’m not in control of what goes on with my babies when they are away.

Know what else?  God IS.

Truth be told, I waste a lot of time and emotional energy trying to control the uncontrollable.  Trying to make sure nothing bad happens.  Trying to shield and protect and oversee.  Trying to improve and revamp and adjust.

Yeah, God totally has it.

I think somewhere along the way I decided that my broken heart was evidence that God wasn’t quite able to handle my life.  So of course it would be better if I took over.  Right.

As evidenced by four miserable, depressing, sickening summers… that didn’t work.

This year, I’m leaving the control in God’s hands.  That’s actually a joke because it’s always been there.  Let me try again.  This year I’m not going to waste my time obsessing and worrying about what God controls.  He will be faithful to my children just like He has been to me.  I’m just going to love my kids, be grateful for my family and enjoy my life.

Hmmmm…..

Now what kind of freak will I be?

 

 

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Ain’t How It Works

There’s something some Christian people do that I can’t stand.  They say, or post on social media, statements like: “I had a car accident today but wasn’t hurt.  God is so good!”  or “So-and-so was healed!  God is SO GOOD!”  I hate this because to say God is good because you get what you want is to say God earns His merit upon His ability to please you.  Ummm… that ain’t how it works.

This brings me to a lesson I’m learning:  Some tragedies in life make it seem that God is not at all good.  However, if our circumstances could change God’s nature, then in essence there would be no God.  If I believe in God, and I do, and if I believe He is good, and I do (see rising sun tomorrow morning if you doubt this.  If still in doubt, read something by C.S. Lewis) then my circumstances CANNOT change Him whatsoever.  He IS unchanging.  So He can’t be good when things are good and not good when things are bad.  I need a God who’s bigger than my circumstances, or else I don’t need a God.

When I was eighteen years old, I married the person I thought God wanted me to marry, and headed off to put my husband through Bible college.  With all my being I wanted to please God, and sincerely thought I was doing so.  I spent the next thirteen years enduring infidelity after infidelity in one form or another.  I’ll spare you the gory details, but you get the point.  Why would God allow that to happen?  Why did He let me go through all that humiliation? I gotta tell ya’ I’m not quite sure.  I have a few guesses, and of course, there’s plenty I’ve learned along the way.  But WHY?  I really can’t say. I CAN say that my faith still stands.  It has transformed… mutated perhaps, but it stands.

Still, I often find myself asking God for something. “Bring my children home safe” for example, and then thinking to myself, “He might not.  Probably won’t.  He doesn’t owe you that.  Plus, look at what He let you go through already.  No guarantees, honey.”

Some people think I’ve changed, or so I hear.  The way I practice my faith is certainly different than it was when I thought being a minister’s wife WAS what God wanted for me.  BUT, I’ve reached a different place with God.  For so long, I thought the same goofy things I complained of above.  I praised God for being SO good when things would go my way.  I never said He was bad when I didn’t get my way, a good Christian would never say that out loud.  But I wondered inside, how could I still trust Him when He might let it all fall down at any moment?  It’s at that heartbreakingly honest place, my friends, that something dawns on me like the meaning of Christmas dawns on the Grinch…

 HE defines my circumstances, my circumstances cannot define Him.  There is MORE to the faith and MORE to God than just what is going on in my life at any given time. It’s out here on the outside of accepted thinking, out here with the doubting thoughts that no one wants to admit, out here with the questions that have no good answers that I stand and yet here He is, and SO much bigger than I thought He was.  God is with me still, I know it in the depths of my soul. God is the ONLY thing still there when everything else falls apart.  Nope, I don’t know what His reasons are.  Don’t even know if it was He who allowed my saddest circumstances.  But I know He’s bigger than my circumstances.  I know He’s the only One who can hang with me ALL the way, no matter how crazy or whiny or messed up I get.

Bottom line is… if God must answer to me, then actually, I’m god.  And like I said… that ain’t how it works.

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