Relinquishing Control (Sydney Hawthorne)

Relinquishing Control (Sydney Hawthorne)

Growing up, I have always had a hard time dealing with the changes that happened throughout my life, and I have always chalked it up to me being the oldest sibling and my parents’ divorce. I had to “grow up” at a very young age, and although I did it, it did not sit well with my issues of change. It took a long time for me to adjust to my parent’s not being together, marrying other people, and having new siblings around. I was never the kid super excited to grow up and move through school because of the change that followed. I only started getting excited about the changes that life so graciously throws at us when it was time for college to roll around, but it wasn’t because I had gotten better with change. In fact, my issue with change had probably morphed into something worse. To me, college was the opportunity for me to be in control of the changes that I encountered, and it was the way to accomplish my future goals. I had a plan, and I was determined to see that plan out in a straight line, successfully, funny right? 

Unknowingly to me, I had developed an anxiety about the lack of control I actually have in my life, and it came out in ways that made me dislike how I was acting and even who I was becoming. I struggled with being very negative toward myself and others and having a pessimistic view of the world. This negativity put strains on my relationship with my family and friends, and it ultimately pulled me away from my relationship with God. I was not okay with being in situations that I couldn’t control, and I avoided them. I always wanted to be in charge, not because I wanted to oversee other people, but because I needed to have control of me for my sanity. The opportunity I saw in coming to college to have control was actually the complete opposite of the reality I have since experienced by being in college. Being in college and struggling with the mess I had created showed me that I didn’t want to keep fighting for control, because the helplessness and anger that resulted from it was awful. I didn’t know how to fix what was going on, and I didn’t even know what to fix, but I just knew that something needed fixing. This feeling is also ironic, because I thought I could fix my own problem, and when I realized that I couldn’t fix it, it hit home that I wasn’t meant to be in control. Let me repeat that-I was not meant to be in control. I don’t have the authority or the wisdom to be as in control as what I think I should be, and let me tell you, accepting that was a hard pill to swallow. 

I have come to realize that I need to relinquish the control that I think I have and that I think I need and give it back to God. In doing this, my relationship with Him has gotten extremely stronger, and I have made the decision to work through this personality flaw of mine with Him. Making that decision and sticking by the decision has given me so much peace in knowing that I am not burdened by the need for being in control. I still struggle with change, control, and negativity, but the Good Lord still makes sure to humble me every now and again when I think I can make my own rules. I think I have finally come to understand and acknowledge why it is a struggle for me, so I encourage anyone who has experienced something similar to look for God’s hand in the process and know that I am willing to be a listening ear if that is what you need.

This entire topic is quite frankly my absolute biggest insecurity, and it is so hard for me to talk about. I contribute this epiphany of mine to finding my place at HFC, so for that, I am so grateful for all the souls that have helped me reach this place in my journey with God. I also know that this post is supposed to be wholly holy and biblically based, but because I am not super confident in my biblical knowledge, I am just going to leave some verses that help me when I feel myself getting anxious. 

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:1-3

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you

Psalm 9:10

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:19

Below is a video devotional by Sydney that is based on this blog post.

Sydney Hawthorne, a junior at WKU, is from Bowling Green, Kentucky. She is studying psychology, and upon graduation, she hopes to continue graduate work in psychology, with the hopes of being a school counselor.