The Death of Me:{Part 3} Dying to Being in Control

If you’ve already read The Death of Me: {Introduction}, {Part I}Dying to What Others Think of Me, and {Part 2}Dying to Feeling Misunderstood, then it should come as no surprise to you that I have control issues. No one’s ever called me a “control freak” (to my face) but I admit I’ve leaned toward the freakish side of control more than a few times. There are plenty of articles out there enumerating “signs you’re a control freak” in case you’re wondering.  I’ve put together my own little confessional list here just to give you an idea of what I mean:

1.  Others consider me an very organized person

Translated:  I have a place for everything, and I want things put back in the place I decided they should go. (Even if it’s the junk drawer.) When I find things “out of place” I put it where it belongs (while huffing and puffing about it). I then want to know who put it where it didn’t belong and why they didn’t put it where I decided it should go.

2.  Others look to me for “the plan”

Translated:  I’m bossy. My 4th grade teacher wrote that on my report card and it broke my heart because I really just wanted to follow the rules and make everyone else follow them, too, because it was the right thing to do.

3.  Others consider me a perfectionist

Translated: It’s my way or the highway. Why do we have to do things my way? Because I have a way, that’s why. When you get a way that’s better than my way, we’ll do it your way. ‘Nuff said?

yield sign2

Well it ain’t purty but it’s the truth. I’ve tried rationalizing and justifying my need to be in control. I’ve blamed it on my personality type, my birth order (first child), my parents, men, “passive people who need someone to control them”, and the devil.  But in my heart I am like the two brothers in Luke 9:54 who wanted to take matters into their own hands and call fire down from heaven to destroy those who didn’t follow their plan.

“I can walk with Jesus, be taught by Jesus, yet still act and react out of human rationalization rather than the principles by which He told us to live. Even after serving the Lord for so long, I still tend to take matters in my own hands when it appears that no one else is going to take care of the situation.“ (Joanna Weaver, Having a Mary Spirit)

But here I find I am stirred with a divine discontentment.  I hunger for something more, to be something more. I am once again called to die.

Great Smokey Mountains 2012

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Mark Rutland writes in Holiness, “Satan’s only real hope to control my life is me. We often labor under the misguided notion that Satan wants us to do his will in our lives. He only wants us to do our will. We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

die to self,

Jesus calls.


Die to the terrible burden of always needing to get my own way. Die to the fear-driven, anxiety-producing need to control everything and everybody.

But we struggle with the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34 simply because we fail to understand that Jesus is telling us that the way to life is death. The death of self. The  death of me. The death of the ever-elusive state of ever really being in control of anything! Let me say that another way. No matter how much I strive and strain and plan and organize I am not in control of anything. Ever.

But He is. Always.

“To save my life is to lose it; to lose it for Christ’s sake is to save it.” (Mark 8:35)

Being organized, having a plan, striving for excellence (perfection) isn’t all bad. But when the purpose of all that is to order my own private world and avoid pain, suffering and hardship—demanding that life give me a money-back guarantee of happiness and ease—I’ve lost my way. Like Martha, I’m worried, upset and demanding about many things, while often missing the one thing that is needed. And the one thing that is needed is to sit at Jesus’s feet. Daily. In total submission to the will and way of my Savior.die to self

“He only stirs us when He wants to change us. He only makes us feel uneasy with where we are, so we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get where He is.” (Weaver)

I am willing and here’s my prayer:

“I am no longer my own, but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

Put me to doing, put me to suffering;

Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,

Exalted for you or brought low for you;

Let me be full, let me be empty;

Let me have things, let me have nothing;

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things

To your pleasure and disposal.

And now glorious and blessed God– Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant made on earth,

Let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.  (The Methodist Covenant Prayer)

Click here to read The Death of Me:{Part 4} Laying it Down.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase the product I referenced, I will receive an “affiliate commission.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Regardless of whether I receive a commission, I only recommend products I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

3 Responses to The Death of Me:{Part 3} Dying to Being in Control

  1. Jay July 10, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    Your prayer reminded me of this song.
    Cut and paste, “In the Valley” by Sovereign Grace. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jennifer Mobley July 10, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Boy did He speak through you to me today! Thanks for your transparency, Stacy! And, I agree with Eric ☝☝ YOU ROCK because make a big deal of Jesus!!!

  3. Eric Averette July 10, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    YOU ROCK! Because you let God ROCK through you. I wouldn’t change you a bit.
    I love you. 🙂