Today is day 15 of Jennifer Smith’s 30 day devotional, Wife After God.
The story of my life. The anxiety, heart palpitations, sweaty hands – not being able to sleep for feeling fearful and anxious. I know all this too well. A little while ago, The Forgiven Wife blogged on letting go of control. And in the context of fear, I realised that I need to let go. I have everything so under control – I know where I feel safest and what situations to avoid. I know how to handle the morning routine in a way that works for me, and I know how to handle the evenings. I know how to handle feeling anxious at work. But, let that routine be thrown out a bit, and then I’m at a loss. And living such controlled lives is not what God wants for us – I think (believe) God wants us to live life with a certain sense of abandon. An abandon that puts behind you all the fears and anxieties, and allows you to embrace life and marriage with His grace; abandon that implies freedom – in God’s word, in His way.
You probably perpetuate these beliefs by making decisions based on them. You avoid certain people or situations because you think you aren’t good at handling them. You don’t let your husband see you in certain light because you think you don’t look good. You avoid sex. What if it turned out that these things about yourself weren’t true? What if you were to stop trying to control them and make decisions based on them? What if you were to just let go of control and see what naturally developed? Let go of control. Who knows what you might discover about yourself if you simply let go so you could become your natural self–the woman God designed you to be? Reference here.
As much as I crave control, I know that my control could (and probably would) lead to hurt and dissatisfaction in life. And although it is very easy to type this, but not so easy to put into practice, I am praying that God helps me to let go of fear, of anxiety, of holding back – and helps me to embrace my life, my marriage and the abundance that He has promised to me.
I know I can’t do this on my own – I have tried for too hard for too long, in my strength, and I’m not getting anywhere. But, what I can do is keep training myself to trust God, and then let Him do it.
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
And of course, I need to start changing my thinking – always expecting the worse isn’t going to get me the abundant life God has promised me.
“When you allow fear to control you, it can be debilitating as it exhausts you mentally, weakens you emotionally, and hinders you spiritually. Operating in fear spoils what God intends for you to encounter. For a wife, fear comes in many shapes and sizes. You may suffer the stress of fear when you doubt the love your husband has for you, leaving you feeling utterly insecure, or perhaps when you feel inclined to be transparent and honest, yet unknowing what will result from your vulnerability scares you from opening up. The way in which fear is expressed can also affect your relationship with your husband, as evidence of it is woven through your words and how you say them. Fear, worry, and doubt intimidates you from the miracle of intimacy, while trying to convince you that God is not mighty enough to help, leading you to fall beneath the waves just as Peter did.” Reference here.
And just in typing that I can see how far I have come, because I now know that God is more than powerful to overcome any fear that I may have. Before I was asking why, but asking why confirms in your mind that there is a reason and all you have to do is find that reason and your fear will go away. Asking why takes away from God’s opportunity to perform that miracle in your life. Fear is believing the lies of this world and not trusting in God. There is no why. And to get out of that trap of fear, you need to trust – even when you don’t feel like trusting, or you can’t see the solution, you need to trust. Trust God, because He always has your best interests at heart.
…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Dear Lord, you know my battle with fear and anxiety, and how I am so afraid to let go of control. I pray Lord that you will give me the grace to approach my life and my marriage with an abandon that shows trust in you, and that allows me to embrace the abundance of life that you have promised to us. In Jesus name, Amen.