love and control

Over the past year or two, I have (un)fortunately had the sin struggle of a need for control which was violently exposed in my own life. If any of you have had unrelenting conviction, you might know how difficult that can be. I'm glad that God has been showing me my imperfection and has been transforming me in that area, but it feels so much like Eustace having the dragon skin ripped off of his flesh.

It hurts. 

It is so good though.

Here are some of the things that I try/want to control:

  • my life
  • your life (probably)
  • the lives of children in third world countries
  • bottled water consumption (it's complicated)
  • money
  • my future geographic location
  • variables leading to effectiveness in ministry
  • God's favor
  • the methodology of other people in ministry
  • my emotions
In the (slightly modified) words of "Invictus," "I [think] am the master of my fate;/ I [pretend that I] am the captain of my soul." Well, guess what? It's really not working out that well. 

For those of you who don't know me that well, this past year has been a significant struggle for me in dealing with anxiety. I have this fun thing called panic disorder. I have been meaning to write a little bit more about walking through that struggle, but for the moment, I'll just say that it's something like living on the Island on Lost and having the Smoke Monster just periodically run through your brain. No biggie though.

Anyway, feeling anxious and out of control isn't the best situation when you're grasping desperately to the steering wheel of your life. But God is so faithful. He uses that stuff to show me my desperate need of Him. I would love to blog on what God has taught me through anxiety at a later point, but for now, I want to address one area that I didn't even realize I was trying to control until this past year: 


Bet you weren't expecting that. (Acctttuuaaallyyyyyy, it's in the title, so I bet you were.)

My love for my family.

My love for coworkers.

My love for Pioneers girls.

My love for my friends.

My love for animals. 

My love for God.

It seems a little odd perhaps, especially since I appear to be a pretty open and loving person (at least, I think I do), but the vulnerability and commitment that come with love make me uncomfortable. It makes me squirm. A lot.

Two summers ago, I was floored when the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I did not believe that God truly loved me.  My actions were that of a slave, not that of a beloved child. I believed somehow that I could earn the favor of God without the discomfort giving Him my entire heart with its many broken parts. Even though I had expressed that desire to love Him fully, I still wanted it to be on my terms.

Over the past few years, I have been learning about the goodness, grace, mercy and love of God, and I have learned a great deal about loving Him through learning to love people. Someone once told me that the reason his daughter didn't let people into areas of her heart was because she still hadn't even allowed Christ access to those areas of her life. The words stung, though they weren't intended to injure me, because I recognized the same tendency in myself.

There are so many parts of my heart that I have (often unknowingly) withheld from others because I have also struggled to surrender these same corners to the Lord. I have been so encouraged to see how God is sanctifying me in that regard. He is helping me learn to love fully and relinquish my rights and control in those areas.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ---C. S. Lewis

Count on C. S. Lewis to know how to say it. 

I also recently found these devotionals  that deal with similar concepts of love and control for God in a paper pile from high school. I'm pretty sure that they're from My Utmost for His Highest.

The Author's Aside: I suck at making up blog titles. I will be hiring someone to write them for me from now on.

On My Mind: I is soooo tired. Why do I always have the impulse to write at night?

No comments:

Post a Comment