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When We Don't Have Control

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

At my son’s ballgame, I happily bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. She said she’s been camping out in this verse lately:

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. -Proverbs 16:9

How perfect.

And - ain’t that the truth?

I think this is one of those times when Scripture so clearly offers practical, real guidance and wisdom for daily living.

God is beautifully reminding us of something we quite frankly need to be reminded of - we are not in control.

And as I talk to parent after parent, teacher after teacher, we struggle with this.

We aren’t sure if it will be 3 months or 12 months until the school year is back to normal. Or when our kids’ sports teams will begin playing like usual again. Or whether we can make travel plans for Christmas. And we don’t like it.

But really, this current season’s lack of control is a microcosm of real life.

-My sister didn’t plan to have her family’s life turned upside down by her husband’s cancer.

-My neighbor didn’t plan to have a brain tumor and head into a year of seizures and relying on others to drive her absolutely everywhere.

-I didn’t plan to have my role absorbed at work and have to go out and interview again.

-My mom didn’t plan to contract a disease in Mexico, followed by further complications, until she lived in pain all day and couldn’t even walk.

Oh how tightly we desire to hold onto our plans. We are white knuckled creatures as we cling tightly to our intentions, aren’t we?

So what do we do? Reposture our hearts.❤️

I’ve been thinking lately about the season when I had three little ones. So often I’d think a day was about to go a certain way only to find out it would go entirely different than the way I had intended. I eventually learned to start my day and yes - have a plan - but lay it very loosely before God.

In the same way, it’s healthy to begin each week, humbly offer it up to God, ask Him to prepare us for what’s to come, ask for wisdom in decisions, and ask for logistical help to pivot and adjust as needed.

Make plans, sure. But let’s loosen our grip on them just a bit.

In addition, we need to reposture our mentality. When we live with the expectation that life will always be pleasing and easy, that’s half of our trouble right there. 😉 God, in His Word, actually tells us time and again to expect suffering in this life.

Truly, once we accept this fact, it has the potential to turn life upside down. Which one is realistically better?

-Hoping life will be great and wonderful all the time and when it’s not our response is to act out with complaining, disappointment, and pouting. Or...

-Accepting that life is indeed going to hand us hardships that we cannot control. So we may as well train our minds for battle, invite God into our weakest and neediest moments, and enjoy increased communion and intimacy with Him because of it.

Of course I’m not saying to approach life with a doomsday attitude. But rather, understand that this life is not meant to be sailed through on a yacht without encountering choppy waters. So, buckle your life jacket, take some Dramamine and be prepared for what is to come . 🌊

But just as we can be sure to expect choppy waters, we can be assured of God’s beautiful peace, His comfort, His leading, His nearness as we go through it. (Isaiah 43:2)

It’s my joy to leave you with a writing benediction of sorts. 🤗

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” -2 Thessalonians 3:16


Writer’s Note:

There are an astounding number of books I’d recommend if you are going through a difficult season. I will scale it back dramatically and simply leave you with three that I recommend the most:

-The Bible (you knew that was coming 😉)

-It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way - by Lysa Terkeurst

-Jesus Calling Devotional - by Sarah Young

You can also book a coaching session with me here: I’d love to help you. 🧡

For more content like this, follow my writings on social media (Instagram and Facebook) and on my website Or hire me to coach or speak to your audience.

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