Over the years, I’ve talked with many people struggling through anxiety, fear and panic. When talking with these people, I ask probing questions in search of the “root of fear”. What are the core fears causing this panic and terror?
One of the most common roots I find is the fear of being out of control. This creates tremendous inner tension. Even in my own life, this issue of being in control has had profound impact. For most of my life, the only way I could stop an attack was the get around others, because it forced me to get things under control.
Here are some comments from those who have written to me:
- “I have been a person that has been controlling and wanting to be in control of all situations.”
“I’m constantly anxious and hardly ever relaxed. I feel the need to be in control at all times or else something drastic will happen.”
“Even though my plans never take me where I expect, I still think I should be in control, not God, who sees and knows all.”
“I think this habitual thought process of mine comes from me thinking I can be in control of everything and everybody. I must be in control to feel safe. My childhood was a rollercoaster ride I didn’t choose and couldn’t stop. Control is an illusion at best.”
Do any of these comments sound familiar? There is something deep within our soul that tells us we are safe only when we are in control, but it’s an illusion. It’s a lie.
I truly believe that the more you gain control of your life, the more panic and anxiety you will experience. I know–it seems backwards, but it’s true. The more control you think you have, or feel you have, the more energy and stress you experience maintaining that illusion of control. The anxiety is strong and the fear is real, because you know deep down that you really do not have control.
Is there hope? Can we be peaceful and “out of control” at the same time?
I have experienced so much victory in my life over fear, because I am learning to give up all control to God. When you completely relinquish your life (and your death) to God through Christ and surrender all of your need to be in control, peace will follow. God can be trusted (Proverbs 3:5). He is faithful to guard you (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8:38-39).
Jesus said, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life” (Matthew 16:25).
Prayer: Father, I choose this day to give you control of my life. I am tired and weary of maintaining this illusion of control. Deep down, I know that I am not in control, and I need you to take over. I surrender my life, my death, my future, my past, my hopes, my ambitions, my control to you. I relinquish control and ask you to take over. I choose right now to give up my life for you that I may find true life. Jesus, come into my heart and take over that I may rest from this wearisome struggle. Lord, please forgive me for being in control of my life. Please forgive me of any sin. I choose this day to repent, to turn my life around. I ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.