I have never been a fan of surprises. Chalk it up to a mixture of personality (enneagram 1), life experiences, and birth order, I like to be in control.
I have written before about wanting to be in the front car of a rollercoaster so I can see what’s ahead. I admit I have experienced some delightful surprises and impromptu trips. They remind me that blessings can still be found when I surrender my need to dictate how I engage with the world I encounter in my moments.
Sometimes though, the “unexpected” rises up so fast and the consequences so confusing or undesired that it feels overwhelming. The opportunity for control is still there but it means making decisions that directly run counter to what we assumed would bring fulfillment. It feels paradoxical to choose something opposite to what usually fuels happiness and a sense of identification.
Currently, I encounter this very situation. My injuries have limited my interaction with my landscape for a few months. I grieved those changes yet found other ways to enjoy summer days. Now, I am once again recognizing the limits of a body still healing. This time, it affects my job.
As much as I wish I could go back to my life in April, I can’t. And in some ways, I wouldn’t want to. God has spoken some epiphanies into a chaotic, confusing, and painful season. They have transformed me.
So I realize that control is never is truly elusive but it sometimes looks different. In fact, it can appear as stepping back, recognizing limits, and practicing self care. In a society that stresses autonomy with productivity, that’s a hard decision. Am I weak and passive in not pushing through?
But yielding to rest is sacred to all creation. It is modeled by and commanded by God. Jesus took time away. Soil demands it to replenish its nutrients and bear better fruit.
In taking control by establishing limits, I am recognizing that God’s hand still moves. In my life and in those who step in where I cannot. The blessing comes in the ways all things unfold as a result. It reminds me that asserting control appropriately bears fruit. It allows others to be where they are supposed to be, whether supporting me or working in my place. Our lives affect each other and sometimes that means getting out of our own way. We realize control means making choices that care for ourselves and others. And that truth is empowering.
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