Updated: Aug 13, 2019
One of my biggest struggles is playing God. It's embarrassing to admit, but true. The statement may sound strange to some; others will identify completely. Since I'm confessing, I am also a recovering control freak. I try to control, manage, manipulate; even outwit, outsmart, and outplay pain and discomfort. Yep, I play God when I decide what, when and how much pain should be allowed in my life.
My mom died when I was 12. Our first child Chloe Faith, was diagnosed with fatal Down Syndrome and delivered stillborn at 20 weeks. Our healthy daughter S was born. Then we experienced a miscarriage. Our youngest SG was born healthy and completed our family.
Another shameful admission - I try to boss God around sometimes. I'm like a 2-year old trying to tell the Sheriff how to run the town. It's ridiculous and absurd.
It's another example of where control is an illusion. Plus, do I really know what is good for me? I'm prone to quick fixes, emotional eating and retail therapy. It's a good thing I'm NOT actually in charge of all of this. Some of the hardest things in my life have ushered in the biggest blessings. I'm a better person because of the journey. I learned things I couldn't have learned from winning the lottery. My choice of the pain-free road would be boring and lackluster compared to the adventure God has chosen for me. If I took away the hard, I would have missed the redemption. If I removed the heart ache of pain, I wouldn't understand the heart explosion of extravagant love. Thankfully I'm not God.
God didn't change my circumstances. He could have. He doesn't have the same aversion to pain that I do. He knew that the pain would lead to purpose. It would lead to refining and transformation. He knew that one day I would be able to say, "It is well with my soul." Pain wasn't the end of the story. In fact, the epic redemption story He planned all along would begin as soon as I surrendered the illusion of control and placed God back on the throne of my life.
Just to keep it real, I still act like a 2 year old at times and default to control. Progress not perfection.
See The Vase blog post for an illustration of this from my life.