I feel like most people don’t like being told what to do. That is because people like to be in control of their life, and to be able to make choices. I am this way too. I usually feel uncomfortable when big decisions in my life are out of my control. I am even bad about not being in control of small things. For example, I like when plans are set in stone. I usually get slightly uncomfortable when I make tentative plans with people that are likely to change. I like to be sure when things are going to happen because it makes me feel in control, even if it is about something small.
And if I don’t like being out of control of small things, why in the world would I give up a part of my life to outside control? The thing is, that is how we are called to live, giving up control of parts of our life to God. Now, this is a common thing that we hear in a church setting, but I don’t think that everyone always understands the implications of this whenever it is said.
I recently realized this when I was called to let go of control of a part of my life, and to trust God that he would work it out for my good as He has promised. I realized that it was a lot harder than I had thought it would be. God called me to open up about my struggles with both homosexuality and depression, both of which I had held very tight control over until now. Up until now, whenever I had admitted these things to others, I only did it with people who I felt I could guess how their reaction or response would be. I wanted to be in control. And even though it is true that each time I did open up to somebody new, it did take tons of courage and a big step of faith, I only ever took some safer risks. I had only first opened up to those who I knew shared my beliefs.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the people I was able to open up to were tremendously supportive and helpful. And although it took me more than 6 years to get up the courage to do so, I am very glad I did talk to those people. It was a very big step for the time, but I was still mostly in control.
A while back though, I started feeling a push from God that it was time to come out of my comfort zone, and give up some control in this area. The first step of that involved opening up to those I was close to who I had not opened up to yet. At this point I still stuck with people who shared my beliefs, but even that step was very scary to me. After that, I had opened up to the remainder of people who I know from church or church-related things who I felt needed to know. For various reasons, I was scared of how they would react to what I had to say, but I took that leap of faith, giving control to God, and was blessed not only by kind words from everyone, but by those friendships growing and becoming closer to those people.
Then, I felt another push. God wasn’t done working with this area of my life right now. The next push I felt was to finally open up to the remainder of people I felt close to, especially in high school. The scary part about this, is that many of them have differing beliefs from me. If I opened up to everyone like that, I would be in almost no control anymore. I had two main fears in opening up to those people. One is that they would disagree with my stance on homosexuality, and that that disagreement would either end our friendship or make things weird between us. The other is that they would feel uncomfortable that I struggled with it at all and that would end our friendship or make things weird between us. But again, I was blessed with amazing people, and even if some didn’t agree with everything I said, they still lovingly accepted me and no friendships were hurt. Now, I don’t feel like I am hiding anymore, and it feels so wonderful.
4 years ago, nobody at all knew about my struggles with either homosexuality or depression. If you told me then that in 4 years, most everyone I am close to knows about it, my parents know, and there is even an online blog post about it with my name on it, I would have thought you were crazy. At that point, I had made promises to myself that nobody would ever know. It happened step by step, and all of the steps were very hard, but it did happen, and all because I listened to calls and pushes from God. The things that He pushes us to do can drastically change things, and they are always part of God’s good plan for our lives.
It isn’t easy to relinquish control of things to God, but it is always worth it.