I am not for sure when it started. It was probably the first time I was given a choice of cookies or something insignificant like that. In choice, I found that I was in control. From an early age, I enjoyed being in control of anything I could be. Growing up, I had a lot of things chosen for me, as I had to learn how to navigate three parental situations as I lived mostly with my Mom, every other weekend with my Dad, and most summers with my grandparents.
I learned quickly that my choices would affect the praise and/or criticism of others. I would often choose whatever would give me the most positive praise. I rarely thought about the long term or what I really wanted. I was more concerned with gaining importance from others’ thoughts than my own. At some point, I was able to make my own choices, not guided by the praise of people and I found myself feeling completely lost. If I made a decision, it really did not affect me either way. I did not come to this conclusion until I unplugged from my people pleasing tendencies.
I think I may just broke through this in recent months. I make decisions now based on who I am, not who I could be. I rest in the fact that God will not ever love me more than He does today. I can’t make any choice that would separate me from him. There is a comfort in that, there is a sense that I don’t need to be in control anymore. I just need to rest in the fact that He is working things out for my good.
My “good” has looked much different than I have thought it would in recent years. My wife has an injury and has been out of work, off and on, for over three years. I found that I have an extra vertebrae that causes me unbelievable pain, at times. I finally landed what I thought was my dream job, to fund out it was all smoke and mirrors. I remember sitting in my living room thinking that the whole world was crashing in on us. I did not understand why a loving God would allow all of this.
The story I have been living should have been one of epic sadness, yet somehow, God is forming it into a beautiful story. It is a story that I would not have chosen, yet it is forming me into a more complete and thoughtful follower of Christ. So I guess I really don’t want to be in control, I just want to rest in the fact that “someone” is thinking about my path and directing my decisions.