Let go. Sounds easy, just let go. Short and simple but somehow so hard to do. It’s also something we have to continue to do our whole lives. We may tell ourselves we do this well, but we need to look deeper. I may step on a few of our toes but I know that when we let go of the control we hang on to so tightly, we are blessed tremendously.
1. Are there any places we emotionally react to when it comes to making decisions?
Listen, every touchy place in our heart is a place where we tend to try to control. Trauma of any kind, or fear of trauma, is probably the biggest place where we bend over backwards to not re-live or actually live. If we emotionally react when making the decision or emotionally react when someone asks us about things we are doing or are going to do – those are our hot spots for control.
2. What are we afraid of?
Chances are what we are afraid of dealing with is what we wrap our heads around to try to avoid. Whether it is for us or for those we love, some of the biggest areas we try to manipulate are areas we don’t want to live through. How many of our decisions in life right now are based out of fear?
3. Are we letting our past experiences affect the decisions we are making today?
Ick. Think about it. What areas in our personal lives have we designed around what happened a long time ago? I’ll give us some slack for fresh wounds, there is a journey to this whole healing thing. If we are acting today from something long ago, we need to take active steps to overcome the strongholds of control we are living in today.
Hanging on to controlling behaviors is us telling God He isn’t big enough to handle our lives. This is sin we need to repent of and take active steps to change.
Wait, what?! Being controlling in certain areas is just my personal little hangups and I have lots of reasons for them! These things happened to me and……. Yes, friends, me, too. I still have to watch myself so I don’t slip into making decisions out of fear or out of my own past experiences. Life is hard, but we have a God who is actually in control – we aren’t no matter how hard we try.
I remember a time when I was really fearful over a part of my life and I was living life out of fear. It was like a personal prison I created for myself. Every decision I was making had this fear right in front of my thoughts which was right in front of my steps. Oh, I was praying but I was still scared. Eventually with all my seeking for help from God, He whispered, “How big do you think I am? Did you forget Who I Am?”
This is where sin is – believing the fear is bigger than God. There is no freedom where fear is.
So how do we let go?
1. We choose not to allow our past to define our present or future.
Well, we have to deal with it. Whatever it is. We have to forgive – truly forgive. Tell God we release those who have hurt us. We don’t have to say it’s okay, it isn’t but we are called to forgive so we can be forgiven. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse can be some of the trickiest and hardest places to heal so that we don’t re-live trauma. Sadly, even when we think our control is only affecting us, it never is. If we don’t deal with our hurt, those around us have to deal with a broken version of us that Jesus already paid to heal. In Christ we are whole, free and redeemed. We can choose to live in oppostition to this if we decide not to believe it.
We make the decision to stay in our prisons or not. Freedom is a choice.
2. Now that we have made the choice to deal with it, we must take steps of scary obedience to break our control cycle and find our freedom.
These steps are different for each of us. As we pray and bring the forgiveness for not trusting God to the front of this prayer for help, I know our faithful God will lead us in the paths we need to go. Most of the time, we only have to make a few steps here before God blows our minds. I would think He must feel a sense of joy that we see Him more clearly now and believe He will move for us!
I have gone through rounds of therapy, made personal tiny (but scary for me) steps that show God I’m trusting Him – this is a personal favorite of mine, and done other acts of confrontation and uncomfortable prayers of forgiveness over those who have hurt me. I still do the latter things of the list, as I believe therapy is only good if it’s done in shorter orders. Lifelong therapists are playing us to get paid or are getting played. They should give us tools but that’s another blog, ha!
3. We wait with expectation and we sing His praises for freeing us.
That’s right – we EXPECT Him to be who He says He is – Redeemer, Healer, Faithful, Just, for us all day and night, Great I Am, etc. We praise Him the whole time, especially when we are in the thick of the darkness.
We don’t get healing without a fight.
Then, after our freedom and breakthroughs happen, we keep praising Him and telling others how they can be free, too!!