All my life I never wanted anyone or anything to control me. I grew up headstrong and independent, never letting anyone tell me what I could or couldn’t do. When I was 5-6 years old I flat out told my older sister that she could never tell me what to do. So if she did I would go out of my way to do exactly what she told me not to. Why? Because I didn’t want anyone, other than myself, to control my life. When I accepted Christ at the young age of 5, that attitude of wanting to control everything was still there. Yes God was now a part of my life but as I grew up I never let Him control my life. In fact when He would tell me something He wanted me to do I would often ignore Him and run in the opposite direction. What He was calling me to do was not at all in MY plans for my life.
Looking back now I can’t help but shake my head and chuckle at how stupid I was–thinking I could control my life. As a 20 year old girl struggling to survive in the adult world, lack of control is now sending me into panic. Because of that I realized that the whole time I was trying to keep anyone from controlling me I had opened up a door for the worst person to come in and do just that. Satan. He was controlling me by the very thing I craved–control. I had spent 19 years of my life trying to control and fix everything. When I was no longer able to I developed anxiety, depression, anorexia, etc. Even through all that I was still unwilling to let go and let God control my life. My main reason? Fear. His plans for my life had me full of uncertainties; where exactly did He want me? What was He going to have me give up? How was He going to fit all my dreams and passions into one thing? Would I have to give up some of them? Would He call me to a country far away from home? Would I face scary and hard times? Was I ready? Was I even the right person for the job?
Last September as I was living MY life in Florida, 19 years of trying to control everything came crashing down. As I was laying there, not even able to control my breathing for goodness sakes, I threw my hands up in the air and cried out–“God I can’t do this anymore! Take my life. It’s your turn to control it.” I flew back home to New York where God began to work at undoing all the damage in my life I had caused by my want to control. It is the hardest thing I have had to work on my entire life. Everyday I have to stop myself from trying to control or fix even the smallest things. Even the simplest things, such as driving, can send me into a anxiety attack because the fear of something happening while I’m behind the wheel that I can’t control sends me into a panic. There were also many times I withdrew from friends or social outings because the fear of not being able to control how people thought of me was unbearable. The fear that control brought with it destroyed my life. I destroyed my life. I am so thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who can restore al things and gave me a second chance at life…His way this time.
Every night as I lay in bed talking to God I have a conversation with Him that goes something like this–“Well Father you had your work cut out for you today. It honestly astounds me everyday that you love me enough to never give up on me. I falter so many times. It’s like I never seem to get it! I have no idea what you are doing or why you picked me for this job. There has to be someone better suited for this–right?” I swear I make God face-palm multiple times a day with my blunders and doubts. Amazing thing is–He never stops patiently explaining to me and assuring me that He has everything under control and that He is preparing me and equipping me for the calling He has set for me. As I lay there listening to God comfort me and encourage me to keep pushing forward I can’t help but smile and say–“Alright God you’ve got this under control. Help me to continue to learn to step back and let you lead. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing but I know you do. Please continue to turn my fear of the future into excitement for what you have in store. Help me to surrender daily of my want to control my life and the things around me. I no longer want to live controlled by fear but by the power, hope, and joy that you give.” Don’t get me wrong, not all my prayers are like that. I have my share of those “What are you doing God? Why would this happen? What am I suppose to do now?” kind of prayers but these are the ones I love the most because when I am being honest with God about my doubts and fears I’m letting go and having a deep one on one conversation with my Heavenly Father. There have been so many times when I was struggling,even after I surrendered, where I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted and as I lay there crying all I could cry out was “Father hold me!” I will never be able to explain the utter peace that comes over you when you feel His arms wrap around you as He holds you.
That my dear readers brought me to a whole to realm of tears–joyful, happy tears that I had never experienced before. Because as I was running away from the calling God had from me I was also turning my back on my Heavenly Father and pushing Him away. He was always there holding His arms out saying “I’m here to take this burden and hurt from you Crystal. Why won’t you let me? It’s hurts me to see you hurting” But I wasn’t ready to let go. There would be times I’d be lying in my bed extremely depressed and wanting to cry but being unable to because it hurt so much–I would hear God say “Let me hold you Crystal. Let me comfort you and bring you peace. Let me heal your wounds. Please don’t turn away from my love.” But I still couldn’t let go. That day that I finally let go and surrendered to Him I received the greatest gift of joy and contentment I could ever dream of. Because after I cried out “Father hold me!” I laid there with God’s arms wrapped around me and heard Him say “I’ve been waiting 19 years for you to say that. My precious daughter I have loved you from the beginning of time. Your worth is indescribable to me. I will never let you go. I will always be here to hold you.” I can’t ever forget that feeling of unending, uncontainable, indescribable love that I felt at that moment. Now step by step, day by day, I am living life less controlled by fear and more controlled by the Holy Spirit and Love that my Father in Heaven blesses me with everyday. I am NEVER going back!