I’ll admit it, I am a control freak. From the little things to the big details of life, I need control. And while being someone who is “in control” is not necessarily a bad thing, I have come to learn that my controlling ways often mean that I leave little room for God.
This has never been more true for me than it has in the past month. You see, I’m currently in the throes of potty-training… or at least I’d like to be. Never in my life have I felt more “out of control” about anything than this. There have been tears , sleepless nights, messes, battles of will, and moments when my “mommy-patience” has been completely exhausted. I’m sad to say that I’ve been ashamed by my attitude and behaviour in my attempts to convince our daughter that she’s a big girl now, and the control freak in me feels like a complete and utter failure. I have even found myself longing to be free from this burdensome challenge.
But then this past Sunday, while sitting in church listening to our pastor talk about “getting out of the way” and “inviting God’s presence in,” it occurred to me. With all the books, expert advice and research I’d done, my desire to control this area of my daughter’s life has left little room for God to work. I’ll admit, it does seem strange to invite God in to the potty training process, but the truth of the matter is that I can’t do it without Him.
In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” In my case, inviting the Holy Spirit in and letting God work does not mean freedom from my responsibility as a parent. But it does mean freedom from the anxiety, frustration, and feelings of utter helplessness. “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Phillippians 4:13)
So, here's to a whole new kind of potty training adventure as this control freak mom let's go and let's God. Allowing Him in doesn't mean my darling daughter will suddenly "get it" and "do it", but it does mean that I'll rest in His patience, His wisdom, and His love as I guide her through the process. In that there is freedom.