Many things happen in this life that are out of our control. Being a military wife caught up in moving and deployments for almost 15 years has taught me this fact. Having our fourth child after a four-year baby free gap in which we thought we were forever out of the diaper zone also taught me this fact. Losing my father and my sister to illness and cancer undeniably taught me this fact.
I don’t know when it was exactly that I realized my inability to control my life. But I do know that I was beginning to see a pattern of stress when I was in certain “uncontrollable situations.” Mounting stress that came from living in denial of the truth that my plans were rarely going to work out the way I thought they would.
Whenever this realization hit me, it really hit me. Like, square across the jaw with a concrete right hook called ANXIETY.
Anxiety doesn’t care if you think you have it all together. It comes at you hard and is determined to knock you out. Then it sits on top of you as you’re sprawled out on the mat and holds you there while raising brutish fists in victory. Anxiety is a beast.
While navigating my new, chaotic frame of mind, I started to realize that I was letting this brute control me. My decisions were becoming too safe and comfortable and the longing in me to be fearless and free was screaming for my attention.
But, how can we be fearless in the face of so much uncertainty? I sure as heck didn’t have the answer and after mulling around in self-inspection for a while, I finally decided to ask God about it. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I’m scared that no matter how much I do right, something bad is still going to happen.
God: Daughter, you don’t have to have all the answers. I am still on the throne and I’m not going anywhere.
I got called out. The lie had been named: I believed I had to have all the answers. That somehow knowing what was going to happen might actually stop it from happening.
And you can bet, if I didn’t know the answer, I’d find out for you. Somehow. Many have called me resourceful because of this ability to be able to retrieve and retain information on many topics. Just. For. Fun. (Yeah, it sickens me too.)
The thing is, no one else was putting this pressure on me. Not my family or friends. Not God (as much as I’d like to point my finger at the Big Guy.) No, I put this pressure to be in control and in the know on myself. Hence, my battle with anxiety.
In my quest to regain some semblance of peace after my tumultuous stretch of soul searching, I was repeatedly being shown a verse through multiple sources and people. It was like God was highlighting this truth JUST FOR ME. So I could really and truly lay down my anxiety and control issues once and for all.
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,
Says the Lord of hosts.” – Zechariah 4:6
I felt my jaw start to unclench and my fists begin to uncurl as I let this verse sink deep into my heart. Ahhh…fearless and free me was still in there. She just needed to apply some truth salve to her beaten down soul.
It’ll work for you too. I don’t know what it is you’re trying to control today, but let me tell you from experience, you can’t will it to happen. You can’t strive and strain for a life without bumps in the road. There will always be unforeseen bumps.
But you know what you can do? You can trust in the almighty, all-powerful God, the One who made you, to be in control. Because, thankfully, He is still on the throne.