Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm a (recovering) control freak.
Have you ever noticed that you may be one too? I can ask you some questions to make the answer a little clearer.
Do you react when things aren’t going your way with anxiety and anger? Do you believe that if someone finally changes that "thing" about themselves, you'll finally be happy? Do you micromanage others to make them fit your unrealistic expectations? Are you super passive aggressive?
All of my answers to those questions were a resounding "YES". When I realized the destruction I was causing to my own life, I knew I needed help. I began seeing a Christian therapist on a regular basis.
After years of trying to root this little guy out of my heart, I can say that I finally found the cause of why it was planted within me in the first place.
Maybe, just maybe, it is the reason yours is there too...
F E A R
I was afraid that whoever I was going to marry would end up being like my father.
I was afraid that my weight would define me, just like it defined all the other women around me.
I was afraid that I would have no successful future ahead of me since neither of my parents finished High School or went to college.
I was afraid that I'd never be good enough, since no one ever taught me how to put my confidence in Christ.
Because of all of these fears, I held onto things so tightly that I suffocated them and eventually killed them. There are many examples of this in my life, but two specifically come to mind.
The first one is the relationship I was in at 18 years old. We totally should have never been together in the first place, but because we were, I had major issues. Because of his frequent history, every time we went out in public, I'd call out whenever his gaze would wander onto another woman. I'd make a huge scene once we were alone and desperately tried to be his Holy Spirit. That relationship ended quickly. It ended because he never even cared about sin anyway and because I wanted him to look nothing like the man that tore my family a part.
The second example that comes to mind is my goal to stay super fit. Instead of doing this the right way and being motivated by just wanting to be healthy, I was motivated by an anxiety deep within my soul that I didn't want to end up overweight. The women I knew that were overweight were shaping every part of their lives around that fact. An idol began forming around my heart anyway. I was eating close to nothing and working out way too much. My sophomore year of college, I walked over to the water fountain because I was a little lightheaded. The next thing I remember is an EMT poking my finger with a needle and being told that a stretcher was coming for me.
I would try to control everything around me because I grew up in such an uncontrolled environment. Everything was changing all the time. Everything was different all of the time. Everything hurt all of the time.
Now that I was older and building a life for myself, I had the ability to make my trajectory of life different for me and my children. I just took it way too far.
Realistically though, being a control freak showed me that I had a a total lack of self restraint and more importantly, a lack of trust in God. I sang worship songs at that alter, but knew deep down in my heart that I could never truly surrender.
I began filling my mind with these verses:
Psalm 46:10 God says, “Stop fighting and know that I am God! I am the one who defeats the nations; I am the one who controls the world.”
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.”
Job 23:14 So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny.
And I was seriously, whole heartily, convicted. I had a controlling spirit about me and I wanted it gone.
I set out on a mission to be free from that bondage, once and for all. The beginning of this mission looked a lot like running to the office of one of my favorite Christian professors and yelling at him about how life didn't make sense and how I needed to have my say in certain things because if I left it up to God, He would just mess it up. The professor would sit there, listen to me, and then he would speak God's comforting sovereignty over me. He taught me, practically, how to look to Christ when I felt the need to grip tightly.
Freedom for me now is the norm, but that doesn't mean I don't have a few mess ups from time to time. Sometimes I make mistakes multiple times a week in this area. But I have hope now. And I can only pray that you grab a hold of some hope too with my little insight I can share with you...
Before I do, please understand that it won't be easy. There is no overnight fix for this issue. If you want it gone, you'll commit to changing your life in order to rid yourself of it. If you want it bad enough, you will stop making excuses.
So heres the thing: You must cultivate a practice of trust. Make it a habit. Spend time every single day praying, meditating on scripture, and being clothed with the armor of God. The more time we spend in God's presence, the more our sensitivity to His spirit grows. Which means, whenever we find ourselves in a situation that makes us crave full control, we are able to be lead by Him. He will give us the grace we need to make it through without falling. When we continually spend time with God, we will watch our spirits transform.
When we give into the temptation of being controlling, we tell God that He isn't enough. We show the enemy that we aren't sold out for Christ. The time to change is now.
One (recovering) control freak to another....
It is absolutely possible to live your life without this always hovering over you. The answer is only found in Christ.
Change for the sake of your poor husband. Change for the sake of your nervous children. Change for the sake of your life ending early because of high blood pressure. Change for the sake of Christ's name.
Control was never meant to be ours.
I believe in you.