The Illusion of Control


Like many in this broken world I had a childhood that I would call a mess. I grew up in a home that was very unhealthy. In my messy childhood Jesus met me and God formed the beginnings of a very beautiful relationship. From that childhood though came some baggage. Because I had no control over anything that was happening to me for many many years, I began to develop a desire to control everything I could. At a young age I just wanted a “normal” life where things didn’t seem so chaotic. I vowed that my life would not be so messy some day. 

In my young adult years I still carried the baggage of my childhood with me, as many do, and found I had a desire to control everything around me. I found myself becoming much more reserved and concerned about how I was perceived and how I was presenting myself to the world. Internally I felt like I couldn’t control my emotions or how I processed things. I knew I processed situations differently because of my upbringing, and I didn’t know how to work that out. The result was broken relationships because I didn’t know how to control my feelings or opinions. It breaks my heart to think of how deeply friendships changed because of my own brokenness. 

Fast forward several years later. I found myself in counseling because my marriage was falling apart. I will save that incredible story of redemption for another time, but through counseling I discovered that I felt I couldn’t control my past and I couldn’t control my own emotions, therefore I tried to control those around me. But the truth is, I don’t have control over anyone! I only have control over myself. How I react. How I treat others. I’ve had to learn to allow my loved ones to be who God created them to be, and I’ll be who He created me to be. When I released that desire to try to control those around me I found freedom. I discovered that I felt much less anxiety and stress because I was able to accept that I am not the one in control. 

Now, here’s where it gets good. As Jesus has captured my heart for Him I have realized that I don’t want control. I want to surrender myself fully to my Father because what He has for me is far greater than anything I could ever create myself. He is the creator of this world! Not me. 

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

He knows my heart and my desires. He knows my innermost thoughts and fears and hopes. So I trust Him. Fully. Because of that, I don’t have to be anxious about my marriage, my husband’s career, or what our life will look like in five years. Now I’m human, and anxiety and worry pop up for me easily. But when they do, I turn to my Savior and am reminded that He has my best interest at heart, and my little world of worry will ultimately be ok. 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Sometimes that’s easier said than done, I know. That’s when knowing my God and His character is important, and it brings me comfort. Knowing that He is for me and fights for me makes all the difference in the world. 

I don’t have it all together. And I still have controlling tendencies. I am currently in a season where Jesus is reminding me daily to release my desire for control. But, He is also gently reminding me He is good. If you are in a similar season, let me gently remind you…He is good. He hears you. He knows you. He loves you. Look for His face every day in every situation. Because He’s there. Holding it all together. And thank you Jesus for that!

Heather Williamson, a native Texan resides in Franklin, TN with her husband Steven and her three girls Kayley, Kaidence, and Kaitlyn. Heather and Steven celebrate that God rescued them from a broken marriage and redeemed their relationship with one another and their Savior. They have a passion for walking along-side couples who are struggling in their own marriages praying God will use their broken story to be a testament of hope. Heather also loves sharing life around a table with other women as they enjoy the God given pleasure of a good meal.  Speaking of food, she loves the gift of a good taco, queso, or guacamole…really she just loves Tex Mex.