In grade school, I struggled in the “works well with others” category. Which I’m sure was frustrating to my parents, because they could get a tutor for vocabulary or geometry… However, they just don’t have a “How To Be Less Bossy 101” course in your average elementary school. I received politely passive aggressive remarks on report cards, such as: Not shy about voicing opinions, Really takes charge of EVERY situation… And my personal favorite, A natural born leader, but maybe she could practice following? My mom used to pray with me every morning before I got on the bus. She would pray that I would exercise self control, and at least TRY to take a back seat when working with classmates… Yes, that really happened. So like it or not, I have the phrase “I’ll do it myself” burned onto my brain somewhere, and it is quite often my life mantra.
In an ideal world, there would be no group projects. To be transparent, I don’t want the added stress of hoping that you do your part of the work…while trying to do it all anyways and check your work (because clearly I know best). Collaboration leaves room for the unknown, until I don’t have room for the unknown in my perfectionistic mind. I want to do it all alone because I know I can do it right, and that I will do it right, or die trying. I want to be perfect, to excel, and to be the best at anything and everything I attempt. Are you exhausted yet? This character trait, let’s just call it control freak-ness for lack of a better term, has flooded every aspect of my life. Work, school, friends, family, relationships… you name it.
Because I am terrified of what failure says about me. Will I have to start from scratch? Will I wake up to the numbing realization that I have been doing life incorrectly all this time? And if that were true, then HOW could a God as powerful as ours ever love a screw-up like that? This debate has run circles around my brain for many years, and I’ve finally settled on this: I am only human. If only the blameless entered Heaven, then I firmly believe it would have quite a few vacancies. Up until this point I have tried to filter God’s love through the lens of conditional human love. I believed deep down that sanctification came from screwing up less, and doing more. Doing it myself, and doing it perfectly… Whatever “it” was.
To add a more personal example…I don’t know if I supposed to be a nurse. Maybe I was just success oriented in school. Sometimes, I think I was blinded by the adrenaline that comes from pursuing absolute success. In fact, It took me until recently to discover that I can’t name what exactly I’m passionate about. I can motivate others, lead a crowd, and take a task and complete it well… but what feeds my soul? I think I have neglected the passion, and replaced it with the “doing.” The tangible evidence to the world that I am “successful,” rather than the resulting overflow of God-given passions from a God-fearing soul. So what if, I am a part of the plan, rather than THE plan? That the reason I am on the Earth is to walk with Jesus, not to earn brownie points for good behavior? Seems like a relatively easy concept, yet I find myself resorting to putting in more effort, rather than spending time with my Savior. I am not God, and trying to be just depletes me of the living water that is freely mine to rest in, be filled with, and overflow into the lives of others.
So, maybe I don’t have it under control. Maybe I’m desperately trying to earn what is already mine for the taking. Ironic, isn’t it? I am counterproductive by trying to be over-productive. I am essentially taking my junk out of the most capable hands imaginable, and then making Him watch as I frantically try to juggle things that weren’t meant for me. Take it from a recovering Control Freak, don’t pick back up the shackles you were freed from. Trust me, He’s Got It Under Control.