"Mommy, it’s all your fault.”
It was raining, and although we had on all our pool attire, we were not heading to the pool. It wasn’t just raining; it was pouring buckets. And my 5-year-old was spittin’ mad—spittin’ mad at me!
Lately I’ve been feeling like I have absolutely no control over anything. But apparently I can control the weather. Who knew? All these years I could’ve been making sure the days were perfect when they needed to be or rainy to fit my mood.
But seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had a bit more control over things in my life, including me.
You know, I just glanced back at that word lately, and I want to revise it. I don’t think this is a recent phenomenon for me. I believe that even when I think I’m in control of things, I’m actually not really. And what I am realizing is that both my wanting to be in control and feeling out of control are really issues of trust for me.
It seems like most if not all of my struggles come back to trust—or a lack of trust.
I absolutely believe God is trustworthy. I know that He loves me. And I know that He sees everything and knows what the very best thing is for me. It’s just that, well, sometimes I don’t like how the path to His best makes me feel.
Feel. I’ve tried to think rather than just feel. I want to base things on what I know rather than what I feel. But sometimes it’s tough. Especially when thinking about everything leaves me feeling dazed and overwhelmed.
I often pray about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22). I used to pray that God would fill me to overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit, but then I realized I already am filled with the Holy Spirit. I must already be filled with His fruit. So all those beautiful words describe me already in theory—well, in reality. But am I choosing to live in that reality?
When I’m easily frustrated by things or people, I often pray that God will give me the ability to be gentler, kinder, more loving and patient, to have more control over my tongue and my tone, and to be peaceful in my approach to things. And when I don’t seem to be moving in that direction, I tend to get frustrated with God because I want Him to just make me into the godly woman I want to be. I guess I want the proverbial 2×4 to just change me—a 2×4 made of foam, not hard wood!
As with most things in my life, I want the quick fix, not the “growth and change through process” fix. Ugh. Can’t He just make me a better woman, mom, friend, daughter, etc.?
I know He can, but I believe the process is the best thing for me. Dang it.
And part of the process is being in His Word, being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Rom. 12:2), being content in whatever circumstances I find myself (Phil. 4:11), trusting that He who began a good work in me will indeed carry it through to completion (Phil. 1:6), and knowing without a doubt that He can and will do more than I ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). Trusting Him is something I live out. I can’t just know it; I gotta believe it, live it, breath it.
I’m finding that the more I study His Word, relinquish control by calming and quieting my heart and mind before Him, and rest in His presence, the more I long to be in His care, not my own—to give my life to Him to handle. I know that His path is not always easy. Boy, do I know that! But I also know that He will not leave me to walk it alone. And just being in His company is worth the journey.
I trust Him that through the process He will indeed make me into the woman I want to be, the beautiful work of art He designed me to be (Eph. 2:10).
I know that I can’t control the weather, because if I could I’d most certainly change the forecast for today: more severe thunderstorms. But I do trust the One who with one word can calm the storm and me.
Sue Birdseye is an author and single mom of five kids that range from 4 years old to 17 years old. Her book, When Happily Ever After Shatters (Tyndale House), is in bookstores. This is adapted from her blog, uptomytoes.com.