Out of Control

I just watched my youngest son almost get into an accident.  It is an overcast, rainy afternoon and Carl was driving behind me.  I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on him and, to my horror, he was no longer on the road.  Carl hydroplaned while pulling out onto the street and lost control of the car.  When I saw him, he was on the sidewalk on the far side of the road about to hit a pole.  He swerved out of the way which threw him back into the street.  For the longest half minute of my life, I watched Carl try to right the car as he jerkily swerved back and forth from one lane to the other.  There was traffic both ways and I thought, “My baby is going to die.”  I heard myself screaming, “Caaaaarl!”

My hands are still shaking as I type this.  I apologize for the drama of this post, but I wanted to write while the feelings are still fresh.  Thankfully, all traffic was able to move off the road to avoid hitting Carl.  Thankfully, he was able to finally gain control and pull over into a parking lot.  I have never felt more helpless than I did as I watched my “baby” fight for his life.

So now I’m overwhelmed with fear.  I never ever, never ever (NEVER) want Carl to drive again.  How am I supposed to keep from replaying that scene in my mind the next time he gets behind the wheel?

Somehow my guys aren’t nearly as shaken up.  I drove straight to Neal’s office and sobbed on his shoulder.  I said, “Carl could’ve been killed!”  Neal said, “But he wasn’t.”  I told Carl I had just finished praying for God to keep him safe when I saw him lose control of the car.  He said, “And He did.”  While I was shaking from head to toe and imagining what could have happened, Carl said, “I’m glad Dad’s car is okay!”

The truth of the matter is that it was probably a good thing ultimately.  Carl just gained some valuable experience with driving, rain, hydroplaning, and overcorrecting.  He’ll be better prepared if he’s ever in that kind of situation again.  My mind knows that but my heart is protesting.

Honestly, this has been the hardest part of parenting for me.  Losing control.  My sons are grown and nearly grown.  I’m watching them make decisions, make mistakes, sin, or flounder around as they try to figure out their own lives.  What I want to do is have complete control again. They could get hurt!  But I know they’re growing and gaining valuable experience.  I know that they are capable and good.  I also know that while they will never stop being my sons, they really belong to their heavenly Father.  And He is always in perfect control.

“I know that You can do everything,

and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).

12004955_611750162261895_3837841154661246348_n

Photo cred: Carl Pollard (I look like my grandpa in this pic)

Exhausted? Maybe It’s Time to Stop Running the Show

Any fellow control freaks out there?  With my sons growing up and going their own way, I’ve found myself struggling more with worry.  My nightly prayers are filled with urgent requests for God to guide and protect my sons.  Why the fear all of a sudden?  I think it’s because I no longer have control.  When the boys were little, I controlled everything…what they ate, when they went to bed, who their pals were.  Now I have to figure out how to let go and truly turn them over to God.  It dawns on me that I should’ve been doing more of that all along.

All this worrying is exhausting.

There’s the good kind of tired that comes from laboring for the Lord.  Then there’s the tired-of-it-all that comes from running ahead of the Lord.

Parenting isn’t the only area that’s effected by the need to control.  If my marriage gets rocky, I need to ask if I’m trying to lead or undermining my husband’s leadership.  If I’m frustrated with my church family, it’s time to do some personal soul searching.  Is my heart guilty of setting a standard for righteousness?  If I’m honest, I’ll recognize what’s at the root of the control problem:

  • Pride.  It gets in the way of acting wisely (Prov. 11:2).
  • Lack of trust.  It assumes that I’m the only one who can get it right (Prov. 26:12).
  • Either ignorance of God’s plan or ignoring God’s plan.  It takes the reigns from the One who knows best (Psa. 18:30).

When I’m overwrought with worry, I need to come down off my high horse.  I’m acting as if I’m in the one in charge of keeping order instead of God.  When I feel anxiety stealing my joy, it’s time to humble myself, let go through prayer, study God’s Word to learn His will, and trust.

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Google image

Google image