This week God is dealing with me on the issue of control once again. As sensitive types go, we tend to feel save when we can control our environment, our process and what we are exposed to or not. Being a steward of what God has given us, is important and having good boundaries in place keeps us save, healthy and balanced.
When stuff go wrong in the life of a sensitive person, and this can be anything from abuse of any kind, high stress levels for prolonged periods of time to unhealthy and unbalanced or even toxic relationships, it may have an adverse effect on the life and health of a highly sensitive person.
Most Christians are thought to believe that we have to do everything expected of us and we have to do it with a good attitude and we don't have a choice. I for one can witness that this is not healthy for the highly sensitive Christian. In my own life and in the life of my husband too, I've seen the negative impact it can have when we just please everyone around us all the time and never say no to anything. Over time you end up feeling out of control. Without the proper boundaries in place, you also teach the people around you that you are a sucker for punishment and it becomes harder and harder to put down that boundary. In the end it is easier to just do what everyone expects because the emotional pain they put you through with guilt trips and emotional bullying is just not worth it. You give up.
On the other side of things, it can also get you to a point where you start to feel that if you don't have control over saying no, you have to try to control the things you can and you end up overcompensating for the lack of control in one area and substitute it for the control you can have on other areas. Anything out of balance is not good.
My lessons in life has included me to usually be to quick to say yes to stuff because I either want to do it or feel like the relationship is to fragile to handle a "no" from me. I end up overextending myself. The moment that you cannot count all the balls you are suppose to have in the air at one specific time, you're in trouble.
A couple of things happened in the last year again that made me see how important it is for me to understand the following:
1. Always check with God first before moving ahead on anything even if it seems a good thing or a thing you really want to do or have or be involved in. It might not be God's will for you or even the right time for it. Father knows best. I still struggle with this all the time and have to be reminded of it often. The repercussions if you don't ask His will first can be and has always been for me, very painful.
2. Rest is a very important thing and burn-out happens quickly if you over extend yourself.
3. The moment you realize you are trying to control stuff in your own strength, STOP, give it to God and take a step back. We are not meant to control this life. Just be good stewards of it.
So, asking God first puts us in the right relationship for Him to bless us because we are putting His will above our own. Resting enough means we don't think we are Holy Ghost Junior, traking to take on the world and that we know we need God. We we rest, He can work.
Finally, God is and should be in control. We don't have to be. We don't have to know every little detail of His plan for us in advance to know that He has a wonderful hope and future for us and we are safe in His hands. We just need to surrender and trust that He does. A controlling spirit is a controlling spirit and something we can ask God to free us from.
There is peace, abundance of peace in the knowledge that we are safe and secure in God. That He has our backs and that He will work everything out for our good and benefit...even the worst of things. Even the things we are most afraid of and the things that cause us the most pain. Failure is like death to a highly sensitive person. Really, it's that bad. We dread it. Because we dread it so much, we tend to be overly careful in life with everything. We plan and think and wait before we move ahead on anything risky. We are also over-achievers and we believe excellence is a requirement for success in anything. We always do our best. Because of our natural tendencies and characteristics, we can easily fall out of balance.
Being sensitive is not an excuse to have a chaotic existence. We need order and we need to be able to say no to ourselves and others so we can stay in balance. I still struggle with the "no" because it feels so good to help others. For many years I tried carrying the burdens of others and because I misunderstood my sensitivity and didn't realize God's purpose in it, I mismanaged it and overloaded my body, mind and spirit with the burdens of others and even the emotions of others, causing myself to carry more than God intended for me.
Learning about my temperament has afforded me the skills to be able to say no, to be able to decide what load God wants me to carry and which situations or emotions of others I could avoid because it was just not His will for me to be responsible for it. This is something we can all pray for: a spirit of discernment. It helps us know what God wants for us.
Last year I learned big lessons about moving forward in things and relationships that wasn't for me and I decided to focus on trying not to continue on the same road this year. Once again I found that I was being tested on the same things again this year. Saying no is still the challenge it has always been and I just realized that it will never stop. We will always be confronted with situations and people that try to overstep the boundaries we have in place. Knowing is one thing and doing is another and so we need to enforce the things we know to be true with creating habits out of it.
One thing for sure is that I have realized that trying to control stuff that I was not meant to control or that will only cause me burn-out or harm, is a lesson that I have finally learned. The moment I realize that I am asked to control something to steer or force it to go the way either I want it to go or others want me to go, I stop and surrender it to God and move away. I don't want to control anything. I do however have leadership skills and after reading the following post about "Control" by Teresea Shields Parker it just hit home again. God will lead you when He wants you to use your gifting and for the rest of it, He will hide that gifting safely in you. When He unleashes it, it will be for His glory and your benefit and the uplifting of others. If it's not, then stay clear or you or even others could just get hurt.
So today, lets focus on surrendering again what we think is right for our lives, to God and let Him guide us with His Spirit to what is BEST for us. Trust Him. He can be trusted. He runs the universe you know. ;)
Lord, thank you that you have a hope and future for us that surpasses all our understanding. Thank you that we can surrender our will, our emotions, those of the people around us and the burdens of this world to you, because you are able to carry it. Thank you that our strength is found in You and that it brings us joy. Help us, Lord to guard our heart and give us discernment to know what to say yes to and what to say no to. Thank you for making us sensitive and help us to use our gifts when you give us the green light. Help us to manage our emotions better so that we stay in balance and in the center of Your will for us. Thank you for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice so that we can live a free life and live it abundantly. Help us to never forget that we are bought with a price and should live our lives to honor You. In Jesus' Name we pray.