Congratulations to Heather Karlson…winner of The Kingdom Man and Kingdom Woman devotionals by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst. Yay Heather! And thanks to all of you for sharing, and liking, and spreading the shamelessness!
Iâ€™ve recently gotten to know Kelly Peacock — She is a sister Oklahoman, a pastorâ€™s wife, and a mom to two precious little girls. Kelly and her husband, Jon, planted Mission Church in Bloomingdale. Kelly shared this message at Missionâ€™s Day of Beauty and Iâ€™ve been begging her to let me share it on my blog ever since. I know you’ll be encouraged.
On Releasing Control, Part One
We were on a family vacation and I got an afternoon to go sit by myself, right by the edge of the ocean. For me, being by water, always does something special in my heart. I donâ€™t know what it is, but the ocean has always been one of the places that I most powerfully sense Godâ€™s presence. Something that Iâ€™ve been doing for a long time, that a mentor of mine taught me, is called Beach Prayers.
Beach Prayers are just an experiential way to pray. As God brings certain things to mind, I write them in the sand (a word or a picture to represent that concern or situation). Then, as I watch the tide come in and wash over it, I ask God to help me believe that it is in His hands.
As I sat near the ocean, I started sensing God peeling back layers noise and busyness, to help me really see what was in my heart. I was having an awesome week, but as I sat there, I sensed an underlying sadness and even some anger that I couldnâ€™t quite put my finger on. So I started talking with God about different things that came to mind, and I began writing in the sand. After being there for about an hour, and after some reading and reflecting, I felt God clearly directing my thoughts towards two thingsâ€¦
The first thing I felt God inviting me to, I represented by writing the letter R and then a C w/ a line through it. RC stands for Releasing Control. Releasing to God that which I canâ€™t control.
I sensed God inviting me to hand over my desires and my attempts to control things that I have no control over. A lot of times when I sense anxiety, or worry, or anger, I realize the root of it is I am trying to control (or taking on responsibility for) something I cannot control. As women, I think many of us feel most comfortable when we feel a certain sense of control. And thatâ€™s hard for us to release.
Sometimes our minds will even fixate on a certain thing in an effort to take control of a situation, to try to bring about the result we desire. That day, I realized how much of my life I spend worrying about things — stressing over things that I have zero control over.
I felt God gently asking, What would it look like to release this to me?
As I sat there on the beach, I became aware that I had been carrying a lot of sadness, anger, & anxiety because of the choices made by a person in my life, and I couldnâ€™t do anything to change it.
I sensed Godâ€™s nearness and His deep compassion for my pain, but I also sensed Him gently showing me that if I was waiting until all the people around me were acting in the ways that I wanted them to, and for all my circumstances to become what I wanted them to be in order to stop feeling afraid/worried, then I would spend most of my life, waiting.
Just to get a little more specific, here are a couple of examples. I wonder if any of these of these might pertain to where you are today:
We canâ€™t control the choices of other people — whether that be our boss, our friends, our parents, our adult children, and for those of us that are married, our spouses.
We canâ€™t control many of the situations & circumstances we find ourselves in — whether it be physical sickness, disease, financial changes, other people seeming to have everything that we want.
God invites us to release these things to Him, not because He doesnâ€™t care about them or the pain they cause us, but because he knows that our attempts to control not only won’t help, they will eventually destroy us on the inside.
What a relief it is to believe there is someone more competent than me behind the wheel,
so that I do not have to control the outcomes of my life.
I love my children the best I can, but I am not in charge of their destiny.
I work the best I can, but I am not in control of the results.
I try to make wise choices to save for retirement, but I am not running the stock market.
I find that every moment I worry is a chance
to practice letting go of the need to control outcomes.
There is a God. It is not me.
That is good news. There is a God. It is not me.
What weight can be lifted when we can release control to Him!
I’ll share the rest of Kelly’s talk next week.
In the meantime, may you experience the shameless love of Jesus, and may you release all control to Him.