Thursday, January 24, 2008

Out of Control

There's no shortage of support groups when it comes to addictions. From one corner of the internet to another a bumper crop of sites exist to help you stop smoking, lose weight, deal with grief and loss or endure through illness--and, don't get me wrong, these are all wonderful, necessary groups.

But I'm having difficulty finding one for struggling control freaks.

(Now, if you happen to have knowledge of such a group, please direct it Arkward so that I can once and for all control this ever-so-annoying personality quirk. And please do it quickly. I really need to take care of this soon. Actually, I'd like a big ol' check mark next to it by sometime tonight...Oh man, listen to can see how dire the situation has become.)

It's so bad that I've stopped with the prayers of, "Dear Lord, please help me to let You be in control." Not because I don't believe in the power of prayer, quite the contrary, that prayer has been so powerful that on several occasions God's given me exactly what I prayed for...

Way back in early 1995, when the Boy was just a wee Boy, and after a textbook pregnancy and delivery and recovery, MY plans included another baby post haste. And then nearly four years later when I was finally pregnant with baby number two. I thought I heard a quiet Voice whisper, "You know, you're not in control." But I brushed it off. And after a very difficult delivery and recovery, it occurred to me that perhaps this timing was better than what I had been thinking after all; but after a minute that thought flitted to some little used part of my brain not to be heard from again. Not until baby number three decided that not one, not two, not three, not even four-but nearly five years later she would make an appearance; which was not quite what I had pictured. As I held that not-so-tiny baby, I was quite certain that same voice spoke again, louder and more firmly, "You know, you're not in control." Finally, I thought, "Okay, God, I get it. I'm not in control."

Check that off the list--

God = control
me = notsomuch

But my understanding was short-sighted, as only five months later I stood inside church, talking to a newly pregnant friend saying, "Charts, schmarts...what do I need those for? I simply don't get pregnant." Two days later, staring incredulously at a little white stick in my bathroom, amidst what sounded like laughter, I very clearly heard, "You know, you're not in control..." pause "and you're one of My slower learners," followed by more chuckling.

Why then, should it surprise anyone to know that I assumed that compared to pregnancy, childbirth and recovery that the adoption process would be a snap. Why? Well, because--finally--I would have control. (Can't you just see God shaking His mighty head?) As we're back in the process again, knee-deep in paperwork, finances and the like, the landscape of adoption is changing in Ethiopia and I'm cringing, as off in the distance, I think I hear that voice calling to me again.


Life in Fitzville said...

You know, at least with pregnancy you can pretend you are in control. This new little being is, after all, inside your own body. You can even set up a calendar of sorts and be at least close to the correct timing of things most of the time.

If there was ever anything to kick the control freak habit, I would think adoption would be it. You very quickly realize that you have absolutely no control, other than filling out paperwork. Once it is out of our mailbox, it is all out of your hands.

We, on the outside of the ark, can take some control for you though... we can all pray! :)

elmcitymom said...

Thanks for sending us the love. We need all we can get here in the Elm City. Your post about control resonated with me, it's so true that we learn slowly when it comes to this topic.

Anonymous said...

Have you read "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren? I (we) am in the middle of it right now. There's a lot about surrender in it. I think you'll like it.


PS-No one has gotten back to me about reunion btw! Someone has to take control here!

patjrsmom said...

I've read it before and enjoyed it. With regard to the surrender of following God's will in the topic of fertility, family size and openness to life, though, my favorites have to be Kimberly Hahn's Life-giving Love and Christopher West's The Good News About Sex and Marriage. Both are such great reads and such great authors!

I was just wondering about the reunion status. I haven't heard anything either. Sigh. To control or not to control. THAT is the question!

Anne said...

Oh Jane,

What a great laugh you gave me this morning! I KNOW that I am one of those SSSLLLOOOWWW learners! Yet I keep trying to take back that control.

To fill you in a little on my 'story', we got pregnant the first month of 'trying' for my first 2 children. Then it took 12 years to get pregnant with my 3rd biological child.

With adoption, you are so out of control except with filling out forms. We have 2 open adoptions and we started the process with both while the birth mothers were pregnant. They could have decided differently and not placed their children with us. We just had to keep trusting that God Will be done and that no matter what happens, He is the Author and Designer of our family.

Trust can be so hard at times. And yes, there were tears and mini tantrums on my part when I didn't want to relinquish control to Him. But when I got over it and moved on, I could see miracle after miracle that He had planned for us. His plan is best and trusting in Him takes so much supernatural grace, which only the Sacraments can give.

And by the by, we are still open to more children and God is saying "not now" and has been for 1.5 years. Peter will be 3 on Feb. 7th. So I wait and pray and see what He has in store for our family.


jena said...

Oh Jane- I loved this post.....I am working through many of these same issues with our family size, house, my body....