From Pastor Lisa Vander Leek
Two weeks ago I came across this quote (it might be Brene Brown, but I don’t remember) and it has stuck with me.
“You are afraid of surrender
Because you don’t want to lose control.
But you never had control,
All you had was anxiety.”
As I pondered these words, I was reminded of how often I try to hold on tight to a situation (or a person) in an effort to keep control – whether it is to control the outcome or actions – but so often, that which I want to control is outside my ability to control. I can control if I wash my hands and wear a mask when I go to the grocery store, or how fast I drive my car, or the words that come out of my mouth but I have no control over a virus, or another person. So when I hold on tight, all that is left is anxiety.
When anxiety takes over, it can be paralyzing, overwhelming and exhausting. It also impacts my relationship with my Lord and Saviour. When I want to falsely control to the point of anxiety (and I want to distinguish here between anxiety on its own, and anxiety as a mental health condition that requires medical intervention) it takes away from my ability to trust. Again and again, throughout scripture and especially in the Psalms we are reminded to find our refuge – our security – our hope – is in the One who is Mighty to Save. We are invited to surrender in trust. Such trust doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong. But it does mean that through it all we will cared for and loved. Trust takes the focus off of my control of every little thing, and allows us to surrender. “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn you ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes” (Psalm 17:6-7)