control-freak?

I wrote this post a few weeks ago after Rich had been away for quite a long stint. But I couldn’t bring myself to post it straight away. Maybe it felt too raw, too vulnerable, too revealing. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time. There’s a pile of unpublished posts on my blog-pile and maybe someday I’ll post them. But I suspect that many of them will be left as secret conversations between me and the Father. They’re my small offerings, my thoughts, my rants, my love-letters, my aspirations, my inspirations. They’re not me, but they share some of me. They’re part of how I process life. I wonder how you process life?  I read my 2012  end of year blog report a few days ago. It told me that I have readers from all over the place. So I’d love to hear from you. Who are you? What do you do? How do you process life? Drop me a line in the comments section – I’d love that. Anyhow, back to the post I wrote a few weeks ago…

Secretly (although I guess I’ve blown my secret now) l like to pride myself on “coping well” whilst Rich is away. It’s a bit of the Alpha Mother syndrome that Joy French so eloquently portrays here. Everything in me wants to appear competent, capable and “in control”.

And usually I just about manage to pull it off.

But this time it’s been messy. From start to finish. 2 whole weeks of tears and tantrums, and the kids haven’t behaved that well either. I have felt out of control.

And I don’t like it. I don’t like to be out of control. But God in His kindness is always at work, and most often in our place of weakness. Because in my desperate state I have realised something:

I can’t be my own saviour.

“Well, that’s obvious”, you say.

But is it? How often do we try and be our own saviour? How often do we try and control and manipulate circumstances, events, situations, relationships in an attempt to be in control. And as long as we think we’re in control, there’s no need for a saviour. When we think we’re in control we’ve got it sussed, sorted, job done. There’s no need for any rescuing.

In Jesus’ amazing words  in the Sermon on the Mount He says:

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

Matthew 5

We never get to the end of our rope if we try and control circumstances, if we think we can do it alone.  True humility is recognising our complete dependence on God, our need for a Saviour. When we’re at the end of our rope we know we can’t do it. We know that we need help.  And because of that there is room for God. Have you ever tried to help someone who insists on being independent? There’s no space, no way in, no room to help.

Whether or not we think we’re at the end of our rope, we all need a saviour. Not one of us can know God without acknowledging our need for a saviour. Not one of us can experience the forgiveness of our Father without kneeling before the cross and asking for help from our Saviour.

Next time we’re trying to burrow ourselves out of mess (or even when we’re not in a mess), how about asking for a helping hand rather than trying to build our own ladder, or setting up camp in the dirt. There’s a way out and it’s freely offered to us all.

posted by Anna

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4 thoughts on “control-freak?

  1. Anna, that’s spot on as always. I think for me I agree exactly with what you say and genuinely want to behave that way. The problem is that if things start to wobble, the man in me automatically starts trying to ‘sort it out’ – doing all the things you talked about. Probably that’s because subconciously I think that’s my role or it’s too trivial to bother God about (I know it’s bonkers but I did say I did it subconciously). The good news though is that God always turns up when I get to the end of my rope. You’d think I’d learn a lesson from that and if I’m honest I think it’s that I need to be more deliberate and disciplined in seeking him at the early stages. Deliberate and disciplined because it’s not an automatic reaction. I’d love to move to a position where it is deliberate but until then deliberate and disciplined it will have to be.

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    • good thoughts jon. Deliberate and disciplined is what many of us have to do in order to change our thinking and our habits so that it becomes an automatic response to trust and release control. I think part of all this is increasingly recognising and acknowledging that we’re all at the end of our rope without our Saviour.. it’s just how much we choose to acknowledge that and respond to Him from that place of humility/dependence.

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