I (Sara) sometimes struggle with control. For those that know me more deeply, they might say that is an understatement. It’s this unhealthy desire to reign control over all aspects of my life, and if I don’t have control over something, you will most likely see me wearing the anxiety of it on my face!
My need to control things, however, doesn’t fit in the equation of my relationship with God, His Son, or what I’m called to do as a believer. I know this. I’ve made progress, but I still struggle sometimes.
Since I’ve been working in ministry the last few years, I’ve found my desire to control all things and outcomes directly affects my ability to empathize with others. Meeting people where they are can be relationally demanding. I take on a lot of control and responsibility in these areas because I want people to experience real life change. I want them to grow deeper in their faith, and help pull them out of the trench they’re in. Do you see what’s wrong with that thinking though? I used the word “I” too much. I should be handing all of that over to God and trusting Him to be responsible for the outcome, not me.
When I am able to humble myself and reach this place of surrender, I have much more energy to continue the good work He’s called me to do, and don’t find myself as frustrated, disappointed, or stressed when the outcome I want doesn’t happen. I trust Him to work it out, and believe He will bring it to completion, even if I’m not in control of the outcome anymore.
If you’re like me and struggle with this or sometimes choose not to meet someone where they are in empathize with them, pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, I ask for Your will to be done, not mine. Show me the ways in which I can meet people where they are, and lead them back to you. Even if it’s only for a moment, Lord. I lay this responsibility at your feet. Humble me, and help me to become more empathetic to those who need it most. Amen.
Author: Sara Fullerton