I have always had a very independent mindset. And when I say that I mean, I needed to have complete control over my life. It’s just me against the world. If something needs to get done, it’s better to get it done by myself. No sense in asking for help because people are unreliable. Not only that, but it’s a dog eat dog world, and I need to fight for what I have and then hold on tight to it, lest it be ripped away from me. It has always been easy for me to feel self-reliant like this, because the world as I saw it reflected this back to me as truth.
When I first met my husband this was exactly where I was in life. I was not going to let go of control no matter what. I remember a time when I hurt my back, but I refused to rest and was cleaning the shower just to prove that I could do it all! Nothing was going to hold me down. That is until I got pregnant and was practically bed ridden. I could barely function and take care of my two younger sons, or the household duties. Suddenly I could no longer be Mrs. Independent, and had to become very dependent on my husband to do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. and work a full-time job. I accepted the loss of total control and relied on him to take care of me and the kids completely. It was a hard pill to swallow, but it brought a softness to my super independent edge.
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10
I guess I thought for a long time after that, that I was no longer an independent minded kind of woman. I had myself convinced that I was a working partner with my husband and didn’t see things with a lens that was so harsh and cold. Well as great as that is to believe, it was just not true. It took some deep inner healing and counseling to begin to see that while I believed I was actually still very wounded and had a big wall around my heart. Brick by brick I had built a foundation of resentment, fear, anger and pain that had become an impenetrable wall. But this wall was not just a barrier between myself and other people, it was also a barrier between myself and my God.
At times I have believed I had a great relationship with Jesus. I felt very confident that I was close to Him and knew Him very well. The truth is that no matter how intimate you get with God, there is always a deeper level you can experience with Him. As soon as you are comfortable, that is a sign you need to take it to the next level. There is no end to the depth of God – and the knowledge we can have of Him. I doubt in our human lives we can ever really achieve a full knowledge of Jesus and His infinite self. And oh how amazing that is! To know that in this life we have an incredible opportunity to continue to know Him and learn about God, His character, His love, and who He is! That in itself I count as a miracle!
Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Job 11:7-8
I have come to realize that through my longing for control I have actually been playing God in my life, and in the life of those I hold most dear. It is that need to control everything, that I am clinging closely to myself, not God. I am holding on, as though the bottom was going to fall out from under me, if I did not have complete control. And when I felt I didn’t have control – when things were not going the way I felt they needed to – I myself would lose control. As a Christian this is most disheartening, because what kind of Christian freaks out when things seem to be out of their control? That is not Christ like whatsoever. It is horrifying to see myself snap and start yelling at my kids, or just being very irritated or upset with my husband because things are not being done my way. It is a very ugly side of myself, that I am very tempted to be ashamed of, and to hide from the outside world.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
That is exactly what the enemy would have me do. Hide in shame. But is this what Jesus wants me to do? Absolutely not. He asks for me to come to Him, to see myself in the light of His love. Jesus is the Light of the World, and He will cast His light into the darkness of my inner most self. His light reveals the Truth about me – not that I am this evil horrible person, but that I am a wounded person who has spent years building up that wall to protect myself from further pain. It also reveals the things in my past that have hurt me so deeply that I would want to start a foundation based on pain instead of love. And the bottom line is this – I am a sinner, and that is a great thing! Once I can admit and be OK with the fact that I am indeed a sinner – not perfect, but perfectly flawed – I can begin to love myself for who I am and where I am. When I can begin to love myself then I can began to bring the awesome healing power of God into my life.
Shame leads us to hide away, but the power of love leads to growth and nourishment. What do I gain by trying to control everything in my life? I gain worry, pain, sorrow, fear and failure. Are those things that are of God? Absolutely not. They are of my enemy, the devil. Have no doubt that the enemy is working continuously in your life to cause you strife and pain. It is his job! Our job is to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and to lean no on our own understanding. We can never understand everything, or control everything, and think of the freedom we gain in letting that part of ourselves go! We have freedom in Christ Jesus, because He is God and He is ultimately in control.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.“ Matthew 11:28
I am in the process of inner healing, and partnering with Jesus to take down the wall I have built, brick by brick. I would love to say it is an easy process, or a quick one, but it is not. It is painful to revisit hidden memories or pain that I have stuffed down into the depths of my soul. It is not something anyone really wants to do, is it? Yet I long for Jesus Christ and an unhampered intimacy with Him, far more than I desire to keep hiding behind this big ugly wall. It is through my brokenness that I will find Him, and His vast love for me. It is through healing that I will come to know God in ways that I couldn’t even comprehend before. And it is through giving up having all the control over my life that I will give God the opportunity to really guide me and give me the most amazing gift – freedom to just live and love Him, and to have God’s best for my life. I can never match what God’s best is. It far surpasses my wildest imaginings. I invite you to ask yourself if you too have been placing yourself in the position that God should have in your life. If you have, then do not be ashamed or angry, but rejoice! Rejoice because the Kingdom of God has come near, and He is calling to you!
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8