I do not like “life” dealing my cards to me. I always wanted to have control over the issues of my life. I struggled endlessly to keep my situation peaceful and joyful, but life kept happening according to its own subversive strategy.
Through an abusive and emotionally-distant childhood, as well as an emotionally neglectful and distant first marriage, my body and soul suffered lasting damage. As I raised my three children, I decided that I no longer wanted to suffer through life as a victim.
I knew that I wanted to control the “temperature” of my circumstances like a thermostat, instead of simply registering the current climate like a thermometer and going along with the flow. Initially, I continued to put up with negative treatment.
However, when I could not stand it any longer, I made a choice to use intimidation, manipulation, and/or dominating behavior with others to insure that I felt safe. I was tired of reaping the consequences of other people’s choices.
Controlling people are scared and scarred individuals who are just trying to survive in this world. They are attempting to keep themselves safe from a wounded and broken existence, by controlling the uncontrollable.
I usually used anger to protect myself. I blew up like a volcano – screaming my feelings at the top of lungs in my attempt to be taken seriously. My burst of unexpected anger usually got everyone’s attention, but left scars on their souls.
Not that I belittled or cursed at them, but that the intensity of my anger wounded them. My eruption was short lived, but fierce in intensity. The negative aspect of my attempts to control life cost me my first marriage.
Since accepting Jesus at age 18, I have enjoyed God’s gradual healing for me of the effects of my trauma and grief. I am learning so many new healthy ways of dealing with life’s unpredictability.
God even introduced me to a wonderful man whom I married. He used my new husband to teach me that I needed to express my feelings before I felt the need to control life by getting angry. So I started doing this.
I actually convinced him, that if he would listen and take my words seriously when I confided in him, I would not need to get angry. I learned to say, “Would you please listen to me, or do I need to take out my Italian temper?” This quickly gets his attention.
I also convinced him not to make decisions, which involved me in any way, until he first discussed them with me to get my perspective. When his choice and my choice differed, we learned to look for a third option that gave us both peace.
Father God, thank You for teaching me to relinquish my life to Your control as You see fit. The only striving I want in my life is to allow Your Spirit to control my thoughts, my emotions, my actions and my words. Thank You for using two wrecks that totaled both cars but spared my life, to finally teach me that life is absolutely out of my control.
Only trusting in You, moment by moment throughout the day, will guarantee that regardless of circumstances, You will walk through them with us. As the Lord of peace, You flood our soul with Your peace in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Remind me that although circumstances may get out of my control, they are never out of Your control
Thought for the Day:
A healthy life requires that we realize that we are only in control of the use of our own resources, time, activities, tongue and emotions; by submitting our will to God’s plan for us individually, we are assured that we will live a Spirit-controlled life.