Posts tagged ‘Denial’

Confessions of a Control Freak

I come from a long line of control freaks. My mother was a control freak with anger issues. My grandmother was a control freak who used sugary sweet manipulation to entangle her victims. And my grandfather was nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and that has never been more evident than in my life.

At first, I thought that I was simply a people-pleaser who was being controlled by more than my share of control freaks. That might have been true at times.

But like Clark Kent, I could easily transform—without the help of a phone booth—into a super control freak if put in the right situation.

So the thought that I could be a control freak seemed unimaginable. I even hated the sound of the words. I wanted to say that I’m just conscientious, hard-working, and meticulous—but never a control freak!

“I” opening moment

It took years for God to finally open my heart to the fact that “I” was the worst control freak in my life. And then it was just a matter of time before the horrible truth about control freaks came spilling out . . .

The truth that control freaks lack faith in God.

They question if God is really as good as He says He is and worry that He might not rescue them from their troubles.

So all good control freaks must keep their cape tucked neatly in their backpacks for just such an occasion—the time when God wouldn’t come through for them and save the day!

Once I finally accepted the ugly truth, I felt afraid that people would find out and reject me and my control freaky ways. However, at some point, I realized that I couldn’t “control” that.

So here’s I a couple of ways I use to curb my control-freaky ways . . . (yes, it’s a work in progress)

 1. Make myself accountable

I share my weaknesses with certain people I trust in my life and give them permission to speak truth into my life. I don’t always like what I hear—especially at first. But I’ve come to realize that God uses these people to chisel away the rough spots in my life—one of which is my need for control.

2. Surrender my illusion of control to God

This is a daily, even moment by moment battle. But when my anxiety is on the rise, I take notice and immediately turn my problem over to Jesus before my control freaky ways kick into high gear.

If you can relate, then take the humble first step of admitting the fact that you are a control freak . . . at least once in a while.

If I hadn’t come clean with God and others, I would’ve continued to wall people out, offend some, destroy God-given opportunities, and make royal messes in my life and relationships (check out messymarriage.com for a few chronicled examples).

I’ve put away “my cape” and changed from management to God-agement! After all . . .

 God truly is the only One who can save the day!

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My Frustrated Prayer

A few days ago I was rushing to get some time in with God. I have a lot of reasons excuses for that important time not happening.

As some of you may know, I type my prayers. So I have this indelible reminder—for good or for ill—of what I’m saying to God.

When I prayed the other day, my words seemed to leap off the page and hit me between the eyes. Maybe they will hit you in the same way—moving both of us to become fully devoted to Christ!

My Prayer:

Here I am rushing to get in some time with you. Maybe I can spend a bit more time with you later, after I finish another appointment on my “to-do” list. I’m sorry that I put you so low on my priority list. Why do I keep on doing that? What would it take to get me to fully focus on you? Being at the brink of death and life? I pray that is not what it takes to make me fully devoted to you.

Help me to remember that you died for me—an excruciating death, a death that you didn’t have to give. Why do I forget that? If I had gone through that, I would want whoever I died for to honor and remember me! I would be angry with whoever would put me behind all their list of “to-do’s.”

If I died tonight, how ashamed I would be. But I don’t want shame to motivate me to do what is right, what is best. I want to want you. But I know that I don’t want you enough or I would break down whatever barrier gets in my way. So I’m probably lying when I say that.

Help this wretch, Lord. Help me to see you for who you are.

I want you to be so much a part of me that you change me and people actually notice.

So far, that ain’t happenin’.

Marriage Mistake #7 – Refused to Admit My Fault

When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I really had a hard time seeing my wrong behavior as . . . wrong. Or maybe it was just that I couldn’t bear to admit to myself that I was weak. I’d say, probably a little bit of both.

Unfortunately, that meant that I rarely, if ever, admitted my fault to my husband. After all, it seemed to me that every conflict or problem we had was all his fault anyway! And even if it wasn’t, I usually felt like he handled the conflict so much worse that it canceled out any wrong doing I had done.

Yuck! Grandiose thinking at its best!

As time marched on, the fact that I believed I was so much better than my husband actually began to make my marriage worse (surprise, surprise)! So at some point, I was forced to wake up to the unfamiliar reality that it couldn’t always be my husband’s fault. Talk about a bitter pill to swallow!

A funny thing happened when I cracked open that door. When I offered my husband an honest and humble admission, I felt him moving toward me. I saw that he accepted my brokenness and failure. He embraced the parts of me that I felt were ugly and should remain hidden.

This miracle transformed my perspective and my way of relating, which in turn, with time, transformed my marriage. I’m not afraid any longer to be completely open and vulnerable with my husband. Admitting my faults has given me the intimacy and acceptance with my husband that I always longed for, but felt could never truly be mine.

So I’m here to tell you, intimacy and acceptance is possible when you humble yourself and reveal who you really are.

If you’ve never really made this your practice—if you have remained in hiding—I challenge you to come out into the open today. Then come back here and tell me how it went!

“If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.” Prov. 28:13 (NCV)

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Boxing with God

I’ve been resisting God in a certain area of my life. I feel like I’m wearing boxing gloves and I’m stupid enough to take God on. So I dance around the ring like I’m Muhammad Ali who, “Floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.” And the ugly truth is, I feel just about as invincible and grandiose.

But what if I realized just who I’m taking a swing at?

Consider this picture –

I’m ready. I wait for my opponent with sweat pouring down my brow. I can’t wait to get at him. And then I see him step into the ring like a Servant who –

“. . . grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground.”

He is not who I thought I was fighting, but I ignore that fact and take one good look at him—really stare him down and see

“There’s nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract [me] to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. [I] turned [my] back on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and [I] did not care.”

Doesn’t matter. I give him a left jab to his gut. He flinches, but still he doesn’t pull away –

“. . . it was [my] weakness he carried; it was [my] sorrows that weighed him down . . . he was pierced for [my] rebellion, crushed for [my] sins. He was beaten so [I] could be whole. He was whipped so [I] could be healed.”

I turn a blind eye to his pain. I’m only concerned about my own, since I have . . .

“. . . left God’s paths to follow [my] own.”

But no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to ignore what he has done –

“He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away.”

But my pain is still more important, so I come at him—punching, pounding, pulverizing. Never realizing –

“ . . . it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.”

But am I satisfied? No way! I feel justified in rebelling—in wrestling with God—even though –

“He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”

. . . like me.

When will I wake up to what I’m doing and have done? When will I realize that my pain is nothing compared to his? When will I wake up to the reality of the immense pain I’m causing him? When will I surrender?

What about you? Are you boxing with God?

If you have or if you are, tell me about it. Maybe you’ll be the one to help me drop my gloves.

(Excerpts taken from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, NLT)

Today’s post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chattingatthesky blog

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