Dear fearful one,
You came to my mind today while I was sipping my coffee, and I knew what I needed to say. Perhaps I knew for I have been where you are now.
The thing about living in fear is that it’s never content with a piece. It’s never content with anything less than devouring your peace. Piece by peace by piece, and then…
When you’re overwhelmed by the fear, you will turn to control. Control of your spouse, of your children. Of your world, and that’s torture. For you and for everyone else.
If there’s one thing a prodigal kid will teach you, it’s this–that you are not in control. There’s any number of things that will teach you that lesson, but for me, that was one of the biggest. I remember the morning I awoke in my bed and Jesus, my Friend, He was speaking. “As long as you are down front, stirring around (in his life), you hinder My ability to fully work. Until you lay your Isaac down, this will never work.”
That was the start of Him breaking it down, and from then until now, I’ve been learning. I’d like to give you a shortcut here like someone else once gave me ’cause I see how you’re struggling. If something I’ve learned can help you, I’ll share it, and I’m asking Him to help with the teaching. So here we go.
I’ve learned that a strong need to control is often rooted in fear. You’re afraid of how your child will turn out, so you try to control every aspect of their lives. You’re afraid of the choices they’ll make, so you manipulate. Make more rules, shadow obsessively, and you hover.
You’re afraid of the future, so you plan, plan, plan, plan. You’re afraid of what your spouse is doing, or where his heart’s at, so you exert your control over him. You’re unsure of how others perceive you, and you’re frightened, so you hide your hurting heart, and you posture. You cover.
You’re afraid you’re not acceptable, not quite good enough, so you work and you work and you work. (I sure know this.) And you’re always and ever just–tired.
You don’t know that you really do have a Father; One Who’s bigger and wiser and stronger and truly loving. For if you knew that, and I mean knew it all the way through to your bones, you wouldn’t be living as though you don’t have one. Living like it all rested on you to make things turn out right. That’s how an orphan will live, and so maybe you don’t know you’re not that.
The damnable thing about controlling your world (including yourself) is that it never, ever works. It just doesn’t. Your children have choices. Your spouse, he does, too, and the future’s flat out of your hands. You feel helpless.
I know exactly how you feel, and there’s an answer.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the simplicity that’s found in Christ, and I’m starting to see how very hard most folks have made it (including myself). And I’m thinking a whole lot of us have been fooled. Taken in.
“Perfect love casts out fear.” That’s what His Word says. “He who fears is not made perfect in love.”
This morning, I’m sharing the Bread that I’ve found, and it’s this: Now that I am learning to know Papa’s love, my need to control’s disappearing. ‘Cause I’m loved, and I know it. And I trust Him.
I know I’m accepted. I know I’m adopted. I know who my Father is! I know how He loves me. I know His true heart. It’s becoming much easier, now, to trust Him.
I cannot fully love a person I don’t trust. It’s true of humans and of Him. I can’t fully trust someone I don’t love. It’s two wheels on the bike that you’re pedaling.
Love and trust.
I can tell you how much more I enjoy life now that I’ve stopped trying to control. I’m much happier, I live with such peace, and my relationships with my loved ones are better now that I’m not strangling them with my control.
Today when you came to mind, I asked Him to do what He’s done for me. In mercy, may He break down all your tools of control and allow you to feel your help-less-ness (that’s a gift). Then, after that, to let you to see for yourself His true love and His grand Fatherhood. And that’s when you’ll be able to trust Him and stop controlling.
Then, my friend, you will rest.
The small, caffeinated American mom