Ever since Kalley Heiligenthal released her new album, Faultlines, I keep coming back to one statement, one truth coach – control is not peace.

You see, sometimes we feel like we’re trusting God because we have a sense of peace, or an assurance of the future. The issues placed before us are sorted – settled – and worry no longer overwhelms us. But the thing is, it’s not always trust. At least, that’s what I seem to keep discovering. Sometimes, it’s control.

“Control is not peace
It’s not what it seems…”

So, what is control? What does it mean to feel in control?
I think it’s different for everyone, but for me it’s having a plan. When I have a plan, I know what is coming, I know what I’m doing and I know where I’m going. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I worked this plan out all by myself. Although, lets be real, sometimes it does! Usually, however, the plan is formed by what I feel like God is saying and the desires He’s placed in me.

For me, creating a plan starts as a journey of trust, full of relationship and connection. Yet, at some point during the execution of this plan, I seem to leave my place on Papa’s lap and follow the roadmap on my own. And so, what do you think happens when these plans don’t work out? Well, it doesn’t go so well.

Every single plan Conor & I have made this year has been cancelled or postponed. Whether it be to do with travel, work, family or study – none of it has worked out quite how we planned. Some of these plans were long-held dreams, exciting adventures and answers to prayer. When one after the other crumbled, I was devastated. I’d left my place of rest on Papa’s lap, my sanctuary, and I was stuck in disappointment. There was a lot of letting go to be done. Letting go of plans and expectations, and trusting God with whatever it looked like. And I did eventually come to a place of trust. Well I thought I did anyway…

“Bring me back to the start before the coping
When I believed, I could see, when I was trusting
With Your oil, heal it all unlock the fortress
In my chest do Your best, come retrieve me”

And then lockdown began. I knew that the lack of connection, purpose and space would impact my mental health. So I made a plan. I brainstormed what I could do with all my spare time: projects to complete, new skills to learn – stuff that would bring creativity and life to my world. But – surprise – that crumbled too.
We tragically lost a family member. All of a sudden I was hit with waves of grief and confusion.

Once again, I found myself saying to Jesus: plans really aren’t working out for me right now are they?
He replied: No, because control is not peace.

So, I’ve been working on seeking Him first. No more plans. The only plan I have is this: seek the Lord. Before I do anything else, before I think about all the housework I could do today, or the people I should call and check in on, I’m sitting on Papa’s lap again.

Now, don’t get me wrong – in no way am I saying that plans are bad. Plans are an essential part of life! They provide intentionality, creativity and growth. Plans are good. They just so happen to also be what God is talking to me about right now.

But it doesn’t stop there…

Just as I thought I was getting somewhere with letting go of control, God revealed more layers. Who would have thought?!

You see, I’m really bad at waiting – like really bad. I like things to happen fast. If I’ve made a decision about something, whats the point in waiting? Might as well just do it now – like right now.  Currently, we are waiting for some news that relates to one of our postponed plans. I was complaining about this to Conor and the conversation went like this…

Conor: “What is so bad about waiting?”
Me: “Because I hate not knowing. I’m okay with whatever the outcome is. I’ve found peace in that. I can trust God with that. But I just want to know what the outcome is.”
Conor: “And what’s so bad about not knowing?”
Me: “Ummm… Because then I don’t feel in control?”

We just laughed. Here we go again. Somehow it always comes back to control.
We sang out, “control is not peace.”

So, turns out that even though I’m learning to trust God when an outcome is different than I expect, I still find myself seeking control in the knowing – knowing what is going to happen next. Because, obviously, if I know what is going to happen next, then I can make a new plan. And the cycle continues.

Are you holding on to control in some areas of your life too? There’s an opportunity to upgrade our trust in this season! Click here to check out the song Sanctuary by Kalley Heiligenthal.


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