My husband and I have both been struggling with the same thing lately. Basically, we’ve been discouraged by the outward appearance that things just aren’t working out the way we had hoped. We’ve each experienced things lately that, in a word, make us feel like failures.
The past two weeks have been particularly hard for us in this area, and last night, as we sat around a campfire after putting the boys to bed, we spent over an hour sharing our hearts with each other. We shared our discouragement, our frustration, and our mutual wonderment over what was to be done.
I love Mike for so many reasons, but one of the things I love/appreciate about him the most is our ability to go deep. It doesn’t happen often, and usually there is an underlying current of struggle that spurs these conversations; never-the-less, the result is one of relief. It’s a relief to have someone to share your burdens with. To have someone to process the tough stuff with. To have someone who will let you lay your heart bare, and then offer words of healing and support.
Basically, Mike and I both have the same problem, just in different ways. I worry and obsess about things that are out of my control, and he pours all his mental/physical/emotional energy into literally trying to control things that are out of his control.
The end result is the same, however. This frantic effort to try and control the uncontrollable, or to worry over the uncontrollable, leaves us feeling frustrated and defeated. And, after talking last night, we realized it does something else.
It distracts us.
We kept saying how we needed to give up our control and just trust God in the areas that were bothering us. The thing is, you can’t give up control that you don’t have. I think the thing that is causing us the biggest problem is that we know we can’t manipulate the current situations we find ourselves in, yet we still believe we have an element of control that can be maintained or given away, and that’s just not true.
Things are, the way they are. We can either recognize that, and begin living in the moment and taking things in stride, or we can beat ourselves up with this unrealistic battle for control.
Am I making any sense? It made sense last night…
All this to say, life can be hard sometimes. And we all try our best to do the right thing and think about things with the best perspective, but sometimes, all we need to do is just…be. Be in the moment. Be in our present reality. We don’t have to fuss or fix, because sometimes all that fussing over what’s wrong can distract us from all that is right.
There are a lot of things we can’t change, but some of those things are good things.
I don’t know that this change in mindset will solve all our problems, and I anticipate this being a day-by-day struggle to remember that my efforts to control are futile, but it’s a start.