Photo by Nicole Tarpoff
Most of my life has been all about the control I can have. I have tried to control how I want my life to look, I have controlled my food intake and exercise until I formed an eating disorder, I have controlled my perfectionism until it has eaten me alive. I have controlled how I want to get attention from boys, and how I want my life to look like after college. The list goes on and on.
I’m a control freak—if you couldn’t already tell. But a year ago last Friday, I gave up something that I was begging to keep control of: my dating life. You might think that this is silly for me to give up control over, but to me, it’s not. In fact, it was the biggest area of my life that I have not given to Jesus. I want to date my way. I want to do things the way I think are right, and when it came to dating, I thought that I would have it all under control. I would find a boyfriend my freshman year of college, date until our senior year, and get engaged in the spring and get married and then graduate college with a new husband and a white picket fence. None of that happened!
My freshman year I struggled and looked to guys to find my worth. My sophomore year my perfectionism broke. My junior year I switched majors and friends. And coming into my senior year, I am just done with giving up a year of no dating. Yes, a whole year!! Can you imagine the control freak in me dying right now?? It was a struggle. But something that the Lord has whispered to me throughout my year of no dating and still continuously speaks to my soul is this: “You are enough. I am the creator of the universe. I love you so much, that I want to take all of the burdens that come from controlling everything and I want you to give it to me. I will take care of the rest. Live life without a plan, and just love and be loved. I will take care of the rest.”
Jesus is so good about pointing us in the direction we need the most work in, and He pointed me to my dating life because he knew it needed some work. This past year, I have learned so much about how my worth is in GOD alone. I might be single until I’m 35, which still makes me wince a little bit (I’m not gonna lie), but it makes me remember that if I’m still single by then, that’s ok. I would rather be single and in love with Jesus than hating my husband and white picket fence life that I had so envisioned for myself for so long.
Here’s the thing: This year, I have learned that I am not in control of anything. I don’t even control my heartbeat. If God can make the earth rotate, then surely I can give Him control over the things I shouldn’t be in control over in my life, because sometimes I can’t even control my hair in the morning! This last year, I have taken strides to love others, not have a plan, and follow the Holy Spirit’s guiding. Since doing this, it has led me to a summer job in Texas, new friends, a newfound confidence in myself, and a passion for people and ministry.
Giving up control of just ONE part of my life that I held on to so tightly has given me the freedom to live my life with reckless love and openness. I hope that everyone can give up the thing/person that they hold onto so tightly and rest in the presence of God. Giving up control was not easy at first, but it is something that I have never learned more from. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's nudge to relinquish it, because now, I can truly say that I live in freedom.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.