Giving Up my Control Addiction
I have always been what some may call “a control freak”. I like to have control of a situation or be able to work harder to improve the situation. I was convinced that when I put my mind to anything, I could achieve it as long as I was dedicated enough. Studying Biomedical Engineering and Physics in university only reinforced this mindset because I saw that when I studied enough I could get good grades.
Being a Christian didn’t change my desire for control much either. I believed that Jesus loved me and had died for my sins, and I desperately wanted to be close to God so I tried to work hard for God too. I read my Bible daily, went to Church, and was involved in a small group.
In my last year of college, there was one week that turned my world upside down. In the course of 5 days I had 3 friends attempt suicide. I was very close with two of them and I had not realized how deep their depression had become. I vividly remember walking across campus to get Bubble tea because that was how I typically made myself feel better when I was having a bad day. As I walked, I was crying so hard that I could barely see the path in front of me. There was nothing that I could say to force my friends to see hope in life, nothing that I could do to fully take their pain away. I couldn’t change their hearts. I felt completely hopeless. At that moment, I realized that I had been putting my hope in what I could do instead of what God could do.
I sat on a bench crying and praying. I had not trusted that if God had control of the situation that my friends would be cared for. In my life, I lived like my own strength was all I could depend on instead of turning to God for strength. Would I still be happy if I didn’t keep trying so hard? Could my heart really trust God? Then I started to remember some of God’s promises; He has plans to give us hope and a future, He knows our innermost thoughts and still loves us. God’s promises can be trusted and are true.
Since that week, I have found that it is rarely easy for me to rest in God, especially because things normally don’t go as I imagine they will in my mind. However when I have choose to trust God and His plan, then I have so much more peace. I have grown in the last years to see that God doesn’t call me to live life in my own strength. He asks that I trust in his Spirit, his strength.