Confession time: I don’t like to lose control of anything. I like plans, and sticking to them. I like recipes that work. I like buying things with my hard-earned money, especially after several weeks of careful research to know exactly what I want. And when I do something well, I want it to be acknowledged. No, I’m not the rooftop shouting person. I prefer the quiet and cool, “Oh, you did that? Brilliant!”
I dread messed up plans, days with no schedules, failed recipes, and being told that I failed.
And I don’t forget. I learn quickly how to adjust my grip to avoid that mistake again.
Sometimes, this is good. In a professional world, people look kindly on others who make a mistake once, and never again. We call it learning from our mistakes.
But children have an uncanny ability to turn every compliment-earning trait, skill, or mindset into a trap for anger and injured pride.
Baby won’t stop crying. And there is NOTHING I can do about it.
Baby won’t eat, because of teething. And there is NOTHING I can do about it.
Baby will only sleep if mom carries him while walking around… when there are quizzes to grade and floors to clean. And there is NOTHING I can do about it.
Add to this some other issues that have been causing some anxiety in our house (moving, friendships changing, financial issues (because buying a house requires the value of TWO houses), increased responsibilities at church and school, etc.), and I finally became a mess this week.
This fight for control must end!
Here is the best answer I can figure out at the moment.
Pray a lot. Do something incredibly active for a significant amount of time every day. Pray some more. Eat at least two real meals a day. Pray again. Clean one room of the house. Pray. When babies are screaming, and you have tried everything, go sit on the porch for a few minutes. Count the cars that go by. Pray while you sit. Begin and end the day in at least one verse of Scripture, and pray.
Does this stop the anger or stem the pride? I’m not sure. But God has already forgiven my sins, so the battle I fight every day isn’t actually for my soul. The devil would love to turn these struggles of mine into just that. But God has won. I don’t have to fight my anger and pride alone. But it means I have to let go of all control. That is the Battle. It’s not between me and the devil. It’s my natural mistrust against my utter need to fall on Him. If I insist on maintaining control, then God will throw everything at me to make me see what I really need to hold on to. At least, it seems that was His strategy this past week.
Afterall, as Lewis says, “Tame? Tame! Who said anything about tame? Of course He isn’t tame! But he is Good!”