February 8, 2011

Inside Out

God is always working on us from the inside out. His latest project with me is the word and actions associated with control.

The definition of control is to exercise restraining or directing influence over: to have power over: to reduce incidence or severity of especially to innocuous levels. Some synonyms for control are bridle, check, constrain, contain, curb, govern, hold, inhibit, keep, measure, pull in, regulate, rein (in), restrain, rule, tame.

Wow! That's one loaded paragraph. God has really been dealing with me for a while about my need for control. I've realized that my need for control has come from a life of being out of control. I spent the early part of my life in a home that was out of control and very dysfunctional. I have to say that my mom worked as hard as she possibly could, with the knowledge she had, to make it as "normal" as possible. I think early on I developed this need to try and control the environment around me to keep order & reduce the chaos. When my parents divorced, I decided that as the oldest child, it was my job to fill the role of the other parent and help my mom keep my siblings in order. Let the control fest begin! LOL! I'm so thankful for God's mercy and that my siblings don't hate me anymore for it. Growing up I think they yelled at me on a daily basis "you're not my mom"! HA!

What I've learned in life is that there isn't much I CAN control! God is not a controlling God. He tells us in 2Peter 1: 5-7 that we should have "self-control" not control of the world or people around us. So, does that mean that all this time I've been spinning my wheels trying to make everything fall into place just the way it should? Yep. Hmmmm..... What can I control?
I can control, my thoughts, my actions, and my words.

In my thoughts I have to continue to remind myself (sometimes a gazillion times a day!) that I cannot control they way my life plays out. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord". So that means that whatever I assume to be true may only be my own ideals. God makes the plans for my life. When things don't go the way I think they should then it's my job to control my thoughts and remind myself that God knows what He's doing and His ways are better than mine. Even when I think I know better ;-)

In my actions I have to remember that I cannot manipulate situations or try to intervene to force God's hand. I am just a vessel traveling on the path that God has planned for me. If I listen to Him and trust Him then I will be just fine on this journey. It will get hard at times and I'll feel like I can't go on but I have to push myself to continue to press on and press through. I have to make myself keep moving and run my race trusting in God just like Paul did!

My words. Boy, that's a really big one! Words are so much more powerful than anyone may ever know. I was watching a documentary on Maya Angelou last night and she was saying that she really believes that words are things that have actions. You know, if you think about that, there's a lot of truth in it. My words can discourage someone to the point of quitting a lifelong dream or encourage them to conquer the world! That's big time! I want to control my words. I want them to bring life, love, and encouragement to others. I want people to find comfort and joy in what comes out of my mouth. I want to control my words so that I build others up and encourage them to reach for the stars! I want my words to be like Proverbs 16:24 "Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."

There's SO much to learn about life. Learning what I can and cannot control can be really difficult at times but there is so much freedom when I let the one who was meant to control my life steer the ship!


Harold Green said...

So here are *my* words: "Go Nicole, you're awesome."
Love you,

Nicole said...

Thanks Daddy!