Confessions of a Control Freak


I am visiting friends for the next couple days. An honest treat for this girl who feels like she hardly has a social life. This morning I woke up in my hotel bed excited and nervous to see friends I hadn’t seen in five years. A lot can happen and change in five years and that has happened here. I was afraid that time had severed us. That there would be nothing to talk about and awkward silences would linger. Perhaps the void in space and contact would make things hard. Or maybe pain that had come, passed or lingered would leave us changed to the point where we wouldn’t connect. We have grown up and really in someways grown apart but also grown together. As you grow life isn’t so carefree. Colors dull at different points and events can alter perspectives and people. I wish at times things did not change.

I am very aware lately of my perpetual fear of change. I don’t like it. I like eating the same things on menus at familiar restaurants, going to familiar places, seeing familiar faces, hugging familiar people. I like routine, order, organization and no surprises. I like predictable, safe and really when I think about it boring. But honestly things perfect. This place that I like is a place of fear. A fear of the unknown. A place of control. This magnified point in my life of change has highlighted this trait in me. It is not a good one. The ironic thing is I am in a season of life where change is inevitable. I am about to be a college graduate. I no longer have the comfort and protection of my parents. I live in a new place, no matter how temporary, it is still new. I have new relationships and old ones that have changed. I live much of my life now traveling and there is  nothing the same about moving from place to place. And yet fear grips my heart. Sometimes it almost strangles it. I believe that if I can prevent this change somehow, someway I will be safe. But this sameness stifles potential. How will I ever change, grow or become the woman God desires if I fight change? I surely hope that in ten years I won’t be the same, but if I fear it how will I not? If I try to control everything around me am I not denying the deity of God and His ultimate goodness? Am I not turning to Him and saying I can do it better? Yes, I am. But when I am white knuckling my life willing it to stay in perfect order and control I become frazzled and exhausted. I become unable to function in relationship. My patience wanes and I become intolerable. And yet the more exhausted and frazzled I become the more things unravel. The more I fight for control. This cycle of control backfires.

When I demand control, my relationship with God suffers. My relationship with friends and family suffer and honestly that is the time when the dark cloud of depression begins to roll in. The enemy comes creeping in there in my time of weakness and whispers things that destruct even more. Suddenly I am not good enough. If I just tried harder things would be better. I become a failure. A bad friend. A bad daughter. A control freak who drives people away. And worst of all not good enough for God. Truth slips away from reality and all I have left is this cycle of control that is tearing apart things that I hold most dear.

I am still trying to figure out how to combat this need for control. Why do I fight God so much and not let Him come in and lead? Why is it so hard to do it His way knowing that He has a plan that is so much greater than mine and be confident in things that I cannot see? Probably because I don’t trust. I struggle to trust that God really is who He says He is. I struggle to believe that He is going to come through for me. Ultimately there are things in my life that are seemingly unfair. They shouldn’t have happened. Or I argue “if He loved me He would have saved me.” But those things are both untrue. Life is unfair. This world is tainted by sin. We have free will and unless we are hermits we come in contact with people. Each person has a free will to either obey God or rebel. Each person can chose to love or hate, be constructive or destructive, trust or not trust. In that choice we have hurt. One person choses to do one thing which hurts another. Domino effect and suddenly you feel wounded to no fault of your own. Or maybe you are partial responsible but unwilling to admit it because of pride. So if you are like me you hide behind control believing that it is the better choice. I think I struggle to believe that if people hurt, God does too.

So today, God and I are working on trust. Trust that He can do it better. Trust that He will lead not down a path of destruction. Trust that He will heal the fragments of me that seem useless, broken or unfixable. And most of all trust that He loves me and that that love is not conditional to what I do or anyone that I love does.


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