My name is Missy, and I am a control freak.

5 Apr

But I am getting ahead myself.

As Julie Andrews so wisely sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start…” (You’re welcome for the Sound of Music soundtrack now reverberating in your brain).

I am a planner. When I was a kid, I had my whole life planned out. Now there have been minor deviations from said childhood plan (replace pediatrician with an emphasis on emergency medicine with pastor and that pretty much sums up the big stuff) and for most of my early twenties, I stuck to the plan.

When Jay and I got married, I was a meager 22 years old, and we, of course, made plans. The biggest plan was kids. We would wait five years before having kids. We would “create” two and adopt one all before I was 30. Yes, that was a tight turnaround but if we stuck to the plan, we would be empty nesters before 50! Sounds dreamy, right? We laughed when people told us, “We had a five year plan but then came Sally after year two.” Suckers. We were serious planners…that ain’t happening to us!

As we were nearing our 4 year anniversary, we felt like God was stirring our hearts to join a church plant in Bradenton, Florida. To be honest, when I left Florida at 18, I did not see myself moving back to the state of stifling humidity. But truth be told, it did seem to fit the “plan” pretty perfectly. Move closer to my family. Slow down our work pace. Sounds like the perfect preparation for getting on the train to baby town. Don’t get me wrong – we clearly felt God call us to Bradenton, but the alignment with the plan just seemed like an additional confirmation.

So we packed up our lives and moved to a studio apartment/in law suite. This was just a temporary solution until a house we were going to rent became available. Not to complain, but this studio was not up the living standards I was accustomed to, but it was only for 3 months. I remember sitting in that nasty bathroom the first night and crying to Jay as he showered telling him I think we missed God. This was a “giant leap backwards” in what the world says “adulting” should be like. The shower curtain smelled like feces and dirty feet. The carpet was full of compacted dirt. The blinds were covered in caked-on nastiness not to mention our entire living space was 300 square feet. I think that day is the moment I can pinpoint that the plan began to unravel.

We lived in that studio for 3 years as opposed to the three months we originally planned on. During that time, I faced some of the hardest obstacles of my life. From salmonella poisoning to a cancer scare, it was like every time I got over one problem, another one was there. It was in that studio I had to drag my husband out of bed when depression seemed to overtake him. It was in that studio I dressed for my retail job praying to God I wouldn’t run into anyone from high school.  It was in the bathroom at that studio apartment when I saw my first and only positive pregnancy test. It was in that studio that I curled up in my bed and mourned the loss of a tiny human. So much life lived in 300 square feet.

When we left that studio for the last time, I remember feeling this weird sense of freedom. Have you ever just carried something so long you forgot how heavy it was until you put it down? It was like that. I was free. In that moment, I think I felt free from the room. Now I know better. I was finally set free from me! God brought me into the desert to speak tenderly to me (Hosea 2:14) and set me free from the expectations for my life I had placed on myself.

It has been two years since we moved but I couldn’t help but think about that studio apartment this afternoon while the littles were napping. I was praying and reflecting, and I realized the most constant struggle I have had with the Lord has been my need for control. When I look back over my life I can see this unending pattern:

1. Me freaking out about something not happening the way I wanted or expected

2. Me taking control and trying to make things happen the way I think they should

3. Me handing the mess back to God and asking Him to fix it

Then repeat.

We are in the middle of some pretty scary things right now, and I find myself having a hard time knowing what is me “taking control” and what is me doing everything I can do so God can do everything I can’t. Does letting God have control mean sitting on my hands? I don’t know the answer. This is a real-time struggle I am working out in my own salvation. I can tell you where I am so far…

1.      I can’t be ruled by fear. Fear is not from God so any decision or action I take out of fear is not from God.

2.     First comes trust then comes direction. Trust in the Lord….He will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

3.     God doesn’t need precedent. Just because people say this is the way these things go doesn’t mean it will. God is full of surprises.

So here we are. I just turned 31 last month, and legally we do not have any children of our own even though we are currently raising two beautiful kiddos. We have tripled our living space (we now own a 932 square foot home), and we are still working for the amazing church God called us to help plant! While there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t ask God why I couldn’t have squeezed these little miracles out my body so that things could be less complicated ultimately I am right where He wants me. I can guarantee I would not have the level of trust I have in God today if I didn’t have to put my hopes in His hands daily. So here’s to the struggle.





2 Responses to “My name is Missy, and I am a control freak.”

  1. manyhatmusings April 6, 2017 at 6:59 am #

    ❤love you. Great post. Beautiful.


    • raquelita714 April 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

      I love this post Missy! I can’t wait to read more. Miss you and love you guys!!

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