By Patti Jensen
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self discipline.” 2 Timothy1:7 NIV
I have a control problem. I guess that anyone that knows me would agree. Although for years I thought my “strong trait” was a strength. I could look at a situation and see the “right answer” the “correct solution” “the way it should be done for “best results”. Yeah…I’m probably the only one who thought that was a strength.
I think I do have a logistical mind. I immediately can look at a task and see the steps to accomplish it. The problem is I also see that when I look at other’s lives as well. Especially my children. As a mother, I always wanted to spare them the troubles and pitfalls I saw them heading towards. While I’m sure that’s true for most moms, I also wanted to solve their problems for them rather than let them fail and figure out how to solve them themselves.
Add to my logistical mind and my control issues the fact that I am a worrier and what we have here is a problem. I worry about my children and now my grandchild. I worry about what I can’t control. I worry about what I can’t see in the future. I worry about what bad things might happen to any of us or my loved ones. I worry about being misunderstood…man, I especially hate one.
Now I have heard every sermon about worry and control. It’s not what God intended for us and it isn’t how He has made us to function. He has created us to not have a spirit of fear or worry. He wants us to rely on Him. Not ourselves. He wants us to believe that He can see how our lives should unfold, how our problems should be solved. We are to believe that He has us all in the palm of His hand and wants only good for us.
In my heart, I know that. But the minute my children leave for a trip I pray and then proceed to worry when I haven’t heard from them. When a family member is sick, I pray and then proceed to google the remedies. That isn’t letting go and letting God. That’s not letting go at all. It’s definitely something that I am working on in my personal life. Maybe that’s what the scripture means by self-discipline.
With the current world crisis around the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic, I could see how this could have us all feeling like we are losing control and also have us filled with worry. This is something that we have never faced and is changing so rapidly that it sometimes feels like the world is just spinning out of control and we can’t hold on. But we can hold on to HIM. We don’t have to worry or feel out of control. We just have to hold on to the ONE who controls it all. One thing is for sure, God was not surprised by this pandemic.
God also does not create us to be timid. Most people wouldn’t describe me as a timid person, but actually, I think I am a bit. I do try to be strong and overcome my insecurities (or at least hide them well) but I am timid when it comes to stepping out on my own. Like making my blog http://www.agratefulgirl.com public. And then telling friends about it. And then stepping out to share with you, the readers of the Blue Ridge Christian News. So insecure. Maybe a little scared of being judged, of being laughed at. I’m pretty sure some of both of that has happened as some have read my posts. (see what I mean?)
But I felt compelled to share. At first, I was writing and sharing recipes and memories just for my daughters. Like a virtual recipe box and memory book for them. But then I so strongly felt God’s nudge to let others in. So here I am. Not being timid. Well, maybe I am still a little timid about sharing my personal thoughts and feelings. But I am trying to release control and let God do with this what He will. If some laugh or judge, I have to believe that I am supposed to just press on and share what God has on my heart. Maybe He will use one post, one sentence to touch someone or encourage them, or help them realize that at least one person (me) is in the same boat with them. Just trying to love God and love people.
So, I will keep sharing, with love, without being timid, and pray that I am in His will. If so, I know that He will bless my blog A Grateful Girl and this column. And I will pray that He blesses someone else through it.
And so, I challenge you. What are you trying to control in your life? What are you timid or afraid of that is holding you back from something you feel a nudge to do? Write this scripture on a post-it-note and put it on your mirror, on your laptop, on your car dashboard. And remember, especially during this trying time in our world…. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
Patti Jensen is the writer and creator of the lifestyle blog “A Grateful Girl” which features encouragement, a focus on gratitude with some lifestyle tips and recipes thrown in for good measure! Patti is married to Jack and has two daughters, two great sons-in-law and a new granddaughter, Georgia Grace. You can find her posts on Instagram and Facebook and on her blog at http://www.agratefulgirl.com.