I have two counselors. The Holy Spirit is one of them :-) and with the help of my human counselor, He has been revealing some very important facts to me, specifically about my tendency and need to control.
See, because of my deeply abusive childhood, I grew up needing, and therefore artificially manufacturing, safety and security. I had none coming from my parents, who should have been providing it, so as a child, it was the only way to "survive" the deep emotional trauma being inflicted upon me.
But as I grew up, my life became a fruitless exercise of manipulating people and circumstances (mostly completely subconsciously) to create this pseudo-safety. To attempt to lessen the crippling fear and loneliness in my heart, and my desperation to know and be known and deeply enjoyed.
I am now starting to unravel this, and to see, and feel (in some ways for the very first time) that God has been patiently waiting for me to freely receive this safety. He is giving me security, safety, love, and He is delighting in me, even as I still strive to get this from others, as I stubbornly still attempt to control.He is the ONE who is meant to give me everything I need and more. But it is a TOUGH thing to break free of. My desire for PEOPLE's approval, affection, acceptance, is addicting, constricting, destructive in some ways. Destructive because it takes place of my desire for God, and His deep and bountiful love. And because it blinds me, and compels me to control, take over. It compels me to idolatry.
This past Sunday, one of my pastor's points was that if you truly want to seek after God's paths MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, you WILL eventually let go of the lesser things. And as much as I truly enjoy people's company, love and acceptance, they ARE the lesser thing.
I have to a certain extent always known that they are the lesser thing, and I could never truly figure out why it was so hard for me. One of the turning points was identifying my deep wound, realizing what I desire most is to feel safe, and then taking it one step further and bringing my desperate need for security to My Father, The ONLY one who can TRULY give that to me. Those last 3 steps have proven to make all the difference. Before identifying that I always felt like a dieter, who would lose 20 pounds on the diet and feel great for 4 months, and then binge, get fat again and feel gross and like a failure. It was like a spiritual binge-diet cycle.I was trying to white knuckle it on my own, instead of surrendering to Him.
So while I struggle in this bondage and this realization... up and down, some days better than others,(like any addiction you can only go one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time), I have identified some ways in which this addiction plays out in my life. For example, I have been strongly tempted to control situations in which I feel people will NEED TO KNOW where I stand, what I think, WHO I am. Because if I don't set them straight, how will they KNOW that I know and love Jesus? what if they get the wrong idea? what if they assume certain things about ME!?
I'm sure I have missed out on many opportunities to love, TRULY LOVE those who most need it, because I am too busy making sure they KNOW what it is I want them to know about....ME! because then I will be able to tell them about Jesus!:-/ Boy do I have it backwards!!!!! See, as long as I am forgetting the One who really has the power to free
me (and love me and fill me and satisfy me) I am also forgetting He is the only one who can do that in and for those around me, as well. Not me.
When it comes to loving others, IT'S SO NOT ABOUT ME.
He is the one who changes hearts. He is the one with the power to break through bondage. He is the one who offers life everlasting.
Jesus loved FIRST. His pleasure was to do the Father's will and to LOVE, offer grace, offer LIFE. I am fairly sure He didn't waste a moment thinking about his reputation. And as I set myself aside (dying in the flesh and alive in the Spirit) I find deeper joy than I've ever known while self-promoting.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
If I desire true and lasting freedom from my addictive controlling ways, freedom from the fruitless and desperate desire for approval, surrender is the only way to get there. Surrender to the unending love He has already shown me, to His higher ways, to the path HE has for me. No matter how painful the lessons, they are worth my complete and utter FREEDOM. It was worth His very life. So I lay down my life, my need for control and safety, that I may live for Him. That I may have freedom, and life to the full.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30