I am a control freak.
The first step is admitting it.
...But for the grace of God
One step at a time... One hour at a time... One day at a time
I can't handle it God, you take over
I like to be in control of everything. In a world where there is so much chaos feeling out of control is overwhelming.
For the past few months God has been revealing some things to me. The biggest thing I discovered came from a fictional novel I was reading. The main character had an anger problem and was seeing a counselor. I know I have heard this said before, but while I was reading, the words finally sunk in to my brain.
Anger always starts with a loss of control.
I began to think back to key points in my life when I've been angry and they all stem from some sort of control loss. God continued to speak to me through this book. The control I was so desperately trying to grab and hold on to, was it mine to take? Should I be in control of it?
Nobody likes to feel helpless. Our anger can often give us the fuel we need to get things done. But sometimes that fuel runs over into areas we don't want it. We start to grab for control in everything, in places we don't deserve it.
The feeling is like someone falling down into a dark hole where they begin to claw frantically at the walls around them. They would do anything to save their life. It is completely up to them. If they don't reach out and grab a hold of something, the inevitable outcome at the bottom is destruction.
I believe we are deceived into thinking we can actually save ourselves. No matter how many times I tell myself that God is the Savior, a deep dark place in me cries out that it's really on my shoulders. I'm the one with the power. So to give up complete control is impossible.
I am at war with myself.
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." Ephesians 6:12-13
It's so easy to quote scripture. But how easy is it to apply it? How do I change my thinking?
In that same book I was reading, the counselor gave the client a miniature sand timer to carry with her. She assumed it was a time out. That when the sands stopped dropping she would have cooled off and been filled with calm.
That was incorrect.
The timer was given as a reminder for just how much control we really have. If we don't give our problem over to God, we have nothing.
We all have different layers and reasons why we seek control. And until we get to the bottom of it, we will always be clawing at the walls grabbing for anything to save our life.
I have been faced with an opportunity to practice giving up the control I desperately seek.
If you have met my son, Zechariah, you know he is rather small for his age. All of his life he has been little. When I was 8 months pregnant with him, they diagnosed him as having IUGR. (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) They said he was failing to thrive in the womb, and sent me over to the hospital to be induced. He was measuring very small. God gave us two more weeks.
Zechariah means, "God has remembered". With every scary situation, God has been in control of all that was going on.
When Zech was a year old, he was 30% below the growth chart. We stopped breast feeding and started whole milk, along with heavy whipping cream mixed in. He was on the diet of anything and everything. Whatever I could get him to eat, I was told to give it. If he wanted ice cream, he got it. He eventually made it onto the chart at 2 years old.
For the past 3 years Zechariah has maintained a spot between the 5th percentile and 3rd percentile. His measurements are those of an average 3 year old. He wears clothes for that size, and often gets mistaken for being that age.
Our current medical issue is Zech's growth. We had a 5 year checkup and we were referred to the hospital for an X-ray of his wrist. They wanted to find out if Zech's bones were the correct age, or if there was a delay. I was certain we were going to find out he's just small for his age, and everything would be okay.
I was very surprised to hear that his bones were behind. We now have an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist in a few weeks.
Today, Zech was referred to the hospital again for some blood work. He spent the morning fasting, and waiting to have 3 vials of blood taken from his tiny veins.
I know that God is in control, and He is not the least bit surprised at any of this.
Zech has always had trouble giving blood. When he was an infant he got a serious blood infection and was required to give blood weekly. Each time we would have to do it multiple times because he wouldn't bleed for them. This time I was pleased that up front the nurse noticed his vein was giving her trouble, and she didn't hesitate in asking for assistance BEFORE she stuck him.
3 different times his blood stopped flowing, and they were going to switch arms and veins. Each time I whispered a prayer in his ears, and as soon as I would call out the name Jesus, the blood would flow again. It brings tears to my eyes now, hours later.
There is so much power in Jesus name. I saw evidence of it today, this very morning. It didn't happen one time. It happened 3 different times. As soon as I called on Jesus name, the blood would flow. To a little boy, sitting on a chair, with a needle in his arm, trying to hold back the tears, that was HUGE.
It was confirmation to me that God is really in control. There is nothing I can do to fix this problem. I've tried all I can. I have to step back and let God work. No matter what the specialist says to us in a few weeks, I know that God has remembered Zechariah. He hasn't been buried under a pile of paperwork. God has his medical chart front and center. He knows exactly what Zech needs.
My job is to wait; to wait, and pray when I feel the worry creep back in. To trust that God is bigger than anything I have to deal with. I am holding onto the promises of God. When I was 12 weeks pregnant with Zechariah I started bleeding and thought I would miscarry. The placenta started to detach. God gave me this promise, and I have continued to hold onto it for all of Zech's life.
“You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives." Exodus 23:25-26