Control Freak

Control Freak

Control freak is such a strong word. I prefer to describe myself as a type-A personality. I love my “to-do” list. It is more like an external hard-drive of my memory bank. I swear I would be lost without it. My daily routine is pretty repetitive and predictable. This helps me focus and be productive. I plan my day, my meals, my workouts, and everything else in between. I believe this is a good discipline most of the time. But, it can also be a stronghold for me at times. I like to be in control. It feels good and secure. And if you’re honest, you probably like being in control too. I don’t like the emotions being out of control triggers. Typically, the more out of control I feel, the more emotional I become internally and externally. My thought pattern usually goes something like this, if I can get this situation to align back up with my plan I wont feel all these uncontrollable emotions and I will be back in control of things. In reality, I cannot control anything except the way I respond to these circumstances. But, control isn’t based on reality. It is based on feelings that aren’t always true.

The problem with our feelings is they come from our heart. We can’t trust our heart. Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else & is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Feelings can & will lead us astray if we aren’t careful. They don’t always tell the truth. Our perception can make us feel a certain way that is not based on reality. Let me give you an example. Some days I look in the mirror & see a severely over weight person. I feel fat. I feel overweight. I feel ugly. Is that the truth? No, but I feel that way in that moment. Why? Who knows?? I might have had a bad day or someone said something to me that hurt my feelings. Whatever the reason, it’s not based on reality. It is based on my untrustworthy feelings. You just can’t trust those suckers! So, if I feel in control of my life, does that mean I am in control? No! It’s pseudo control. Satan deceives us to believe that we are controlling things because we feel in control. The reality is that God is actually in control. My day may go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean I controlled the outcome. God allowed it to go that way. He is the One in ultimate control. I was never in control to begin with, but when I believe my feelings of being in control, I am being deceived. It is a lie from the enemy. Satan does not want me to trust God or depend on Him. He casts doubt about God & wants me to trust my heart & depend on myself. Why? Because Satan knows the truth about God, he knows God is good, God has my best interest, & God’s plan is the best. Satan doesn’t want us to know the truth. That kind of truth sets people free. Freedom from anxiety, worry, uncertainty, the unknown, and ultimately, freedom from being a control freak which causes so many of us to live in fear. The only way to know the truth about God is to trust Him fully, let go of control, & willingly surrender our plans, hopes, dreams, desires, & fears to Him. Only then will we come to know Him in a deeper way that leads to a deeper trust & greater faith in Him. Trust Him to work things out according to His plan, believing in faith that it is the best plan & for our good even when it doesn’t feel good.

My circumstances haven’t aligned up with my plan lately. I was given something that I poured my heart & soul into. I loved this gift very much, but it has been taken away for reasons unknown to me. My emotions have triggered feelings of anger, insecurity, & fear. I don’t feel secure or in control anymore. I am angry because this thing I invested so much time & energy into has been taken away. I am afraid & fearful of what’s ahead because I don’t know if it will go my way or be for my good. The thing that got taken away was good & now it’s gone. This was not a part of my plan. It feels pretty bad. I kind of feel like God messed up, forgot about me, or doesn’t have good plans for my future. What if my definition of good is not the same as God’s? Why would God take something away from me that was good? Why would God take something back that He gave me? Maybe it is good, but now it’s not good for me. Maybe, the good thing did its job, but now I have to let it go in order to move forward. Maybe, God doesn’t feel so good right now. Does that mean God isn’t good? No! The truth is God is always good despite what I feel. But, I have to believe the truth about God & trust Him instead of my feelings. My plan is not bad, but apparently it is no longer good for me. I think I know best, but that is a lie. God knows best. The second part of the verse about the heart is in Jeremiah 17:10, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results (fruit) of his deeds.” He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our true intentions, our character, & what is in our heart. He knows best. He knows things that we don’t know about the present & the future. He knows if our character can handle the desires of our heart, if we are ready to receive them, & He knows if these things are actually good for us. I do not know for certain what’s best for me. I only think I know based on how I feel right now. If there is something God isn’t allowing, it is probably not good for us. If He has taken something away, maybe it was time to let it go, or it was going to cause us harm. If we trust our feelings that say this is not fair, God doesn’t know best, God has forgotten me, or God is not good, those feelings will lead us astray. We may try to make our plan happen and end up with a lot of regrets. Or, end up in a season filled with anger, isolation, & discontentment. I’ve been there. It isn’t fun. It is actually a lot harder to be angry & in the self-pity mindset than to go into the unknown with God & trust Him. The truth is God is in control & when life feels out of control, He is still in control. We can trust God with whatever it is that isn’t going our way or feeling good because He is always good.

Where are you trying to control things in your life?

Where is your heart trying to lead you astray?

What lies are you believing?

What lies do you need to replace with the truth? Compare your thoughts/feelings with the truth…Rebuke the lies with the truth of God’s word.

Why Are You So Afraid?

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I am afraid of snakes, spiders, & tiny bugs that are hard to see. Most people are afraid of these things too…right? But, I am also afraid of just about anything going wrong in my life too. I am becoming more fearful with age. I thought wisdom came with age not fear? As a young child & teenager I was fearless for the most part & to a fault. I loved being outside, four wheelers, jet ski’s, high diving into a swimming pool head first, triple back flips off a trampoline, & breaking all the rules. I wasn’t scared of anything or anyone. Whereas, now I analyze everything with the possibility of something going wrong. I fear change of my circumstances & I sometimes fear people. I fear what others think of me. I fear not living up to the expectations of others. I fear I won’t measure up & at some point my best won’t be good enough. This causes me anxiety & steals my joy. Fear is paralyzing me. I am a believer who has been saved by the grace of God. He chose me, loves me, & protects me. He will never leave me or forsake me. So why do I have so many fears?

Fear is defined as something unpleasant, pain, anxiety, threat, dread, being afraid, & being unwilling or hesitant to do something. I feel all of those things on a daily basis at times. I fear losing income due to being self employed. I fear something bad happening to Savannah when I am not around her. I fear future events such as Savannah going off to college & leaving me all alone. I want to get married one day, but I love being a single mom to Savannah. We have a blast! But what happens when she goes to college? How will my life function without her? Will I be lonely & alone the rest of my life? Will she ever come home & see me? Will our relationship change? These are the crazy thoughts that run thru my head at times. These questions cause fear to bubble up inside me. What does God say about all these fears of mine?

God actually says, “DO NOT BE AFRAID!” “Do not worry about tomorrow…” God clearly says in the bible not to worry & do not fear multiple times. I think do not fear is in the bible 365 times. Do not fear is a command from God. Do I obey this command? Apparently not. It is a sin to worry & fear anything or anyone other than God. When I fear other things I am giving my fears more power than God. I might as well be saying that my fears are way bigger than your resources God. You can’t handle these problems. I’m in too deep. These are all lies from the enemy! God is way bigger than ANY problem or person causing me fear! He has all the resources I need. He knows exactly what’s going on in my life. Actually, He allows the storms to happen. God is in control of my storms. He is the ultimate authority. Therefore, He is the only One worthy of my fears. The disciples saw this first hand in Mark 4:37-41, And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” They became Very Much Afraid…afraid of Jesus because even the wind & the sea obeyed Him. God is in control of all the storms. If I believe this truth then I should not be afraid. I do believe it, but have struggled applying it in my life. 
It takes faith to believe the fear will come true. So why not activate my faith in God instead of my faith in my fears. I’ve prayed, “God I believe, but help my unbelief” pretty regular over the last 6 months.

Today, I read Jeremiah 30:10 “Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ declares the LORD,
‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar
And your offspring from the land of their captivity.
And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.” This verse spoke loud & clear to me about fear. God clearly told me do not fear or have anxiety, do not worry or be afraid of something bad or unexpected happening to you, do not be nervous about anything. He also told me that He is going to save me, rescue me, preserve me, keep me, and prevent anything from harming me. He revealed to me that once He saves me/rescues me from all of these circumstances going on in my life that His glory will be revealed (Isaiah 40:5). I will have freedom over worry, anxiety, & problems. No, He didn’t say that I would be worry free, anxiety free, or problem free. He said I will have freedom! I will no longer be paralyzed or held captive by these things. I will have freedom from the effects of my problems that arise in my life. He will work in such a way thru my current circumstances to reveal to me, confirm to me, & prove exactly who He is to me. So that I will not fear anyone or anything ever again. He is faithful. He is sovereign. He is my provider of all my needs. He knows that right now I need to know that He will come thru. I need to know that only He could have provided for me in such a way to reveal His glory to me & the rest of the world. When He accomplishes this I will be quiet (calm/still), at ease (free from anxiety & worry), & no one will make me afraid (tremble/fearful). I will only fear Him.

I am tired of being so afraid of everything. Life is meant to be full of peace & joy. Fear steals all the enjoyment out of life. Fear causes pain. Fear paralyzes me. Fear comes from the enemy. Fear causes me to doubt God. Fear tells me that God is a liar. The enemy is the liar! God is truth & CANNOT lie. His word is TRUE. His promises are REAL & TRUSTWORTHY. God has been telling me to Wait on Him. Every time I open the Word, get on FB, or someone sends me a text. It’s got something to do with waiting on The Lord, Be still & Wait, Cease from striving, let go, stop moving, rest, be still & know that I am God (Psalms 46:10). I prayed a few months ago for freedom of worry & anxiety when life flips upside down is beyond my control & that I would trust God to provide for Savannah & me. I asked Him to provide what we need & so that I would believe Him at His word without feeling anxiety & fear. I believe that He wants me to wait on Him & rest in Him while He is working behind the scenes on my behalf to provide for me what I need. I believe that to be true because His word says that He will provide all my needs (Phil 4:19). He knows I need freedom from my anxiety & fears. I believe He spoke so clearly to me today thru Jeremiah in order to confirm & reveal His promises to me. Therefore, I will wait on God & rest in Him while He works to reveal His glory to me. All honor, glory, & praise to Him!

CAT