Thursday, July 11, 2013

Control is Dead

Well, I’ve been putting this off, because I don’t know what to write. I do not want to come off like I have all the answers (I don’t), or like I am some perfect wife (::cringe:: I’m not), or like I know all about marriage (yeah, no). I also don’t want to copy someone else’s style or way of doing a marriage blog. I am just going to try to be me, okay? Okay.

So during my morning walk, I had at least fifty possible blog ideas spinning through my head. I had my music on shuffle. And the song “Control is Dead,” by As I Lay Dying (metal band), came on. Some lyrics:

“Take me through the fire, refine what is yours. Take me through the fire, refine what is yours. It is time to overcome this; we must look past what is in front of us. It is time to overcome this; we must look past what is in front of us.”


I never used to think of myself as a controlling woman. Over the last few years, God has been showing me otherwise. (Eek.) Oh, I may not be the most controlling/demanding in relationships, but I have been consumed by control in other ways. Like not wanting to surrender to God, fully, because I am afraid of _______. That’s control. Or, being willing to surrender, as long as I don’t have to do ______. That’s control. Wanting God to save the day, right now. Control. Wanting to be who I should be, right now. Control. Wanting my life to go the way I think it should go. Con. Trol.

This is a huge challenge for me, one that is so insidious that is it hard to tell what it really is. I am not an outspoken control freak; I am a silent manipulator, making plans and assuming they are God’s because they seem like something he would do. Do you get what I am saying? My methods of control don’t look bad. On the surface, they don’t look like distrust, or pride, or fear. They look, well, godly, actually. They look like me simply trying to follow God and piece things together.

And that’s the key – me, trying to piece things together. Me, trying to figure out where things are going and make them go there.

Me, wanting to be the one leading the story.

I am a writer. To the core of my being, that is what I am, what I do, what brings me to life. I create. I plot. I connect dots. I weave things together. I paint pictures, worlds, characters. I redeem the dark stuff.

I control.

And for a writer, that is fine. There are times when my story takes over and starts writing itself, to a point, but the bottom line is that I am making it up. And so I should have a say in where it goes.

But it is hard to turn that off.
It’s hard to get out of the driver’s seat and just sit back.
It’s hard to surrender to God when I don’t know what he is doing.

I have to know everything in my story, and I want to know everything in my own life. I want to see the future coming, want to know how God is going to use things and fit things into place. I want to see the finished puzzle – and I can’t. It isn’t for me to see, not yet. And I don’t like that. It scares me.

Because, at the core, I believe that control (whether you are a writer or not) is rooted in two things: Fear and Pride.

Fear that God doesn’t care, doesn’t love me, doesn’t really want the best for me, that he will take me to the edge, tell me to jump, and then let me fall. Fear that he will let me down, betray me, lie to me, trick me, and then abandon me. Fear that when it comes down to it, I will be left standing alone, with an army raining down on me.

And the Pride comes in in thinking that I can steel myself for all of that. That I can be strong enough, good enough, brave enough, that I can chart my own course and end up where I want to be. That I know myself and what is best for me. That I am powerful enough to accomplish it. That I know better than God, and that I can do better than God. That I am a better storyteller than him, a better creator than him.

Pretty gross, huh?

I don’t WANT to be this way. I don’t want to fight for control – because somewhere else in me, in a deep place in my heart, beyond the fear, the pride, the desire to have my way, I know the truth.

That God loves me.
That he knows what is best for me.
That he wants things for me that I can’t begin to dream up.
That he is telling a beautiful story of himself in my life, and if I would just LET HIM WORK, he would give me the desires of my heart.

The opposite of control is surrender.
The opposite of pride is humility.
They go hand-in-hand, and it is hard. Really hard. Surrender is terrifying. But that is because I have bought into the illusion of control. And the deception of it.

Because, truly, I do NOT want to be in control. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I was meant to be. I don’t know what is best for me. And I cannot dream to know what is best for my husband. I don’t want to fight God for something that I don’t even want anyway, something that will destroy me. I am resisting his rescue but crying out to be saved, and he is screaming at me, “Let me save you! Just let me save you!”

I want to be fully surrendered. Fully usable. Fully available. Holding nothing back. Fearless. Undaunted. Unashamed. Willing to do anything, go anywhere, be anything he wants. I want to be what he has created me to be, nothing less. I want to live out every aspect of the life he has for me. I don’t want to miss a single thing.

I want to be humble. Knowing that I am nothing, but also knowing that he has made me worth everything. That he is the source, and I am the object of his affection. That he looked at me when I was nothing, that he pursued me when I was his enemy, that he is writing in my life the story I ache to have told through me.

A story of hope, redemption, beauty, of life.
Of the dead being raised, the broken being healed, the darkness turning to daylight.

It is time to overcome this. Control is dead.
Oh God, kill every ounce of control in me. Make me water – transparent, life-giving, and utterly movable.