letting go and holding tight: a fight for control

Spilled Salsa – trusting God and giving up control

My home is a madhouse in the mornings. I get up at 5:30 to get all of the “me” stuff taken care of before the rest of the house comes to life. By 6:30, things are still relatively calm as the kids are just jumping, crawling, or being drug out of bed depending on the day. Shortly after that, the chaos begins, and by 7:00, it is a madhouse. Just last week, my kids were sitting at the table eating their breakfast burritos (made ahead in an attempt to reduce the chaos). I was across the room working on someone’s lunch or making my much needed coffee, when I heard Camden say, “Oops.” I looked over to see salsa on the table which had spilled off his plate. This was no, “Grab a napkin and wipe up the little mess,” kind of spill. It was an “Are you kidding me? Get the entire roll of paper towels!” kind of spill. Did I mention that he only had two, maybe three bites of burrito left when he decided that he just had to have more salsa? Camden stood beside it just staring, wondering what to do next. After taking a quick picture with my phone to text to daddy, who leaves before the insanity begins, I began the task of cleaning up. In a calm voice (really, I was – the Holy Spirit must have taken over because calm was not in my human heart), I explained to Camden that he should have asked for help. When he tries to do things on his own, it just makes a mess and then it takes more work to clean it up. Believe it or not, no tears were shed, and we went on with life to make it out the door in miraculous fashion as we always do.

Swiping through the pictures on my phone days later, I remembered what I had told Camden about trying to do things himself and making a big mess. You see, I struggle with the same problem. In my life, I like to do things myself. I like to grab the big jug of salsa and pour it onto my plate without asking for help. I, too, risk making a big mess. If you’ve read much of my blog, you might have noticed that theme running through many of the posts. I like to be in control and any time that I have to let go or ask for help, I struggle. You would think that by now, based on the number of times I’ve written about this same subject, I would be a pro at giving over control. But, here I am again being challenged to let go. Maybe it’s not so much letting God have control as it is struggling because I can’t see where he has me headed, the big picture.

I’ve spent the past year teaching part time at the middle school, continuing my business, and loving my family. It’s worked out incredibly well, and I’ve loved it (even despite the salsa-spilling, madhouse mornings). Because I don’t think a full-time position is right for my family, I will not be teaching next year. I am confident that this is all in God’s plan and that he has other ways to use me. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have questions. Like why I got to taste, what seemed like, the best of all worlds but only for a year. Or wondering what exactly my purpose is beyond the classroom. I’ve given up control and know that this is God’s will, but now I need to ask for help. Help to accept that I can’t see the big picture, but God can. Help to trust in his plans instead of fabricating my own, trying to replace what I thought was a perfect situation. Help in knowing that my purpose comes from the Lord not a job, classroom, or paycheck. I’ve been really close this week to spilling the salsa – trying to take things into my own hands. I’m grateful for the reminder that sometimes I need to ask for help and let God pour into my life, he knows just the right amount of exactly what I need. He knows that right now, what I need is the reminder that his plan is good. As I explained to someone recently about leaving the classroom again: God is good; he knows what he’s doing with my life even if I don’t. Even as I write this, he is reassuring me. When I opened up the website to the online Bible that I use, this verse of the day appeared on the homepage: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). So true…I have my own thoughts about where my life is headed, I have my own ways for making this fit into my big picture, but my Heavenly Father has his own thoughts and ways that are more perfect than I can ever imagine.  

Maybe you’re struggling, too. Maybe you feel God calling you to let go of control or to trust that he can help you even when you can’t see the big picture. I want to encourage you. I’ve been there – I keep ending up there. When you are tempted to grab the salsa jug and try to pour it yourself, remember that his ways are higher. Turn to him and ask for help and consider where your help comes from. “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). The maker of heaven and earth wants you to turn to him, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). My friend, start asking, seeking, knocking! Your creator wants to show you the amazing things he has planned for you and is ready to help you hang in there during the storm. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven” (Psalm 107:28-30). We, too, can cry out to the Lord; he sees the storm we’re in, and he’s ready to still it. He will bring us out of our distress in his perfect timing at the exact moment he has already designed. We must trust in him and allow him to guide us to our desired haven. Hand him the salsa jug and watch him pour into your life.

 

Prayer:

Lord please forgive me for doubting the perfect plan you have for my life. I come before you today asking, seeking, and knocking. Please help me see you working in my life and to accept that what I’m facing is part of your greater plan. Thank you for the many ways you’ve already shown this in my life. Help me to give over control and ask for help each day.

Amen

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