As I’ve gotten older, one thing I’ve learned is to lean into people I trust to tell me what I need to hear, whether I like it or not. Don’t misunderstand, there will always be people who want to tell you what to do and they won’t always be people you trust… Make sure you are listening to the TRUSTED VOICES, and not the peanut gallery, but I digress.
Right at the beginning of 2020, just before the world shut down and COVID became a part of our daily vocabulary, we met with a trusted couple. Brian and I were hurt. We were angry. We were unsure how to handle a difficult situation involving difficult people and wanted some spiritual guidance. I think I wanted them to tell me “You’re right, they are wrong”, but instead I heard words that would ring in my ear for the remainder of 2020.
“This may be harsh, but you’re a control freak.” Shew. Ouch.
He was right. I am a control freak. In the situation we were asking for guidance on, I was irritated that the people we were being called to lead were messy. (Imagine that… people being messy.) They weren’t perfect. They were outspoken and unruly. They weren’t saying or doing the things I wanted them to. And I wanted someone else to fix it for me. I wanted someone to tell me, “Just say __________ to them and they will stop the behavior.” Instead, he pointed out that my anxiety, depression and frustration over the situation was due to my desire to control them. And he reminded me that I will never have control over them, over the people God calls us to lead, over any situation, my health or the future or anything really. That I needed to address my need for control before I tried to point out other people’s issues.
The words “control freak” have echoed in my head for all of 2020. I feel like God used the experience and our conversation with trusted friends because He needed me to recognize my need for control so I could be ready for what 2020 was to bring and let the experiences change me for the better, instead of for the worse.
After that conversation, I’ve dealt with a lot of things that were beyond my control:
- COVID-19 taking over our world.
- Government shut downs.
- Cancelled everything.
- MRI Scan
- Pituitary Tumor
- Conversation with Neurosurgeon regarding Pituitary Tumor
- Salmonella Poisoning
- Family Members with COVID
- Family Member in ICU due to COVID
- Death of family member with COVID
- COVID Diagnosis
- Isolation Order
- Quarantine Order for my husband and kids
- Breast Lump
- Inconclusive Breast Biopsy
- Surgery to remove Breast Lump (TBD… hopefully in the next couple of weeks)
- Pathology of breast tumor once it’s removed (praying for benign!!!)
These things are all in addition to the normal frustrations of dealing with difficult people and situations and work stress and bills and just life. I’ve realized more and more as the year has gone on that I can’t control a single thing.
As I’m writing this, I just completed a questionnaire for a local police department. My son is 23 and about to begin his career (LORD, willing) as a police officer. One of the questions made my heart leap into my throat: “What are your feelings toward the danger involved in police duty?” Let’s see… Honestly, it sucks :). I would like to request all police officers wear full on body armor and/or that I could be his side kick so I can ride around with him, make sure he eats healthy and hydrates and go into full MAMA BEAR mode when I feel he’s in danger and whack people with my purse. But, that’s not going to happen :). The truth is, he’s not mine. He belongs to God. And he’s answering God’s call for his life and he fully knows the risk. He knows that God may ask that he lay his life down to protect someone else, and Daniel is ready to do that. That’s not going to stop his momma from praying a giant wall of protection around him, but it’s beyond my control. He belongs to God. And I know God will be right by his side, no matter what.
As we approach the end of 2020, I’m still a control freak… but I’m getting better :). When I feel anxiety rise up in me, I cling to these Truths from God’s Holy Word:
“Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself; ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those who hope in him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:21-26
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG
Hello, my name is Nora. And I’m a control freak. But I’m learning every day to trust God with the things beyond my control and have faith that He will work all things for my good (Genesis 50:20). Let’s all pray for each other to learn to let GO and let GOD.