Let Go

True confession: I can be a bit of a control freak.

My DVDs are arranged in alphabetical order. The clothes in my closet are sorted according to the color spectrum. Roy G. Biv…remember him? Of course, greys and blacks follow the violets. If it isn’t in iCal, it’s not happening. I love an empty email inbox. My friends (affectionately, I’m sure) call me SMOG (Super Mega Organized Girl).

Unfortunately, sometimes that administrative gifting spills into other areas of my life. Situations. Relationships. I try to manage them…keep them in order…make sure they’re safe…make sure I’m safe within them. I try to imagine various scenarios, outcomes, responses…to have a plan in place so I’m prepared for whatever may happen. Kind of like Will Farrell’s character in “Stranger Than Fiction.”

Okay, maybe I’m not quite that bad. Still.

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining a group of new friends in an evening of worship. I was kneeling, just singing along, when I felt impressed to hold out my hands, palms facing up. I did so, figuring that God was about to show me something he wanted me to receive from him. Then, unexpectedly, I heard two words whispered to my heart:

Let go.

Stop trying to be in control…as if being in control were even possible. It’s really just an illusion, isn’t it? And when I release the reins of my life, of the situations that present themselves each day, of my relationships…that is when I step out of the way and allow God to have his way. And his way? His way is goooood.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. β€œThey are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11

So the SMOG is learning to release, to rest, to wait, and to trust. Got any tips? How do you cede control to God (and keep yourself from trying to snatch it back)?

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7 thoughts on “Let Go

  1. Amanda,
    That’s so funny. I was just asking someone that very question earlier this week. I think first you have to ask the Lord to show you were you “lost” control. Generally people such as us, have had something happen in their lives that was major and we had absolutely no control over the level of destruction it did in our lives. So to compensate (and without even realizing it) we begin to control all the areas in our life, that we “can” control. Such as I have to have my bed made a certain way everyday, clothes hung a certain way, dishes in my cabinet a certain way, etc. Those are things I control. And when I do I feel a small sense of power without realizing I feel it. The problem is exactly what you said, it carries over into different areas of your life and sometimes we can’t even see the damage “control” can do, until it’s done. Finally, I had to ask the Lord to show me why I’m was this way, what happened and how can I fix it. He was/is contiually faithful to my request. My mom put me out at 12…I lost all control over my life at that moment. From there, issue after issue kept happening all because I was now homeless. I felt lost, confused and extremely wounded. At 12 you have to depend on adults to make your life good.

    So, I did the same thing you did. I opened my hands and released all I knew to release. It’s not been easy and many days I cling to the familiar. But His grace is sufficient for me. It’s not the easiest thing to do…give up control, because for you (us) that will mean becoming completely vulnerable…and that…that was a challenge…but one that was/is worth it.

    Love you and will be praying His Grace be sufficient for you.

    • I definitely think my organized side is a gift from God. A creative with administrative skills is a pretty unique combination and I’m thankful for how God made me. The vulnerability you mentioned is certainly a real risk…but it comes with the potential for enormous gain. So I think I’ll continue being organized (How could I not? It’s who I am!) and focus on the couple larger areas he pointed out to me. Grace. That’s good!

      The cool part is, letting go leaves my hands in a position to receive from Papa. And he gives me good stuff!

      This journey is so amazing…sifting out the chaff and harvesting the wheat. It might be scary, but it’s exciting!

  2. Amanda…I have been hearing God speak the same two words, let go, to me throughout this year! I thought I was doing a pretty good job of letting go; it was, after all, the desire of my heart to do His will, and I was trying. But, recently, God was very specific in speaking to me that I was substituting my sense of control for faith in Him…ouch! If I’ve got it all together, it takes the pressure off God, you know. No need to go to God with what I’ve got firmly in hand. Crazy, but I didn’t recognize my thinking at the time. Beyond that, I realized that when I’ve got my fingers into everything, I’m not allowing my husband to be the head of the home, my children to learn responsibility, and myself to rest in the peace of God…ouch again! God’s loving revelation to me (specific to my situation and feelings, but not necessarily applicable to everyone) has helped me A LOT! All that transparency to say…I feel for you, sister, and I’m walking this journey with you. I will be praying for you. πŸ™‚

    • Wow, Christy! I think you hit the nail on the head, substituting a sense of control for faith. And we think we’re doing God a solid! As if he really needed us to do him any favors. We are so silly sometimes!

      Thank you for sharing what God is showing you. If we pool our lessons, maybe we can learn them faster. πŸ˜‰ I appreciate you.

  3. Hey Amanda,

    Let me second the comments by Angel. My life too is full of time when control was taken from me; parents were divorced, custody exchanged, death & dating, (those two are not to be confused). These things made me want to take control where I could. A few years ago while putting my roommate’s video games in order, I started to think about how much energy I spent doing similar tasks that for the most part were only for my benefit. I asked, ‘Does God get glory by how straight I fold my socks? Do people see Christ in the way my dishes sit in the cupboard? When people talk at my funeral, do I want them to speak of my organization?’ These thoughts caused me to pause, reevaluate, and go find the genesis of this need for control. I found the aforementioned hurts and took them back with my God-given authority. Those days would no longer be where things went wrong but where God made them right.
    I still keep things in order. I mean, if I need to watch ‘Tommy Boy’ in a hurry I know it is right next to ‘Top Gun’. But I do so to make things easier to find and not out of a need for control.

  4. Pingback: And Then? | girl in process

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