I’m beyond excited for THE Rachael Gieger’s words to grace this page. Rachael’s pursuit of holiness calls me on in so many ridiculous ways…she speaks truth with eloquence and power. Receive these words with an open heart, because there is so much beauty here.
If you’re anything like me, you love control. I love to know what’s going on, who’s involved, where we’re going, what I’m eating for dinner, what my weekend looks like, you name it. And when I don’t know, this invasive little demon called Panic brings his buddy Anxiety and they have a house party in my brain. It’s no fun—they’re loud, and annoying, and they don’t leave when it’s time to go to bed. It’s been this way for so long, but it’s finally clicking that it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Late at night when these questions of what’s next would keep me up, or in the middle of the afternoon when my mind drifts away becomes tired from all the noise inside—one question quietly whispers:
Is knowing what’s coming worth slowly dying for?
As I write this, I find myself in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. Why? Because I’m evacuating Hurricane Irma.
Imagine me—the girl who loves to know and plan—in a hurricane evacuation. Do the words “recipe for disaster” come to mind?
When my brother threw me in a car to drive 13 hours from our university in Southwest Florida—leaving behind people I loved, the kids I am a youth minister to, and not knowing when we’d be back—panic slowly started to place it’s crushing weight on my shoulders. Other people could handle this so well—why couldn’t I? I laid in the back of our faithful Honda Pilot and opened my weary hands.
Up until now, a part of me still believed I had control.
It took a natural disaster to teach me that I can’t control crap.
The radars showed a swirling mass of reds and greens and yellows barreling toward my home away from home, rushing towards those I loved, and I pressed further into God’s heart, praying for strength and trust—and friends, did He give it.
I didn’t know what was coming, there was no way to. But I survived. And so did my school, my friends, and the children the Lord has entrusted to me to minister to.
But Anxiety? He did not survive this cleansing storm.
He grasped and clung and broke me down a couple of times, but in the end–he was washed away.
Dear ones, control is simply an illusion. I can’t control a hurricane—that’s obvious—but I also have no control over my friends, my family, the way a child receives my presentation of the Gospel Message, my professor’s opinion of that paper I wrote, that one friendship that’s confusing, the way my heart longs for what I can’t explain. I can try to grasp them and mold them into what I want, I can hash it out in conversations with friends who don’t know the answers, I can daydream the seemingly perfect or seemingly worst ending so I’m “prepared,” I can beg and plead with our Lord for a sign to tell me what’s coming.
But that doesn’t give me control. It only takes my life away.
And if you’re anything like me, the realization that you don’t have control over anything but what you decide to release from your grasp into the hands of the Father might make your heart rate rise and your courage fall.
The truth is, friend, if you’re anything like me—your need to control is taking away your ability to live. And if no one has spoken the truth to you today, this week, or ever—you don’t have control.
You don’t. So stop trying. There’s One who already has control, and in trying to control, you’re trying to control Him. That never works out for the best.
Death couldn’t control Him…neither can you.
Stop trying to figure out what’s coming next, stop stressing about the grade on that exam, stop rereading the texts from that guy trying to figure out whether or not he likes you.
Stop trying to shut down your longing because it doesn’t make sense. Stop trying to write your story word for word, because you’re not the Author. Stop trying to plan every step of the way hoping that if you do, you won’t stumble.
Because you can’t plan every step, and you surely will stumble. But that’s why He came.
Open your hands and surrender whatever it is you’re trying to control, whether it’s a job, a friendship, or a natural disaster–the only thing you have control of is what you give.
Finally say the words “You have control” to the One who always has. It may hurt for a few minutes, but you’ll feel the relief sink in. Our God is good because our God can’t be grasped—so let go of your white-knuckle grip on your story. Your hands are probably pretty tired from trying to hold onto what’s not yours anyway.
And live. Live. Take in every moment for the gift of grace that it is, and praise God for whatever comes, because it’s His plan—and He doesn’t need your help.