If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to Take the Control Girl Quiz! Each Monday, I’ll be unpacking one of the quiz’s twelve questions. Also, on Thursdays, I’ll be telling your stories in a “Control Girl to Jesus Girl” series.
Quiz Question 2:
Do you struggle with worry or anxiety? Are you gripped with fear over the future? Do you fret about your own safety or the safety of those you love? Do you obsess over small concerns because you’re worried about where they will lead? Do you tend to project into the future, consider all of the “what if’s”, and overreact?
Like anger, anxiety is often an indication that we’re trying to control something which isn’t ours to control.
We obsess over past mistakes, and overthink the implications of our perceived shortcomings. We worry about little things that aren’t “right”, fretting about where it all might lead. Everything seems like a “slippery slope” with a straight shoot into disaster. And we dread the future and what sort of disasterous, terrifying things might–or probably will–happen.
Past, Present, Future
If we let it, anxiety can paint a cloud of doom over the past, the present, and the future.
Here’s an example. Once, in second grade, my son had some friends over after school. As they ate the snack I had laid out, they got out their library books to compare. The other boys had big, thick Harry Potter sized books, while my son had a thin, Curious George sized book. The boys didn’t seem to think anything of the contrast, but I was instantly alarmed.
That night, after the other kids had gone, I let that library book send me into a tailspin.
Where had we gone wrong? Did we not read to our son enough as a preschooler? Had was failed to give him extra support? (Past)
I didn’t realize he was so far behind the other kids in his class. Was he in the slowest group at school? Did the teacher think of him as “behind”? Did the other kids notice that he wasn’t progressing like everyone else? (Present)
And where would this all lead? Would he be grouped with the slower kids in upper elementary and middle school? What would this do to his self esteem? What sort of GPA would he be able to achieve in high school? And what about college? (Future)
If you’ll notice, all three of these things–present, past, and future, were not in my control. I had influence, sure. But ultimately we I cannot control what has already happened, what is happening now, or what will happen in the future.
I know this, and I know you do, too. And yet we continue to fret, worry, and fear. Why?
I wonder if it’s because we’re less than convinced about God being in control.
God is in Control
If you start singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands…” I’m willing to sing along. I’ll concede that God keeps the world tilted at just the right angle, and keeps the earth spinning, just the right distance from the sun. I agree; God is in control of the great, big world.
But what about my little world?
Acts 7:49 says, “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool, says the Lord.” If this whole big world is only the size of a footstool–if that’s how big God is, then I must be really, really small to Him. So what I really want to know is: Does He see me all the way down here, waving my hands and tyring to get His attention? Does He notice me, and the things that concern me? Does He even care?
If I am not fully convinced that He does see and notice and care, I will not be comfortable putting control in His hands. I’ll try to take matters into my own hands. And then I’ll be filled with anxiety and worry and fear with every new realization that I don’t have the control that I’m convinced I must have.
Control From Seven Women in the Bible
My new study, Control Girl, delves into the stories of seven Bible women who also struggled with control, which surfaced in the forms of anxiety and fear.
Now, I could have studied seven anxious, control-craving women of today, but if I told their stories, something would be lacking. We wouldn’t be able to see the bigger picture and how it all turned out. And more importantly we wouldn’t be able to gain new insights on God.
As you read the book and examine these ancient stories, here’s what I think you’ll find.
- God did see these seven women–even when they felt invisible.
- God did care–even when I’m sure it felt like He didn’t.
- God was in control–even when it seemed like the whole world was unraveling.
The same is true of us and our stories, today. God sees us. He cares. And He is in control of the things that matter most to us.
He truly does have the whole world in His hands–including our little worlds.
Take the Quiz to find out! Then come check your answers with the “Control Girl Quiz Series”. This series is meant to get you thinking about your own possible struggles with control. As a follow up, I hope you’ll consider my new book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible.
Control Girl to Jesus Girl
Have you checked out the inspiring, real life stories in the “Control Girl to Jesus Girl” series? Come learn from other women who are on the path from Control Girl to Jesus Girl. Learn from their mistakes and take hope for the future.