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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trying to Control the Uncontrollable

Scripture to reflect upon for Truth Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 16:9 (The Message)
You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help. Now you’re in trouble—one round of war after another.

Now you’re in trouble…

What do we do when we can’t control everything? Our life typically becomes incredibly chaotic and uncontrollable. And then…we’re in trouble.

We begin to see our lives spiral out of control. We wonder how it happened, because we thought we had everything under control. Our control caused so much uncontrollable chaos.

I’m trying to let go of some things in my life that has caused tremendous turmoil and strife in my life. It was something that I tried desperately to control, but recently discovered there’s no way to control it because it’s not in my hands. When I try to control the uncontrollable, I often find myself frustrated, angry, and mastering misery like a pro. Now you’re in trouble…

It soon becomes one round of war after another. It’s the rippling effect of trying to control something that just cannot be controlled no matter how hard you try. You’re like a guinea pig, spinning on the proverbial wheel going nowhere. You just keep running and running, until your fumes are low and the energy is wasted.

My control stems from always being disappointed, let down, and ultimately left holding the bag; meaning, I was the one who received the punishment. My ex-husband was eager for me to finish my college education. He told me that he’d take care of all the bills and expenses, and all I needed to do was focus on getting my degree. It was a nice gesture, but it had a devastating outcome. Upon quitting my $22/hour writing job and allowing him control of the finances, I soon found my savings account emptied, our bills piling up, and our home in jeopardy of being foreclosed. After only one semester of school, I had to quit and somehow pick up the pieces. Every single bill was in my name, so he didn’t suffer the consequences of his own irresponsible behavior, but instead I did. I had to eventually file bankruptcy, and to this day I’m still picking up the pieces of that mess he made, and try to pay off $3000 in student loans for that one semester that got me nowhere. I've yet to find a job again that pays that well with such amazing benefits, either.

After that, I didn’t let the finances out of my sight. I checked my bank account balance ten times a day, made an Excel budget and looked at it numerous times throughout the day, and developed projected budget forecasts a year out. In June of this year, I had been looking out into the month of November and the outcome was bleak. We would be -$2000 and I saw no way out of it. For the rest of the summer, all I worried about was November. It was all I could think about, day in and day out. Day after day I tormented myself with November. One round of war after another.

I wrecked myself for months, so much so that the entire summer went by and I have no memories of it at all. The only thing I will recall of the summer of 2011 is my frantic race to try to beat the clock, which didn’t happen. I was too eager to fix it myself and try to control something that wasn’t controllable. In my need to control November, I lost June, July, August, September and most of October. And guess what? November still looks dismal, because neither one of us has a job. I couldn’t change it. I couldn’t stop it from happening. And who’s to say tomorrow God won’t open the doors wide open. But how would I know, because I never trusted God or let Him be in control of it all.

This week I finally had to hand over the financial responsibilities to Jared. It was consuming me so much that I ached and cried non-stop. Jared saw what was happening to me and decided to step in. I didn’t see how it would help, but now I’m allowing God to help me with that. I’m taking a huge leap of faith by allowing someone else to be in charge again so I can rest in other things, mainly, being a housewife and mother.

Giving up control of the uncontrollable things in our lives is the hardest thing to do! Our natural urge to control everything will eventually cause us nothing but trouble, particularly in the areas where only God has control and we have none.

NOTE TO SELF: Today’s truth is incredibly simple: God is in control, so stop trying to control the uncontrollable.

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