Next week, I want to turn a corner with our Beautiful, Healthy You series and focus on a few specific health needs and beauty tips.  But this week, this issue is on my heart.  I truly believe it’s impossible to embrace vibrant, healthy lives as women if we’re living in bondage…

It is my humble opinion that American women are involved in a scandalous love affair with

CONTROL.

Many of us watched as the women in our lives took control in the home, in the church, in politics, and anywhere else men weren’t handling things right.  Taking over just sort of seems as natural as breathing.

In fact, it’s kind of scary to think of not taking over when life gets out of hand.  We’re safer that way.

Or so we think. 

We want to control our future, if and when we get married, how much money we make.

Should we decide to tie the knot, you’d better believe we’re going to try to control our man.  Depending on Mr. Right’s personality, we may end up in the dog house in the end, but there will be a battle of wills not long after the honey moon.  (Or am I just telling on myself here?)

And child bearing?  Oh yes, we definitely have to control that.

As Sally Clarkson put it, our prayers go something along the lines of

“Please give me healthy kids, when I want them- I’ll use birth control until I’m ready, and then I want you to work a miracle.” (source)

And motherhood just gives us something and someone else to worry about and control, doesn’t it?

Are you a control freak? | Letting Go, Embracing Stewardship | Little Natural Cottage

What on earth does this have to do with our Beautiful, Healthy You series?

Well, it has a lot to do with it.

You see, I don’t believe being a control freak is very beautiful. 

Come to think of it, it’s definitely not healthy, either. 

I should know; I’m a daughter of Eve and I’ve tried every trick in the bag to keep my life control-able.

And it doesn’t work.

Once upon a time I learned a really hard lesson, and that is simply that God will not give me grace to be in charge of everything and everyone in my life. 

That includes my Mr. Steady husband.

It includes my kids.

And my finances, my home, my friends, my health.

God has given me a measure of all these things.  But ultimately He is in charge, not me.

I’m a steward.  Which, by the way, is a far cry from calling the shots.

So what happens when I won’t let go?

I told you I learned these things the hard way, and I wasn’t kidding. 

If I can pull back my mask and just be completely honest: I struggle with stress and tension in my mind, emotions, and body.  I don’t mean I struggle with it once-a-month, or every so often.  This is a continual struggle (think, daily).

 

My life used to be ruled by fear and anxiety.

I walked a very long and dark valley of depression. I don’t ever want to go back there!

But sometimes I feel my footsteps heading in that direction again, and I realize it’s time to hit my knees and learn (again) to let go. 

I truly believe that so many of the “ills” we women struggle with in life- unhappiness, physical and emotional fatigue, stress, tension and headaches- spring out from the exhaustion of trying to control the people and circumstances in our lives.

I’ll say it again- 

God doesn’t give us grace for that.

I can plan and strive and do my best, but ultimately I can’t say what’s going to happen in my life.

I can feed my family and my body healthy foods, but I can’t create health. 

I can take herbs and and use essential oils and homeopathy, but I can’t irradicate illness from my life.

I can pray and support my man, but I can’t be his conscience.

I can strive to live a frugal, balanced life, but I can’t ward off every financial difficulty.

I can teach and train my children, but I can’t fit them into my comfortable little mold.

 

To say it simply, 

I’m not really in control of my life.

And neither are you.

Does that mean we should throw up our hands with a who-cares-anyway attitude?

Absolutely not. 

God requires that we be good stewards of everything he has given us.  He expects it, commands it.

But a steward simply manages what has been given.

The last word doesn’t belong to us.  The buck stops with God, not you or me.

I have a long way to go.  A really long way to go.

But more than anything, I want to experience that abundant joy and freedom that Christ promised could (and should) be mine-

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  John 15:11

I’m not there yet, but I’m asking God to help me get there.

The more I learn to let go, the more I discover depths of grace.  And freedom.  And joy.

Are you with me?  

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13 thoughts on “Are you a control freak?

  1. I am struggling on this one Kristy. I won’t say much but it’s really hard. I have so much trying to do to learn to let go. Sometimes I feel like I’m not learning and my heart had been so hard to feel and allow God’s working on me.

    I have this realization that all those stress, depression and feeling of being so bagged down will be lesser if only I apply what I know(to let go) But then again it doesn’t come easy, it needs a whole heart and a full desire to really get there.

    Please include me in your prayers my friend.

    Thank you <3

    Posted on November 23, 2014 at 3:08 am
  2. OMG Thank you for this post. This is just as good as going to a retreat. You have no idea how this post will affect many of us. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Thank You!

    Posted on June 27, 2014 at 8:31 am
  3. This is such a lovely and very open post! I love your honesty and style of writing!

    Thanks so much, domi x

    Posted on June 22, 2014 at 6:15 am
  4. I have been a control freak for a long time. In the last few years, God has greatly humbled me and made me see i cant control how my children turn out. I thought homeschooling was the ticket to that, but i have been so wrong. After homeschooling for 19 years this will be the first year all of my children will be in school. I am slowly learning to trust and let go.

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm
    1. It can be such a hard struggle, learning to “let go”!

      Posted on June 21, 2014 at 8:17 am
  5. I honestly can say my struggle is daily and it is with LETTING GO! I know I’m more comfortable if I “think” I have control But how do we let go?? That is my struggle. I had the pleasure of deeply struggling with a food addiction that I believe most people struggle with; I lived to eat not ate to live ;). I was completely unable to let go of this addiction until God was ready for me to let it . Up until recently I could not see a future where I didn’t have this issue. This fact gives me strength and keeps me on my knees begging He take away that sin inside of me that keeps in constant search of control over my environment. I know there are many holds that keep me in this gross place and I trust God is working them out in His perfect timing. Great post!! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm
    1. Leslie, I have been on my knees this week asking God HOW to “let go”, too. I think God knows when we reach that point of desperation when we are completely ready and able to surrender. THEN He can take us a little higher, dig a little deeper, and pour on more grace and joy.

      For me, it is a daily walk and a journey. God is faithful!

      Posted on June 21, 2014 at 8:20 am
  6. Wow, guilty much! (My hand is raised) This is such a great topic and you wrote it so beautifully. I’m definitely guilty of this and will be working on this. Thank you for being so open and encouraging to us as we grow as mommies and wives!

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm
  7. Thank you for this post! I daily struggle with trying not to control everything and this was great encouragement!

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 11:32 am
  8. I loved this post Kristy! I’ve come to the same conclusion, I can do the very best for my health and my children’s, but I can’t control it. The Lord is in control, he is the giver of health! So when all the herbs fail, I pray hard. 🙂

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 9:23 am
    1. Me too, Caroline. It is so freeing to embrace stewardship and trust God in that way. I’m still learning!

      Thank you for commenting, my friend.

      Posted on June 20, 2014 at 10:10 am
  9. I mentor women all the time to give up all control over their husbands. Nobody likes being controlled, especially husbands by wives. It destroys all intimacy in a marriage. I don’t think women realize how much they are destroying the relationship they so desire with their husbands, the more they try to control them with their moods, emotions, body language, words, etc. Great post!

    Posted on June 20, 2014 at 7:26 am
    1. Thank you, Lori!

      I so agree. Many times, women believe the lie (I have believed it) that being “in control” is the only way to find the peace and security we crave. In reality, the very opposite is true.

      Posted on June 20, 2014 at 7:38 am