Controlling, out of control, in control, lost control, control freak, take control, give up control, all of these terms refer to some kind of control. What actually is control? Is it good or bad? Should we seek it, or run from it? Is it healthy or an obsession? There are books written on how to gain and learn control, and books written on how to stop being controlling, how to let go of control. How much is enough control and how much is too much? What a confusing world we live in. I am a wife, mother, friend, teacher, group leader, a woman of the new millennium. In my family, I keep the calendar, manage the money, organize and maintain the laundry, house and meals. As a homeschooling mother, I oversee my children’s, education, faith journey, and social connections. As a board president, business partner, Women’s Committee co-chair, Bible study leader and Scout treasurer, I hold a lot of responsibility. I am in control of a lot of the facets of the lives of those around me. A fact, which I find interesting, seeing as a lot of the time, I feel out of control. I feel overwhelmed by waves that rise from the sea of responsibility and needs that surround me. As a response to this, I seek to control. I know that I am not alone. Others have shared the same feelings. I am like Martha, in the book of Luke, taking control and complaining that Mary has it easy. And what does Jesus say? Be more like Mary, there is need for only one thing. Mary chose that one thing, being in the moment with Christ. She stepped away from the control. This three part series on “In the Grip of Control”, came out of a discussion that my partners and I were having. We were sharing the events, issues and needs in our lives. A common theme between us was control. I feel it is important to have some level of control over certain aspects of our life and within that, we need to make sure that we do not become over-controlling or out of control. As with many parts of our lives we have to find a balance. We have to choose what is right for each of us. We have to choose when control is important, and when we need to let it go. This is not as easy as it sounds. As Lynne shared in her blog last week, the stress around control issues can lead to health issues. Just deciding whether I need to take control or let something go stresses me out. Fearing what other people think, if they see me as a control freak, or out of control, can stress me even more! As a dear friend of mine would say: “What’s up with that?”, and my answer would have to be “I don’t know.” In Part One of this series Lynne shared the concept of journaling your thoughts and feelings, trying to get to the root of what is going on. Take a look at what is happening from different angles. This is so important, because there can be so many layers and until we take some time for ourselves to peel away the layers, we might not get to the true root of our feelings. With this in mind, I want to add the gifts of grace and forgiveness, for ourselves and those around us. As we look to getting to the root of our control, extending grace and forgiveness can free us from that which holds us down or keeps us from being all that we were destined to be. We can rely on our faith in God to remind us of who we are. Isaiah 41:10 tells us: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” I invite you to really examine control in your life. Prayerfully choosing what is necessary and what is not, remembering that God is there to strengthen and guide you. Delve into what is behind the control extending Grace and forgiveness as a way to move past it.
This is Part Two of a Three-Part Blog Series on the "Grips of Control." Please look for the final part of this thought provoking series from Intentional Energy3here, soon. The new year is an opportunity for new beginnings and the beginning for a new You!!