I like direction. I like knowing the big picture. I like clarity. Which I’m learning is a really nice way of saying... I like control.
This was a recent revelation for me. But when I announced my sudden and astounding discovery to a friend, she just smiled and said (on behalf of the other friends in our circle,) “We know... but we love you anyway.”
Apparently I’ve been hiding this secret from myself much better than I’ve been hiding it from everyone else. My control monster roars the loudest when I go through any sort of change. Graduating. Starting a new job. Shifting roles in my job. Starting a new marriage. Making new friends.
When I start to feel the discomfort of the newness, my control monster starts to panic, and quickly convinces me that I can “figure” my way through this. Yes, I know thousands of people have gone before me and struggled with the same life stuff. I know they all say making mistakes and learning from the pain is how you get to the good stuff. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to be the one to bypass all that. I will figure out how to microwave this maturity thing. Trust me. I just need to read a few (or you know, a hundred) more books, listen to a few more podcasts, and talk to a few more experts. Ask my therapist how well that’s working for me.
Right now I’m staring at these words from Psalm 37:23, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” – Psalm 37:23.
I’ve read them before. I wish I could tell you that they cured me. That I don’t struggle with this anymore. Obviously not. But as I read them now, I’m reading them with the awareness that this is a journey. And it's a journey I don’t have to figure out on my own. A journey where someone much smarter than me is actually directing my steps, even when I’m not aware of it.
My favorite part of this verse is that last sentence. He delights in every detail of their lives. It gives me so much hope that he doesn’t just direct... he delights. A general just directs. But delight implies a much closer relationship.
I often avoid bringing problems to my people, because I’m afraid of being a “burden.” But they often surprise me with their response. They’re delighted. That I chose to trust them. That they can help lift some weight off of my shoulders. They delight in my progress every step of the way. They don’t condemn me for taking so long, they cheer me on.
I think the thing I need most right now is to believe that God delights in me in this same way. Maybe that’s the first step toward letting go of control.