This action item really is one of those life-long journeys. Control is one of those things that I’m very comfortable with — I like planning, organizing, knowing what’s going on all the time. It’s part of my personality to do these things (one of my spiritual gifts is administration!), and I enjoy them. But one of my least favorite things is feeling like I have no control over the outcome of something. It’s the reasons I’d rather drive than fly. I like being the captain of my own ship (and by “own ship” I mean cute little blue Mini Cooper…and life).
And generally this kinda works for me. I’m not one of those people whose life is constantly spinning out of control. I keep a fairly firm grasp on what’s going on, I make plans, and those plans generally turn out really well. So the illusion that I’m in control is very strong to me. So for me to willingly let go and stop trying to captain my ship is difficult. Why let go of a good thing?
Well, let me tell you.
For me, at least, it’s all in my head. You would not believe what lives in my head. The plans I make. The conversations I have in advance of actually having conversations. The fears that overcome me about things I can’t control. Thinking about all the I-shoulda-dones or the I -shoulda-saids. It’s like if I think about it hard enough and plan for it well enough, it will turn out just fine and all of that worrying will be worth it because I DID IT.
Now I’m not saying that making plans and being ambitious is necessarily a bad thing. I’m just coming to realize that I leave very little room for God to work in my life. I keep desperately holding onto what I want and what I think is best. But is it?
God has done a great work in me in this area of my life over the past few years, but I feel like we’re just now getting past the tip of the iceberg. We’ve worked together through fears and He’s taught me the beauty of taking risks, but I still hold the day-to-day stuff with a closed fist, saying “I got this.” And when I say I’ve got it, then God looks at me and says, “Yeah, you do, little Cori. But think of what it could be in MY hands!”
So I’m trying to stop trying (hmm). Which doesn’t exactly sound great, but it’s given me a lot of peace. How about I stop dreaming and planning for every second of my future with Ryan and just enjoy our relationship as it is now? God will take care of the rest. How about I stop freaking out over the triathlon I signed up for and know that God will be there with me whether I ace the run or if I have to walk and come in last. It’s sort of taking these expectations off my shoulders and saying, “Yeah, so what? God’s got it. I’ll do my part but I’m not going to make it my own little god.”
When I start to obsess or plan or freak out over something, I try and go immediately to God and say in a strong voice, “YOU’VE GOT THIS. I DON’T WANT IT.” Most of the time I say this out loud and sound a bit like a crazy person. And many times (not all the time) it gets better. I can give a sigh of relief. I can refocus my energy on the right now. On letting someone else do the heavy lifting so that I can just be. So that if God calls me to do something, I give a hearty, “Yes!” instead of a, “but what about my plans?!”
I feel like this post was rambly and doesn’t make much sense. I hope it speaks to someone out there who is constantly striving and holding onto things. Join with me — stop trying! It’s much easier to walk around without all that weight on your shoulders.