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Today’s Truth

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’

Matthew 19:26

Friend to Friend

Just yesterday, my son validated the heart of my issue. He drew a picture of Mommy. I was curious, so I asked him, “What is Mommy doing in that picture?”

He said, “She is thinking.”

He then drew the brain bubble that floats up in the sky like a hovering cloud of declaration. I said, “What is Mommy thinking about? What goes in that little bubble?” I was pretty certain I was just about to finally be crowned Super Mommy—the queen of peanut butter and jelly!

His answer? “She is thinking about herself.”

Boom! And there you have it. With the force of a busted salt shaker hitting an open wound, I was stung with truth: Mommy is thinking about herself (again).

As controllers, it’s hard not to be, isn’t it?

We exchange relationship for rapid-fire orders.

We exchange love for lists.

We exchange being for doing.

We exchange journey for daily destinations, pick-ups, and deadlines.

Our need to feel at ease often makes us forget other’s deep needs.

Don’t get me wrong; we have things handled. We are very good at reaching surface level, face value, and situational goals. That is covered. The floors are wiped and the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. But, just as my son revealed, sometimes we get so busy handling all we have to handle that we become dismantled. People suffer.

It’s right about this moment where a detailed woman, a try-harder like me, says, “I didn’t do well, but I’ll fix myself; I promise you. I will do whatever it takes to get things right. I’ll drop and give you twenty, I’ll find the answer online, or I’ll make an action plan.”

I. Will. Improve.

Personally, I’d do anything to make life okay; however, I am finding that usually all that needs to be said is this: “Lord!”

Not, “Lord! Those people should get their act together.”

Not, “Lord! Things aren’t going well, again.”

Not, “Lord! When will people move a little bit faster?”

Not, “Lord! If I want something done well, I have to do it myself.”

Not, “Lord! I can’t trust anyone.”

Not, “Lord! When will You do what I need You to do?”

No, more like:

Lord! I need You, Jesus.

Lord, I can’t do it without You.

Lord, saying I don’t know how—it just scares me.

I need You. I am not sure what will happen when I let go. I just need You. I don’t know how to fix people. I just need You. When I frantically try to fix and fashion things my way, I need You.

It really just comes down to this: “Come, Lord! Help me to stop being a dictator and start being an abider. Lord, it is all You. I can’t do it, but You can.”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

This simple acknowledgement of “I can’t” gives you the eyes to see – He can.

And, somewhere in this space, as you get on your knees, control flees and the breeze of peace flows in.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I hold on to life tightly. Help me to let go. May I remember when I can’t, You can. May I understand the depths of Your love and sit in the lengths of Your peace. Bring me to greater surrender, so I may know You more.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Where have you gripped life so hard your hand is leaving a mark? How has control negatively impacted your attitude, relationships or outcomes? What would it look like to know, you can’t – but God always can?

More from the Girlfriends

Join Kelly Balarie, author of Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, as she goes on a journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches all fear. Kelly is blogger at Purposeful Faith, a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She continually leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life.

(Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie. Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2017. Used with permission. www.BakerPublishingGroup.com.)

18 Responses to “In 2 Words: Move from Fearful to Faithful”

  1. Esther says:

    Thank you ! Just what I wanted to hear. I am having a hard time at work meeting targets and I have never felt more dejected and I feel like I have done everything I can. I am letting go the reins and trusting God. With God all things are possible ! Amen !! Please pray for me as I learn to grow stronger in Him.

  2. Tracey says:

    The beauty of this. As I sat with tears running down my face the other day with that word surrender ringing yet again in my hears I held up empty hands and an empty heart and said “what else God”? Everything is gone. My marriage is over after 19 years…..my vehicle was recently repossessed the night before I lost my job a few weeks ago- so what else?

    Let go of fear.
    Let go of control- “well I clearly have nothing left to control” and He whispers “stop trying to control the outcome. Be still. Rest. I’ve got you.

    Sigh- I don’t know how to do this God.

    I can’t. But He can!

    • Tracey, He has you so tightly. He will not abandon you, nor fail you. You are his daughter. He has great plans for you. I pray that today, you might stand firm in these truths, knowing that God holds all things together. You are doing well. Keep pushing into it.

  3. Sara says:

    Due to breast cancer my breast was taken, Hair falling off contemplating on shaving it, don’t want to let it go, I had my second round of chemo on Tuesday and today I have to have laser treatment for my eye. What else Lord! I’m afraid but I have to let it go and trust you. Be still and know he is working all for my good. I will be a better person after all is done. Beauty is not on the outside its what in the inside. Take it lord and make your masterpiece.. Because you can.

    • Sara, I love your faith and so does God. Oh, how each ounce of your faith pleases him. Keep standing firm in it. It matters. And, you are so right, beauty is on the inside and right now, he is developing you into a blossom of his unfolding goodness. Hold on and keep on trusting your Maker.

  4. Marsha says:

    Wow, what powerful words. In my letting go I learned that God really is who he says he is, it was scary, I didn’t really like it, I wasn’t sure how it would all turn out. But I let go anyway…..and He caught me. Thank you Kelly, thank you God for girlfriends.

  5. ana says:

    Thank you for the timely word! But you are right it is hard to let go and let God.

  6. Laura says:

    Thankful for this devotion today. More encouragement that It’s OK to let go of toxic people in my life. They will come to me when they need something but I can not fix their wants. God thank you!

  7. Vanessa says:

    Wow!God is truly awesome. Holding on on.😇

  8. Correen says:

    This is such a very powerful message, and one that takes lots of practice to learn. As a child growing up in an alcoholic/ abusive home, I became very controlling of the things that I could control in my life. That carried over into my adulthood and some served me well,like graduating from college RN program on the Deans list with 2 toddlers! Being a dedicated Labor and delivery nurse while raising 4 children, and spotless house! Then I became very sick with an autoimmune disease that not only took the life I’d known, it took my career that I loved. I was no longer the together, career mother with a spotless house. I didn’t know who I was. Then 6 years ago, we lost my younger brother at 34 years old to a drug overdose, after months of sobriety. That shattered my family and any idea of “control” I had in this life. My fear was out of control and I knew only God could save me. He carried me through that terrible time and somehow I felt “safe”. What I believed in my mind though was that God would not allow me to hurt like that again, because I didn’t believe I could take it. Last June, I lost my step-father whom was the only true father I’d ever had. He was a wonderful, kind and loving man that treated me as his own daughter. My youngest brother started using Meth. My youngest son announced he planned to join the military after graduation, this year. My world unravelled in just a few months time, no matter how I tried to control it. I shut God out, because I felt betrayed, as He didn’t stick to “our” (my) plan. That did not work out so well. I became extremely distraught and had an emotional breakdown, which led to a very serious suicide attempt in October. I took lots of pills and nearly drown in the tub. A few more minutes and I would have. My son was disturbed by a text I sent him, just telling him about things I was sorry for in the past and how much I loved him. He had a really weird feeling and called my hubby to check on me. I don’t remember much. Rushed by ambulance unconcience, barely breathing. This is stuff I was told later. I don’t even remember making the decision to do it. It’s been a long & tough path since then. I speak out about it because I believe God saved me that day for a reason. If it is to reach one person that feels at all like I did, or has been there also and feels alone, then I will share my story and what’s helped me. I was choosing to believe what I wanted about God, because it made me feel more in control. I’m now reading God’s word daily and learning to trust in Him and give my life over to Him. I know there will be pain and sorrow. I don’t dwell on it. I hate it. I can’t control it. I trust and know my God will always be faithfully there to carry me through it all.

    • Clearly, Correen, God has great plans for your life. I stand, holding your hand, for you are brave and loved. Continue telling your story and spreading faith, as you are.

    • Faye says:

      Correen–thank you so much for sharing your testimony of God’s saving grace and mighty hand! I am terribly sorry that you have experienced so many challenging things, but I do believe that all things–not just the good and pleasant–will work together for your good if you continue to love God and cling to Him. I can totally relate to the difficulty in relinquishing all things to Christ. I, too, grew up in an abusive and unstable home, so when I became an adult, I always tried to control everything because the only person I could count on was me. However, I am learning to surrender everything to God because there is nothing too hard for him. What we have been trying to accomplish for years, He can speak one word and it change in one second. I pray that God would overshadow you with his perfect love to cast out any fear of not having control. I pray that the God of peace, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. And finally, I pray that you will trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Allow yourself to melt before the throne of God in prayer and he will strengthen you to bear whatever it is you must face, can’t change or simply can’t control. He is so faithful and He will do it! Blessings and peace to you, Correen.

  9. Carlynn says:

    Boy, this is spot on for me!! Such a wonderful, gentle reminder of how we should let go and let God be in control of our lives!!

    Thank you!

  10. Christine says:

    Wow, Kelly. That one got me! As a fellow sister in list-making and rigorous attacking of action items, I can sure relate. I so appreciate your honesty and candor in sharing this anecdote from your life, and also the spiritual application. The shift from stinking self-sufficiency to sweet surrender has been one I regularly find myself in need of. I need more of Jesus…”the end”. Thanks for reminding me!!!
    Blessings to you,
    Christine

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