Thursday, October 28, 2010

Strong Women, Soft Hearts: Chapter 5

I am here with my thoughts on chapter 5 of Paula Rinehart's book! I'm getting there!!

Control: Releasing Our Sticky Fingers

Um... I just ate a brownie so that’s how my fingers got sticky.

It’s got nothing to do with my control issues. (cough)

Actually, I don’t think I have a control issue at all, as long as everything is going the way I want it to there’s no problem.

(oh...wait...there’s now a little voice in my head telling me that is my control issue...huh...who knew?!)

My need to control is fundamentally a lack of trust in God. Really, it is. It’s about me thinking that I know what’s best for my life, and not trusting that God knows what’s best for me and has my best interests in mind at all times.

I want things, my way, in my time, how I planned them, and heck nobody is going to stop that from happening, and God’s just supposed to come to the party and make it all happen.

You know, because once I became a Christian everything was just supposed to work out, right? Nothing is supposed to go wrong, bad things aren’t supposed to happen, all my prayers should be answered how I want them and when I want them to be, right?


Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

So as it turns out I didn’t sign up for a magic genie when I gave my life to Christ, I actually signed up to be transformed into Christ’s likeness and that is going to hurt. God never promised it wouldn’t, but He did promise to never leave or forsake us.

It’s interesting how often we (by “we” I really mean “I”) forget that exactly what we are doing when we make a commitment of faith is that we are giving our lives to Christ. That’s right, handing our plans, dreams, our ideas on how our lives are meant to look over to the One who loves us, and sacrificed everything for us, and already has plans for us.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

For crazy reasons however, I find myself regularly taking my life back into my own hands.

In this chapter Paula beautifully quotes one of her friends. “You have to realise..that your dreams aren’t going to materialise in the way you have hoped – even ones you thought God gave you. Some will turn out better than you could ever imagine. Some will go belly up. And hardly any will match the picture in your mind.” (pg 70)

I think as soon as we (again, I really mean “I”) can realise this, the much more sane we will feel, the less brownie crumbs we will have on our fingers.

The more I think about my life the more I realise that for the most part, things have not gone according to my own plans. Why on earth would I think the next 25 years will all go according to the script that I have so carefully written in my mind, work out anymore than the last 25 years?

It’s totally OK to dream and plan, but I believe that a holy flexibility is the key. A willingness to bend and mould, and even completely throw out our plans as God leads is essential to living with much less stress in life.

I sure know that my stress levels climb up and up the more controlling I become. And the controlling can happen so subtly, I don’t even notice it at first. It’s not until I start to notice my stress levels elevated that I realise my sticky little fingers have been at it again, snatching my life back from God’s very capable hands.

As Paula stated letting go means freedom from the everlasting burden of always having to get our own way.

And honestly, all the striving and planning and worrying about how everything will turn out is exhausting! I know I would like to be rid of those unnecessary burdens.

I think it’s about time that I made like Carrie Underwood and started singing “Jesus take the wheel.”


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