Faith Living Present Monday Mantras

When Fear Grips Your Heart: Release Control

Planning “Unplanned” Days to Release Control

In my opinion, holiday festivities are so much fun. 

I totally geek out when it comes to holiday-themed goodness.  However, sometimes, holidays can add additional unnecessary stress because I plan too much, overwhelm my days by trying to do “all the things,” and stress over having the “perfect” holiday gatherings.

To avoid holiday overwhelm, in recent years, I’ve been challenging myself to take on a more relaxed, unplanned approach to holidays

A Planned “Unplanned” Independence Day at the St. Germain Household

This past 4th of July holiday weekend was one of those times wherein Sean and I took on a relaxed holiday approach. 

We allowed our days to unfold moment-by-moment this weekend: most days we had no “real” agenda…we followed a “what do you feel like doing now?” kind of approach. 

In fact, the only “real plans” we had this weekend included dining in with our close friends, Hayley and Jack. 

And even those “plans” were unstructured and easy-going: grilling up on the rooftop at our peep’s new place in Dogpatch, tons of lovin’ on their adorable new pup (Livvy), great conversation, tons of laughter, and good ‘ole Scattergories word-action fun.  

This weekend was not only a lot of fun.  But it also left my spirit feeling refreshed.

As I was reflecting back on this past weekend, it did not escape me that my lack of planning resulted in increased joy and peace.

There was something so rejuvenating about not placing any expectation on what we were going to accomplish or the desired/expected outcome of such.  

I also realized our moment-by-moment spontaneity had allowed Sean and me to be more present and connected with each other…as well as with those we encountered.

God used this weekend as an example to remind me of something I need to hear and acknowledge quite often:

Life is so much richer and more peaceful and less stressful when I submit my plans and expectations for the future over to His loving hands. 

A Hands Open Approach to Life

I don’t know about you, but I have the tendency to grasp for the reigns over my life. 

I like to feel as if everything’s under control. 

Why?  

Because control makes me feel safe…it makes me feel secure. 

Uncertainty rattles me: I like to know what I am up against and what awaits me up ahead…so I can ensure I’m able to handle whatever cards I’m dealt. 

But they funny thing is…

The more I grasp for control over my life, the more I tend to stress. 

  • Grasping for control makes me rigid.
  • It causes me attach myself to particular outcomes.
  • Grasping for control disillusions me into thinking I know what’s best for my life and I need things to go according to my plan.

Grasping for Control: A Personal Example

For example, recently I’ve been really struggling with anxiety over where God is leading me with my writing and how He plans on using me in the future. 

God has been calling me into unknown, entirely new territory (the writing/coaching/entrepreneurship world is vastly different than the familiar-to-me business world).  Which scares the heck out of me and causes me to question my qualifications at times. 

He’s also been unfolding His plans for me step-by-step.
  It’s been one small step after another (following His direction and lead) that has led me to this point. 

And it’s step-by-step that He continues to allow my future to unfold.

I know this is for my good.  And I know He is using this approach to grow me and train me to trust Him more and more.

But maaaaaaan do I find that uncomfortable. Ohhhhh, how I fight against that step-by-step strategy. 

  • I plead God for a peak of what’s ahead….for a nugget of certainty. 
  • I long for more clarity around the roadmap of my future, so I can settle back and relax, knowing how it’s about to unfold.
  • I cry out to God, telling Him that I need more information. I need to know how it’s all going to play out, so I can better prepare myself for and accomplish the plans He has in store for me.

Ahhhh, but God knows better.  

For me, as well as for you.

God’s in Control: You Can Stop Grasping for the Reigns

It helps me relinquish control and lean into uncertainty when I remember: God is the Master of the Universe.  

He is All-Knowing and Sovereign over all things.

He has the full-view picture of all the happenings of this world (past, present, AND future). 

He designed us. He knows our passions, gifts, longings, and fears.  He knows full-well how to use us, how we will have the most impact, and what will cause us to thrive best.  He sees the desires of our hearts. He understands us through and through.

And He knows what is best for us.

Remember: He’s God…He’s GOT this

When I remember who God is, I realize how foolish I am for trying to take His place on the throne over my life. 

As my spirit and soul settle back into the absolute fact that God is entirelyqualified to rule over my life…I begin to relax. 

As I reflect on the past, I remember how God has never forsaken me.  And when I’m caught up in that place of fear and doubt, the Spirit consoles my anxious heart by reminding me of the fact that He will always be faithful. 

These truths reassures me every time I’m faced with uncertainty: He knows what’s ahead, He will be with me always, and He also knows what’s best for my future. 

Release Your Fears and Your Attempts to Control

God continually reminds me: He’s “got this.”  He’s “on it. ”  

I have no reason to fear.

Along with my worries, God reminds me…I can also release control.  

  • I can release my plans and my expectations for the future. 
  • I can release my desire (and my perceived need) to know what’s up around the bend. 
  • I can release my worries and fears about the uncertainties and unknowns. 
  • I can release my concerns over whether I’ll be qualified…or capable…or strong enough to accomplish what He has in store for me.

He’s got this.

So, I can release control.

I can release my cares, relinquish my control, and just…LET…IT…GO!!!!

God’s Plans & Timing Are Always Perfect

God’s plans and God’s timing are always better than our own.  

He knows exactly what He wants to come of our lives. He knows exactly where He wants to lead us and how to get us there. 

He also knows how our story best plays into the GRAND story…His overall masterplan that includes all of us.

We forget that frequently, don’t we?  The fact that it’s not all about us.  Each of our lives is so much bigger than just “you” or just “me.” 

Friend, I encourage you to release your life over to God’s capable hands.  

That includes handing over the reigns to your life and allowing God to control the outcome of the future.  You have no reason to fear, no reason to doubt. You also do not need to have all the details about the future.  

Trust Him.  

Turn to Him with open hands and an open heart, and repeat after me:
I release control.

Hands Open, Eyes Up: Release Control Over to God 

Friend, any time this week you find yourself grasping for certainty or clarity around what’s ahead, kindly remind yourself:

“I release control.”

Any time you find yourself stressing over how things are going to play out in the future, turn your eyes to God and firmly declare:  

“I release control.”

Any time you feel overwhelmed…any time you’re consumed by anxiety…any time you recognize you’ve attached yourself to the “need” to achieve particular outcomes…

What are you going to proclaim instead?

That’s right. You’ve got it:

“I RELEASE CONTROL!”

RELEASE CONTROL. RECEIVE MORE PEACE.

Friend, as you practice releasing control over to God and trusting Him for the outcome of your future, I think you’ll find your days will be filled with so much more peace.

May you ground yourself in the truth that His ways are Higher than your ways.  May you keep your eyes focused on Him each day. May you be more aware of His Presence and trust Him more and more as your future unfolds.

And may you remember: God knows the plans He has for you…and MAN…are they good.

Be grateful. Be confident. Be radiant. 

XOXO,

Rachael


Scripture to Meditate on This Week

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wealfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

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