I am a tightly wound woman. It’s as if my insides are pulled together, without much slack. My reactions often reflect the irritation present from the taut stitches that hold me together.
I fumble to receive and extend grace in everyday moments.
A plate of brownies slips from hand and I scream, as if the world has just ended. The kids disobey and I yell, angry that they won’t do what’s asked. An employee doesn’t follow guidelines for a project, and I spit out words that sting.
I hold myself to impossible standards—expecting superwoman to emerge and demonstrate acrobatic maneuvers that bypass human limitations.
Since I walk on a tightrope of unreasonable expectations, I am positioned to topple at the smallest criticism—or trip others when they don’t meet mine.
I think some of us are born tightly wound—it’s woven into our wiring and temperament—and some of us have developed these tendencies over time as we’ve faced adverse circumstances.
My tightly wound issues originate with a desire for control and a lack of trust.
I have a wonderful life coach, Darlene, who often asks me, “Katie, who can you control?” Oh, I hate it when she asks this, because I have to answer with the hard truth, “Me, just me‚ that’s the only person I can control.”
When I try to control others—thinking I know best, I forget who is on the throne. And I am led to the age old question, “Will I give Jesus the right to control my life and be Lord of it?”
And that question leads me to ponder these:
If I really trusted God’s Sovereignty, wouldn't I be more at peace on the inside?
If I really believed in His Sufficiency, wouldn't I rest more easily?
If I really took Him at His Word, wouldn't I be freed from fears?
Being tightly wound can choke the life out of us and those around us. Our uptightness can cause heightened levels of stress, turmoil and health problems. Our shoulders can ache from the pressure we put upon ourselves as we try to do all and be all.
When I am around other tightly wound women I often feel anxious, like I can never measure up to their high standards. I see a reflection of how I make others feel and I turn away, ashamed that I have been the culprit of anxious thoughts, hurt feelings, and crushed spirits.
Whether you are tightly wound by birth or as a result of circumstances, may I encourage you today? There is hope and help for you.
There are life-giving qualities that tightly wound women possess as well. They have a tenaciousness that makes things happen. I know many wound up women who rally around causes, accomplish difficult tasks and inspire others to take the next step towards their goals.
Wound up women can make great advocates, managers and organizers as they utilize their God-given strengths for the betterment of others.
You have a grit and grace that can make a positive difference in many lives.
I know it’s irritating when others don’t do things how you think is best, but remember, there is only One who is always in control and truly perfect—Jesus.
He loves you “as is”. He invites you, as you are, to come to His side and walk with Him. He is trustworthy. He understands your frustrations. He doesn’t turn away when you control to cope. He remains, very near.
Jesus can use your tightly wound tendencies for good as you walk with Him. There is peace, rest and freedom found as you entrust time, relationships, circumstances and your very life to Him.
You may be tightly wound on the inside but you can also be wound up tightly to the side of the One who died so that you can truly live.
Thank you for weaving us together and forming us according to Your will. Forgive us for hurting others with our desire to control. Forgive us for not trusting You as life unravels. Thank You that You can free us and use our wiring for Your Glory. Help us to receive and extend grace to ourselves and those around us. We can’t do this without You. Help us to remain close to Your side. Thank You for dying for us and loving us as we are. Thank You that victory is found in You and what You did on the cross on our behalf. May we be led by Your Spirit as we walk forward this day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her husband, four children and their life in ministry. Through writing, singing, speaking and photography Katie encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She has an album, Echoes of My Heart, and is a writer for God-sized Dreams and Purposeful Faith. She blogs at katiemreid.com and can be found on Twitter @Katie_M_Reid