The Joy of Giving Up Control

I love change, at least I thought I did. Until recently…

I’ve always been the type of person who welcomes change. I get so bored with the same routine over and over again and I don’t mind mixing things up in my life. Change is great as long as it is on MY terms and I have the opportunity to plan it out.

Well over the last few years we have been experiencing a different kind of change, the kind that is totally out of our control and does not come with easy solutions. The kind that makes you feel like a bottle of salad dressing, being shaken every time it starts to settle. I have been feeling dizzy and exhausted trying to keep up with every shake up.

I am the type of person who has to be in control. As the oldest of my siblings, I got used to always being the one in charge. I absolutely do not like to depend or wait on anyone. People who are slow or late drive me crazy. When I have something on my mind, I want to do it and get it done quickly. I’ve always been the type to not ask for help because I’d rather do it myself, at my pace, and the way I want.

Since starting my serious walk with God, my eyes have been opened to see how much stress this controlling mentality was causing me and how it was impacting my relationships with others. I always knew I had a problem with impatience, but God has been using the constant changes in my circumstances to reveal to me that the the root of the problem was my need to be in control.

Every time we would experience a change, every solution I came up with would not work out and we would be forced to wait on God to provide an answer for us. At the time, I would cry out to God asking why we were experiencing yet another change and why there were so many unknowns in our lives. Now I understand that it was because God wanted me to learn to let go and put my life in his hands.

But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. (Psalms 31: 14-15 NLT)

I realized that God has been opening my eyes to show me that despite what I thought, I am not in control of my life. Even in the past when I thought I was making my own decisions, it was God who was using my circumstances to bring me where he wanted me to be. How silly and naive I was to think that any of my decisions came from me. I’m sure God was up in heaven laughing at me, saying “she thinks this was her idea, how cute.”

It reminds me of the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula, her mother, and her aunt trick Toula’s father into letting her work at her aunt’s travel agency, all the while believing that it was his idea. Her mother has this line, which I think is great, where she says, “The man is the head (of the household), but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.”

I imagine that’s what it’s like with God before we come to the realization that he is in control. We think we are the heads of our lives, but all the while the Lord is using our circumstances to move us here and there, placing us where he wants.

Learning to give up control has taken time and is still something I am having trouble with, but each time I am able to let go and trust God with my circumstances, I have been able to experience this amazing sense of freedom. I don’t have to carry the weight of responsibility and I don’t have to have all of the answers. I can actually go about enjoying my life because I know God will take care of me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV)

binocular country lane filter focus
Photo by SplitShire on

Now when I feel like I am slipping back into my old ways, I am able to recognize what I am doing. I remind myself that I can let go of control. I tell myself that “my life and my times are in God’s hands. God will take care of this.”

Then I am able experience God’s peace.

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