Control. Let’s talk about that word for a minute. Control is defined as, “the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.” When my husband and I were in the beginning stages of the adoption process we were busy filling out paperwork, setting up appointments for our home study, working on our profile, filling out adoption grant applications, fundraising, etc. There was so much we were doing early on at some point I developed what I would call a “false sense of control” over the adoption process.
This “false sense of control” wasn’t completely unfamiliar territory. When we were in the beginning stages of trying to grow our family biologically there were times I felt like if I did everything perfectly, ate all the right things, took all the right supplements, worked out, tracked my days, prayed the right prayer, that we would overcome my infertility. But no positive pregnancy test ever came. “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with us? Why isn’t this happening, God?” My sorrow led me to some very dark weeks, months and years.
I don’t remember the day it happened, but one day God healed my heart. He didn’t heal my heart with a positive pregnancy test, but rather He created in me a heart of trust and surrender to His plans for our family. That didn’t mean all the tears were gone or that we “finished” grieving the reality of my infertility, but it provided great comfort to know that the Lord was with us. He was with us. He had a plan. He hadn’t forgotten about us just because growing our family was starting to look different than how we initially pictured it. I would describe myself as having clenched fists through most of our infertility journey. But when the Holy Spirit gave me the strength to release my expectations to the Lord, peace came. I traded in my clenched fists with open hands and I placed my desires at the feet of the cross.
I will have to admit that I can be stubborn and had a bit “relearning” of this to do when we started the adoption process. When things weren’t working out quite like I expected they would, when we were met with disappointment, when we had no idea if the adoption grants would come through or how we would fund our adoption, I was tempted to sink back into old habits. And I did for a little bit. But I was quickly reminded of how uncomfortable that false sense of control really is. I’m so grateful that I didn’t sit in that space for too long and that the Lord quickly reminded me of the better option-surrendering my desires to the Lord. Over the past decade I have learned that surrendering our wants, desires, and expectations, isn’t a one and done thing. As a Christian it’s a continual process. And through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross we have access to the help of the Holy Spirit to help us do just that.
Sometimes we hold on to things too tightly because we mistakenly assume that if we let go everything will fall apart. We are afraid we will miss out on the thing we are holding onto. I think that’s putting a little too much confidence in ourselves, don’t you? We aren’t in control of the cosmos. The Lord is. There is something freeing about letting go. We aren’t letting go to nothingness. We are letting go because we trust the One who upholds the Universe with the palm of His hands. We are letting go because His ways are so much better than ours. We are letting go because we know that our God is a loving Father who tenderly cares for His children. We are letting go so that we can experience freedom from striving and enter the rest Jesus talks about in Matthew 11.
Perhaps you are walking through a difficult trial right now. Perhaps things aren’t working out like you expected they would. Maybe you are walking through the adoption process and feel overwhelmed by the “false sense of control“ that you have taken on. It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the weight of it all. I encourage you to ask the Lord for help. Ask Him to help you surrender your desires and expectations at the foot of the cross because His plans for you are so much better than the ones you have for yourself.
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me at email@example.com and check out Christian Adoption Consultants for more information!***