Friday, January 29, 2016

Confessions of a Total Control Freak

Yeah, so I'm a control freak.

Don't think so? Get this: I've been freaking out about my future. Why not? I mean, I am a senior in college, I'm starting a new job this summer, and I'm leaving the places I have known for things that are totally new, and that I have no idea how God is going to use.

Still not seeing the control freak? Well, in my need for a feeling of stability, of control, I completely rearranged and redecorated my room, got frustrated with every person who even partially disagreed with me on anything, and considered all variety of insane things from getting another tattoo or piercing to dying my hair crazy colors.

Yikes. Like, maybe this is not a big deal for half the world, but please understand I am the girl that hates change. My parents got a new car when I was a kid, and I wept, hugged the old car, and wept a lot more. I hated the very idea that our sweet little red minivan was going away. It was a constant, a norm. So I freaked out, and I cried. OVER A CAR.

Pathetic, right?

Yeah, well, the thing is... I realized today that I've been doing that all over again. Seeing change coming up and freaking out about what is beyond my control. And honestly, I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

Want a diagnosis? Ask yourself a few questions: have you been feeling empty, frustrated, dissatisfied, or ridiculously exhausted, even when you aren't sick or sleep deprived? Feeling anxious over nothing, furious over the littlest things, or disgusted over aspects of life that aren't the way YOU would do them?

If you said yes to any of the above, you are potentially either depressed, sick, or struggling with a case of the control freak. If you feel sick, please just get some sleep and go to the doctor. If you feel at the level of depression, you need to talk to a counselor. Trust me, it will help, and there is no shame in seeking help. For the rest of us who are struggling to control EVERYTHING, well, we also need help. Again, trust me. This is my honest confession from real life struggles. You will not be able to fix everything on your own. The fact is, when we try to control things, we are trying to operate outside of where God put us.

In our frustration, we try to have things ordered just so. But here's a tip about God: He's not a fan of dictators (which is why He GAVE us freedom, rather than mandate that we serve him... but let's not go there, that's a whole other discussion).

Look, I am a visual person. So let's visualize. No one ever pictured life as an iron or a stone wall, right? That would be hard. The smooth edges are just too much to picture life happening on. I mean, you can't rationalize this video of a gurgling baby with a WALL. It just doesn't look like life. Yet, when we try to control, we try to create this perfect thing....

Guys.This control thing- it just won't work. STAHP. (I see all of you who cringed at my spelling. Your disgust has been noted).

So what is life? Well, generally, life has been associated with water, wells, rivers.... Flowing water is not just important to where men have settled their homes,  but it has come to represent what life looks like. Rivers are my favorite- they are messy, windy, straight, crackly, bubbly, and emotional (seriously). They can be smooth and calm, and the next second raging, frothy, and beautiful. And sometimes the rivers even fall -- for most of us, this is our favorite part.

Niagara falls. Anyone want to go? SO BEAUTIFUL.  
And I'm getting sidetracked. BUT THEY ARE SO PRETTY.

We're all afraid of the fall. This is why we complain so much about life flowing like a river. We long for adventure but freak out when it actually comes with all of its high mountains, smooth rivers, low valleys, and waterfalls.... Because when we get to the valley or the falls, we can no longer control the course of our river. 

So we set up camp, and we stop. Like stupid, stubborn idiots we stick in the valley or at the top of the falls because we are too afraid of what we can't control. 

But what if we gave up the need to control? In the Church, we call this humility. Its this insane process of acknowledging that you can't, or maybe that you aren't enough. 

Incredibly painful, but so worth it. It will help the frustration, ease the anxiety. You'll be able to be content, instead of pacing your room or feeling like some crazy unknown MUST change. 

You'll be able to sit, and be still. 

It's when you are still that you hear the babbling brook, winding its way through the deepest valleys. For those who are walking with the Spirit of God, this rush of life comes as a soft whisper, a worship song, a scripture, a word from a friend, or any variety of ways that our awesomely creative Creator chooses to use. 

So please, join me in laying down that ridiculous need to control. Calm down for a while. Take some time away from the busyness of the day to relax, to let go, and to worship God. It will be worth it. 

Seriously. So pretty. Calming pictures help too ;)