"People who are chronically insecure often have an overwhelming tendency to become control freaks. Upon serious consideration, that inclination makes perfect sense. We feel most secure when our environment is in control, and since no one is able to control it to our satisfaction, we decide we have to do it ourselves. If someone would do it and do it right, we wouldn't have to take over, so it's not really our fault, we reason. It's our responsibility." (So Long Insecurity, pg. 209)
When I read this passage a few weeks ago, I felt that Beth was looking right into my eyes, speaking directly to me. My a-ha moment. Hi my name is Kristi, and I am a control freak.
But seriously, what does that have to do with being insecure? I never connected my struggle with control to insecurity. After reading more of the chapter, it made more sense to me. My level of security greatly aligns with the control I have over my environment. I do not like to be in situations where I do not know what is coming next, or chaos, or change, or disorganization. If I am with a person (a friend, a child, a spouse) who is doing something incorrectly, I drives me crazy if I know what to do! I would rather do it myself and know it will be done correctly, than reliquish control and worry about the outcome.
This control also relates to my husband. I know, just like Beth says with her husband, that God placed my little old controlling self with a strong-willed, opinionated man who will not be nitpicked. Oh, but I have tried my best to control him, believe me. I tell myself, "He would be so much happier if he (did this devotion, exercised regularly, ate heathier, had a bible study to attend, listen to more Christian music instead of his ipod full of 80's hard rock, didn't use his phone so much, etc.) In all reality, it should say, "I would be much happier if he did _________( fill in the blank). I love the line in the book where Beth says, "It can start with something as healthy as accountability, but before we know it, we've turned into sheriffs who arrest rather than invest in our loved ones. "
So what am I doing about my control problem? I am praying that God works in me every time I get the feeling that I need to control a situation. That the Spirit will fill me with peace and say "It's okay. I am in control. You are not ME. You can't change this person. I can. I am omnipotent. You are not. "
Thank you Lord that you have all of the power. It takes a load off of my shoulders. I cannot and should not play your part. I can help a person, but I should not do all the work. I can pray for change, but not change the person. Please take this burden of control from me and trust you in all situations, chaos and all. Amen.