How inconvenient. Anxiety and worries seem to find me at the most inconvenient times. Yesterday I was in between assignments when the reality of how little control I have over my life crept up on me. As the evening went on I couldn't just shake away this feeling. I couldn't understand why I was so burdened by this. I don't see myself as an anxious person. I like to be stress-free.
But something didn't feel right. I felt like I was losing control of my life. Nothing bad was happening. The drive was peaceful, the sky was beautiful and things at work were fine. I don't know why I was feeling the way I was. All I know is that as much as I want to believe I have full control over my life I don't.
I can't control my brain, I can't control the way others drive, or my future. I can't even control what happens after I pray. I can't control how God is going to respond to me. I can't control the way others think or even sometimes the way I think.
I can try. I can be as healthy as I can be but that doesn't mean I won't get sick. I can try really hard to impose my ideas, beliefs and thoughts on someone else but I have no control over how they will respond.
This scares me. It's almost paralyzing to think about this. I want to have control over something. It's in my nature to control, to plan, to worry and fret about what's next.
But I also knew that it wasn't enough for me to be so afraid of. Fear immobilizes. Fear rarely produces good fruit. Instead, it cripples you and you're stuck. I didn't want to be stuck.
So last night as I'm having a mini anxiety/panic attack about how little control I have over my life a friend reminded me gently how I'm not supposed to do this on my own. It's like skydiving. The first time you go, you can't go alone. You need an instructor to go with you. It's pretty risky to entrust your life to someone as you jump out of a plane and pray that you land safely (actually I didn't land so well so my butt ended up hurting a lot and I threw up after, but I survived last year).
If life is supposed to be this grand adventure or journey then I have to let go of the idea of having control over every little thing. I want to entrust (and I guess I write this to be held accountable by whoever reads this) my life into the hands of God and also the people around me. It means letting down my guard and the high walls I've built up to keep people out of my life. It means being ok when things get messy. It means having peace in my heart when nothing seems to be going right. It takes some faith and courage to let go of my natural impulse to control.
And to know there is so much grace in the unplanned chaos moments of our lives is beautiful.