Hi, I’m Kristen and I’m a recovered control addict.
You hear me say I’m a planner all the time, but what you might not know is that that is my nice way of saying I used to be a control addict.
I remember I was in high school when I discovered it. I definitely ignored the severity of it for a few years. Until it became super evident that it was impacting my relationship with God. I didn’t want to give up all the control I had gained. God was explicitly telling me I had to give up my control to Him and I kept on saying, no. WHO TELLS GOD NO?— A control addict, duh!
He had to completely flip my life upside down and turn my world inside out for me to finally give it up. It was painful. It was heartbreaking. It’s a story that would take me way too long to tell. When I think back, I know it would have been so much easier to just let God have control from the beginning, but I am thankful that all the alters I had made in regard to my control had been torn down. When I finally laid my control at God’s feet in utter surrender and felt that my bondage of control had been broken, I was surprised to learn that I was suddenly now afraid to tighten my grip on anything. I became indecisive and immobile.
I went from one extreme (controlling every aspect of my life) to the other (having zero control of anything). I know God was probably shaking His head daily. One day, I was presented with an opportunity to transfer departments at Star. It was a really tough decision that I was struggling to give a definitive answer on. While I was playing Bible roulette (when you ask God to speak to you and then open your Bible and turn to a random page), I opened up Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I was in awe because I kept praying for God’s will in making a decision that stunted my ability to move on my own. I believe that God gave me this verse to let me know that if I spend my time in His word, praying, renewing my mind, focusing on Him, I will naturally be able to figure out what His will is for me. It’s like your spouse or your kids. You spend so much of your time with them and get to know them so well, that if you decide to stop at the drive-through, for instance, you don’t have to call to inquire about what they would like because you know what they’re going to want intuitively.
With God, it’s deeper than that. Yes, of course, you still have to pray and talk with Him about decisions, but you don’t have to be immobile like I was. There is freedom in knowing that if you let God have control, He’s going to lead you down the best path in life— the path filled with His blessings and growth. There is freedom in knowing that you don’t have to sit around like a rock afraid to make the wrong move.
You can trust that God has the very best in mind for you, and you can trust that the more time you spend with Him, the better you will be able to understand what His will is for you. So… whether you are a recovering control addict, or are recovering from being completely idle, I get it. I’ve been there. But I also know, with certainty and experience, that God has good things for you.
Morning Show Host
I have been so afraid of making the wrong decisions in my life because of fear.
The most important key you mention is spending time with God. More time praying, reading His Word,etc.
By spending more time with God I will understand what His will is and have more victory over sin!
Amen!! So true Philip!!
Well said Kristen!
For me. “SURRENDER” is one of the scariest words ever! I consider myself fully committed to the LORD, but the thought of being “totally surrendered” really scares me.
I can easily say with confidence “I want to do Your will”, but to say “Do with me what You will” is another story! That is like signing a blank check or signing a contract without reading it! GOD’S ways are not our ways, so a total surrender is saying YES to ANYTHING, even the possibility of cancer or mental illness or dementia! The saints have endured all sorts of suffering, so there is no guarantee that these things would not happen! Unconditional surrender with no guarantees except the LORD’S faithful Presence is not something I want to do. So, yes, I have difficulty giving up control (or should I say giving up my illusion of control).
I think that during my life I have been able to grow on accepting and dealing with situations that have contradicted my own plans & said YES to GOD–sometimes with a few “unshakeable unbreakables” that the LORD has allowed me (such as keeping & working around some of my Church ministries when I was part time caregiver for my Mom), ONE SITUATION AT A TIME. Case by case basis I can handle, with GOD’S love & grace. But handing everything over completely? NO.
I totally get this Arlene!! It comes down to trust. So what I had to do was start “counting my blessings” literally. I wrote down every time I saw God do something for me even the little things. I would start each morning praying for God to show me His favor throughout the day. Then I would write them down and when I saw how much God was blessing me and taking care of me, it built trust. And when you have complete trust that God has good plans for you, it becomes so much easier to hand it all over!
Thanks, Kristen for being so vulnerable and willing to share your story. I am in the depths of experiencing this journey right now and I often think about turning back considering the amount of anxiety and depression it has brought to me. It’s encouraging to hear you made it to the other side. I wish you continued success and kindly ask that you keep me in your prayers.
Praying for you John! God is good and He’s going to walk hand in hand with you on this journey!
This really spoke to my heart, Kristen. Good job.
Thank you Ed!!
You’re right , we don’t have to sit around like rocks, we have our part to play, submitting to the Lord really means walking side by side through prayer, the word and worship and serving. Being a follower of Jesus is the hardest thing to do in life, but it’s the best reward here and forever, he said I have come that you might have life and that in abundance. Keep growing sister
Yes!! So true David! Thank you!
I have struggled with giving up control. Something about the last two years being so uncertain has completely rocked my personality. I have to daily give it to God. Not an easy thing to do but you’re right. God has way better plans for me than I know. Thanks Kristen
Sometimes it’s a daily, even hourly struggle!! But God’s got you Megan!
Thanks Kristen. I too am a “planner” 😉
I get it Jo!!
Hello dear Kristen, yes control can really do damage to self and others. The more I have removed stuff and clatter in my ears, the sweet voice of Jesus appeared. Knowing now everything need not be so deep but Jesus.The more I have been practicing humility, the more peace and clearer direction I see. For me today, less is better. Miss you all at Star.