Ugly habit of control

Looking back over the holidays I am oddly aware of my need to control my life. And I don't like it. But it's almost like my mind and heart think I need this control. It's a trick that I fall into every day and because I was around loads of people in my not normal day-to-day circumstances, my control monster came out...LOTS!

When I'm alone at home doing Rock's and my routine, even more so when Phil is on the road, my circumstances feel very much under my control. This is a big fat lie, but I like to believe it. It's easy. But when Phil comes home, or we visit family for the holidays, or Rock's diaper leaks and I didn't bring an extra pair of clothes, my meticulous,planning thought processes fly out the window. Stress becomes bigger than I can handle and my body responds with tight muscles and a clenched jaw. Horrible words that turn into sentences come out of my mouth before my mind has time to think about it. This selfish habit that becomes a lifestyle when I'm not looking is entirely too selfish. My heart longs to be life-giving, not life-taking.

And the fears that come along with control take pieces of my life away. I fear that one day Rock will break my heart. That one day all the time and love I've poured into him won't matter. I fear that it won't be enough. I fear getting sick and flying on airplanes and being late to anything. It's amazing what happens when I sit down and think about all the things that tie my heart down. The things that take my eyes off of heaven are the same ones that force me into myself.

I'm a bit saddened as I write these words down. The process to rid these ingrained behaviors needs to be a steady one, an aware one. And as my need for change becomes more obvious, I believe more than anything that Jesus didn't come only to give us eternity in heaven, but he came so we can be free today, on earth. As my chains are becoming more evident, I desire all the more to be free. A life tied up feels entirely too pointless and sad.

The truth is we can be free no matter what things look like. We can be free at work or free changing diapers or free when we have illnesses and impairments. I so desperately want to live without my perpetual need to hold the reins of my life.

Sufjan Steven's version of "Come Thou Fount" popped up on a playlist in the back round of my morning today. The words of the third verse hit me every time I hear them.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Seal us, free us, Amen.

And with that...Happy New Year :) 2011 is going to be another chapter in the journey...that is for sure!


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