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.
By: Kristi Huseby
“I give up! I just can’t please you. It doesn’t matter what I do, it’s never good enough!”
His words ricocheted off the walls of our tiny bedroom, each one a barb that imbedded itself deep in my soul. He tossed the covers onto the bed and marched out of the room. With his words ringing in my ears and echoing in the halls of my heart, I fell on the bed, broken and shattered. As I began to pluck the barbs from my soul, I wondered, what would cause this good-hearted man to say such hurtful words?
A random thought flittered across my mind, “Could it be me?” Say it isn’t so!
Being a control freak came naturally for me, I never really had to work very hard at it. It was in my DNA. I always had to be right. I knew everything – no one could tell me anything. I was perfect – well at least I strived for perfection. I wanted everyone to see I had it all together. I was at the wheel. I didn’t need God because I was god of my own little kingdom.
There’s a verse in Proverbs that says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death”. Proverbs 14.12
Being the god of my own little kingdom seemed right to me but it was marching through my marriage leaving destruction in its wake.
As I sat on my bed that day, wounded and bleeding, I took a good hard look at my life and I realized this was my own making. It wasn’t my husband who needed to change, IT WAS ME! I realized the words that poured from his mouth that day, were words of desperation! He was at the end, he had tried everything he could to please me but it just wasn’t good enough. He was right.
I knew if I didn’t do something, my marriage would end up like a ship stranded on the rocks battered by the waves until it broke apart.
How do you change what’s in your DNA? How do you yank out this insidious sin that has crept its way into every area of your life?
I fell on my knees broken and undone as I saw the destruction in my life. I cried out to God, “I see the ugliness, the pain and heartache, I’ve caused and I’m so sorry. How could I be so blind to the destruction? I don’t know how to root this out of my life but I know You can do it! I promise, if you point out to me, every time I try to take control, I will say I’m sorry – to You and to the one I am trying to control.” (One of the hardest promises I’ve ever made but I was sick of my sin and desperate for change.)
What followed was one of the most painful and difficult times of my life but God answered my prayer! It looked like this: I would be in a conversation with my husband and feel God’s prompting that I was trying to control. I would then turn to my husband and apologize for taking control. (Saying I’m sorry is one of the hardest things for me to do – it’s an admission that I’m not perfect and don’t have it altogether and I hate it!) Often it would happen two or three times within the course of one conversation!
As I responded to God in obedience, I began to feel God root this insidious, destructive sin out of my life. In case you’re wondering, yes, I still struggle with control but the power it has over me is gone. Through my obedience, God has given me the ability to recognize my control quicker, confess it immediately and let go of it. I no longer have a burning need to be at the wheel of my life. God’s got it and I trust Him.
Shannon, in her book Control Girl, says this:
“If I give full vent to my craving for control, it will turn me into someone I don’t want to become. If I let my controlling heart lead me where it will, I’m convinced that someday, a woman in Bible study will ask for prayer about her exasperating mom or mother-in-law who’s making everyone miserable, and it will be me. But if I start now and don’t give up, if I cultivate a mind-set of surrender, and make a habit of saying, ‘Not my will, but yours, be done,’ transformation is possible. I can be changed from a Control Girl into a Jesus Girl.”
I have found this to be true. My need to be in control turned me into someone I never thought I would be but God’s grace has redeemed me and restored my relationship with Him and with my husband.
I’m confident, His grace can do the same for you! Take the first step – admit your need for Him! He’ll give you the power to do the rest.
Kristi Huseby is a writer and speaker from Grand Rapids, MI. I’ve had the joy of getting to know Kristi when she was one of our women’s ministry directors at Ada Bible Church. She’s now transitioning into an exciting phase of raising money for full time missions work with EFCA Reach Global. Read more about Kristi and her ministry at her blog, Grace Spilled Over.
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.