It’s been 8 years now, since I truly, finally learned how to let go of things I couldn’t control. And I have to admit, I wish I had learned much earlier, and under different circumstances! I would have been way less stressed, less anxious, and a whole lot happier! There is so much freedom in letting go. You can actually feel the weight of the world coming off of your shoulders! So here is my story. I hope it encourages you to learn this valuable lesson as well. Overcoming and learning how to let go of things you can’t control can help set you free.
Children Have Little Control in their Lives
As a young child, typically we have little control over our day to day activities. We eat, sleep, go to school, or even play on a schedule, often set by our parents or others who are in charge of making our schedule. If we choose to play any kind of team sport, we are required to follow the coaches schedules.
If we want to have an education, or play on any team, we have no problem allowing someone else to be in control of our schedule. We may not like some of the decisions that are made for us, but in general, we like to eat, sleep, play, learn, and participate in team activities, so we agree to the schedules set out before us.
Need for Control Personality Young Adults
As we get older, we have a natural tendency to want more control, be more in charge of our own decisions, our own schedules. For some of us, as young adults, we struggle with things like deadlines and following a work “schedule”, because these things represent to us a lack of control. For others, the more responsibilities we gain at home, at work, and in life, the more we begin to take on a “need for control” personality.
We gain the opportunity to say when work will start and end each day. We control when we get up and go to bed, and in our family life, often control when our children get up and go to bed. We lead teams or projects, we start businesses, and we begin setting our own schedules.
The more responsibility we gain, the more we feel the need to be “in control”. In some cases, some of us become what others call a “control freak”. (This was my title for several years by the way). The “need for control” often sneaks up on you. The harder you work to get your life in control, the more it appears to spiral out of control. So how do we handle it when we can Not be in control. How do we let go, not let it run our lives, when we have no control over things in our life?
This was the story of my life! I worked hard, was “in control” in my work, and positions, and I thought I was in complete control! But I learned later in life that I really never was in control; instead it was simply an illusion of control.
As I look back now, I can more easily see what I was doing (and not doing) that contributed to my gaining a title of control freak. It is often easier to see and understand past mistakes, when we look in the rear view mirror! But I have learned that the best way to live is by looking forward, and through the window filled with light and life.
How to Let Go of Things You Can’t Control
So how did I learn to let go of the things I couldn’t control? When things occur in your life that you have absolutely no way to control, no way to change the outcome or direction, you start to begin seeing life differently.
My own life education came along with me kicking, screaming, and fighting, continuing to try to force some sense of control until the very end. It came as a result of my husband’s diagnosis; one where we heard the words “there is no cure”. There are some words that can change the entire trajectory of your life. Some examples of these words include: “terminal”, “fatal accident”, “never walk again”, and “there is no cure”, to name a few.
Even after we heard these words, I still didn’t want to accept the fate that was in front of us! I thought if he worked harder, he can beat this. Maybe if I pray more, harder, longer, or say the “right words”, the whole nightmare will just go away? I can change the way we eat, the things we drink; we can try these exercises, this new medication. Anything and everything was tried to change the outcome of “there is no cure”. We can still be in control of even this, right?
In 2015, after a million prayers, eating the right foods, taking all the medication, doing the best he could at the exercises, my husband took his final breath on earth, and immediately was in the arms of Jesus, his true home for all eternity. For the first time in years, he was no longer in pain, he wasn’t fighting to speak or to stand up straight; he was instead, whole, healthy, and more alive than I ever could be this side of Heaven. Read more about this here.
We are Not in Control
And I was left with slowly begin to learn how to let go of the things I could not control. No matter what I did or said, or didn’t do or say, was going to change the outcome. I was NOT in control! I learned, in a very real and tangible way, the one that created the Heavens and the Earth, is the one that is in control; not me! God is the one that is in control of the whole universe, not me!
I knew that He was the God of the universe since I was a very young child. But somewhere between raising a family and the responsibilities I took on as an adult, I lost that major detail, and began thinking I could control the outcome of virtually anything!
I watched a movie recently that came out in 2014 called “Frank vs. God”. In the movie, the main character went through some extreme traumatic events in his life, and decided he was going to sue God. If God allowed the tragedies, then God needed to pay for them!
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
We ask “why do bad things happen to good people”? I loved how a character in “Frank vs. God” answered:
“If one has faith, all things have meaning.
I asked for strength;
and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom;
and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for courage;
and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love; and God gave me troubled people to help.
My prayers were answered.”
We only can see, what we can “see”! God’s ways are not our ways!
I prayed for healing for my husband, and God DID heal him! I simply did not understand what I was praying for.
“You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” Job 14:5
If you would like to put your faith in Jesus, please watch the short video on this page.
God is in Control
During all the years of thinking I was in control, God was the one who actually was in control! Sure I can do things that make me look like, and feel like I am in control. I can control the things I eat. I can make a decision to exercise; I am in control of this decision in my life. But when it comes to many many things in our life, control is an illusion.
Through my career, I had a lot of responsibilities, so I began taking on the weight of not only my responsibilities but others. I felt I had to help others be successful, when in reality it is up to each person individually to either succeed or fail. The team members I worked with over the years had to want to participate, I didn’t make that decision for them. Therefore they were in control of their piece; and I was in control of mine. The projects that were accomplished were the result of every person’s contribution: each one equally important. I could only do my part, as each other person on the team did their part.
It wasn’t my responsibility to control anything!
I was only supposed to do my fair share, and what I could do. I can definitely try to help others, and we should try to help, but it is ultimately still up to each of us to do our part. And this is the same thing I was expected to do (and my husband was expected to do) when we heard the words “there is no cure”. He could try to eat right, but God knows “how many months we will live”. He could do all the exercises, we could pray, and pray, and pray some more.
“God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, Long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
Let Go of the Things You Can’t Control
There is such much less stress, and less pressure when we stop trying to carry the weight of the world, or even our little slice of the world, on our shoulders. Let go of the things we can not control! Leave it up to God!
Let God carry the weight of the world. Put your faith and trust in Him, and take that pressure off of yourself. He knows the plans for each of us, and I will trust Him going forward, even when I don’t like the path I am being taken on.
I Can Choose to Put My Faith in Jesus!
For when I take my last breath on this earth, I too will be welcomed by the loving arms of Jesus into eternity. Because that is one very important thing I CAN control: I can choose to put my faith in Jesus! And now, instead of looking in the rear view mirror, where all I see is my past, and my mistakes, I look daily through the window of His light, the light of Jesus, and life for evermore.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
If you would like to put your faith in Jesus, please watch the short video on this page.