Out of Control and Loving It
- Cortni Marrazzo Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2014 3 Apr
I’m the type of person who is typically most comfortable when I’m in control of situations, or at least when I know all the details of what is going to happen, as well as when, why, how, etc. If I’m put in an unknown situation and there is nothing I can do to change it or figure it out, my personality is the type to get pretty stressed and uneasy. Then there is God: the most important one in my life and the one I aim to submit my entire life to, yet he seems to thrive on putting me in circumstances in which I have no control, knowledge about what is going on or what the outcome will be. This has led me to quite a few internal struggles over the years as I continued to want to be in control, yet most often found myself the opposite.
I have found myself wanting guys I was dating (or simply attracted to) to be the one I would marry, and all but one of them weren’t. I have found myself wanting to be at a job I had for a long time because I loved it so much, yet ended up being let go and having to start a new job search. I thought I would be planted in my first home church for a very long time, and then God directed me to move across the state and attend a different church. I’ve wanted certain friendships to be my closest and last forever, but those people have drifted away from my life. I’ve had my heart set on quite a few “dream houses” that were within my budget, yet they fell through for various reasons. I wanted to conceive my first child right away and I wanted it to be a girl, but it took almost a year and he ended up being a boy. The situations were numerous, but my struggle remained the same: I wanted something to happen, and God had a different plan. While I had to go through the pain of my broken dreams and desires at those times, in hindsight I can see in each situation how God really did have better plans for me and that these “letdowns” were just a means to build my faith in him and to help grow me as a person.
Some quick side notes...
- The guy I eventually ended up marrying is the most amazing man in the world and is totally perfect for me, but I just hadn’t met him yet when I thought I knew who I wanted to marry.
- I’ve had great jobs and not so great jobs in my life, but right now I get to work part time doing ministry work from home and get to be home with my son full time, which is a dream come true.
- After my move across the state, my husband and I ended up getting planted in the most wonderful church that I absolutely cannot imagine my life without right now. As a result of our new church, I have been blessed with deep and meaningful friendships with godly women that have helped me grow and become the person I am today.
- I’m still waiting for my dream house, but in the meantime God has built in me a love for our current house, which was the very first house my husband and I bought and it holds so many wonderful memories.
- And as a result of my son being born later than I had originally hoped (and the fact that he was a boy), I became closer to a few friends who happened to have their babies around the same time, and who also happened to have boys! Now my son has a few best friends that he absolutely adores and I wouldn’t trade that (or him) for anything in the world!
Losing control is dying to yourself. It isn’t easy and it hurts. I’ve had to allow God to heal the pain of dying to myself and not hold on to the things I wish I were different. I’ve learned to not only accept, but embrace the plans God has for me, no matter how different they are from my own plans. It’s a process I’ve had to walk through and grow from (see my previous article titled How to Handled Dashed Hopes and Disappointments).
The good news is that God understands this pain and helps us through it (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Even Jesus struggled with submitting to God’s plans over his own. In the Garden of Gethsemane, right before he was to be crucified, he prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39). He even asked this twice! (Matthew 26:42) I’m sure his flesh would have preferred that he not have to go through what he did, but he showed the ultimate submission to God’s plans when he exerted God’s plan over his own, even though his soul was “crushed with grief to the point of death” (vs. 38).
At the end of our life, we want to follow our Savior’s example and be able to find fulfillment in having lived out God’s plans and helped his people and his kingdom, not merely have strived for our own comfort and desires.
After many bouts of disappointment and confusion, I feel like I’m finally starting to learn that God’s thoughts and plans really are better than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). I used to have to remind myself of that truth because though I knew it was true in my head, I didn’t necessarily know it in my heart yet. Over the past few years it seems as though this truth really has begun to finally make its way into my heart and take root. I had to come to grips with the fact that I would never be at peace until I really settled that I was ok with God’s plans over my own. Before this really sunk in, I seemed to always face that inner struggle of wanting my way, yet desiring to follow God in whatever he desired for me, and therefore I was never really at peace. God will give us peace when we can fully trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3) and that is when we will finally find rest in our souls and really embrace being out of control. I’m thankful for the disappointments in my life that have led to a greater trust in God and I’m looking forward to seeing all the wonderful plans he has for my life that I would never have imagined on my own!
Cortni Marrazzo currently resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband Jason and 3 year old son. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for ministry and encouraging the body of Christ. She and her husband currently serve as small group directors at their local church. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Facebook.
Publication date: April 3, 2014