Seeking control may be a common issue for most momma bears, but this is exactly why Satan uses it as a tool to break us down. So, let’s rise up!
"The days are long, but the years are short," they say. "This too shall pass," I’ve heard. "It’s just a season"… and on and on. All these sentiments have been shared with me in some form or fashion, and while yes, I do know this (and have even offered these to friends and other mommas myself), there are some days those words don’t mean anything, worse yet, they penetrate to my heart and become null and void. Sigh.
Ladies, can I just be real, raw, and honest for a moment? For those of you who know me or have read a few articles, you know I am not one to hold anything back and tend to be quite vulnerable. Yet, I do believe these things need to be said, and in doing so, I hope to shed a little light on a sensitive subject. So, here goes. This generation of moms is struggling big time. And many are doing so in silence!
Friend, we are in a spiritual war! The enemy is boldly targeting our hearts, minds, and souls, all the while making us feel lost and misunderstood. The consequences often cause us to minimize another momma’s struggles, compare them to our own, or even pretend to be okay. When in fact, we are all facing a little PTSD from the last few years, having lost so much, and our world still seems to be spinning upside down.
Maybe you feel as if you are the mom who has lost all control, and you don’t really know what to do about it, much less truly understand why you feel that way. Well, truth be told…You are not alone. Yes, I know, another sentiment that may strike a chord. However, while those words are often hard to digest when you, indeed, feel alone, you must realize someone wrote those because they must have felt the same exact way you do right now.
I am that mom who feels I have lost all control – case in point! But the feelings are real, and they are valid. Many days I can’t keep up. I can’t manage. I can’t seem to find what works in my marriage or with my kids. I just can’t. I can’t do this! I’ll even say it out loud when the weight of it all comes crashing down, all at once.
Then I will pause, take a deep breath, and quickly realize I can’t do it. And, you know what? Neither can you. We can’t do it all, nor were you meant to. Seeking control may be a common issue for most momma bears, but this is exactly why Satan uses it as a tool to break us down. So, let’s rise up! And join me in stepping away from those thoughts and seeking what God has to say to the momma who has lost all control.
Control Is Deceiving
Friend, let me start with a loud and clear fact - control is deceiving! Yep, it’s true. Let me walk you through a story that will not only break your heart but may be one you can sadly relate to. While we may not always reach this point, I do believe we have all felt this way:
Last week, I got a call from a dear friend, but when I picked it up, I could barely recognize her shaky voice. She asked if I could come over. But my mind immediately went to, she lives over an hour away, and there is so much stuff I have to do today. That thought quickly vanished when the pain broke through her voice, and in between sobs she said, “I can’t do this anymore. I have lost all control.” Those raw words told me everything I needed to know. The liar was very loud, propelling her into a very deep and dark place. I arrived at the same time the ambulance did, but upon seeing her open that door, there was a sense of both relief and heartbreak. Her two precious baby boys were in the living room looking around bewildered as tears streamed from her face, with the look of defeat written all over it.
It makes me so mad how Satan is on full-blown attack, leading us to believe we can’t be the moms God has equipped us to be! Yes, being a mom in this day in age is difficult and comes with its own unique set of challenges. From the brutal attacks on our identity, while living in a day of misrepresented information that is constantly at our fingertips, to all the sacrifices and demands we lay claim to, there is no doubt it's taking a toll, making us feel inadequate. And those merely scratch the surface, because the overall pressures we often put on ourselves are unbelievable!
Yet, the reason why we feel all these things so deeply is because we were designed to promote peace, nurture our loved ones, and be the “heart of the home” (Proverbs 31:13, Psalm 128:3a). So, when we somehow feel we can’t attain that or we lose our own sense of peace, we can easily bend to the lie that we’ve somehow failed. Oh, but what we must come to understand is that God is not expecting perfection, He is wanting surrender (Isaiah 55:8-9).
As women, we naturally yearn for safety and security and to maintain harmony throughout our home and with our family. That is why when outside pressures creep in, such as our children making bad choices, our temper bringing out an angry outburst, or our family feeling divided or distant, it leads us to believe things must be out of control. So, we naturally do our best to rein it all in, to crave a safe space, because control helps us feel like things are better, good. But, control is just a façade! God is saying to let go. He is commanding us to not feed into the lies of the enemy (John 8:44) and to, ultimately trust Him, with everything.
Handing Over Control
Handing over control sounds easy in theory, but many times, we may not even realize just how control is leading us and our choices because it gives us that false sense of peace. Sometimes it’s just the fact that life has a way of bringing us to some rather harsh breaking points, and gaining control is a mask for accepting uncertainty or difficult situations. I remember feeling that reach for control shortly after my mom died. I had had two teens and was at a loss on how to raise them without my momma’s guidance. The storm raged on as I entered those teen years already carrying the weight of grief. When they messed up, I blamed myself, and I wanted to give up. When the pain would resurface, I’d force myself to push it down.
Raising teens is hard, especially in this confused and lost world, but doing so while grieving is really messy, and it caused me to react in unpredictable ways. Yet, even though God knew my heart was wounded, His kindness, grace, and mercy never failed. There is such a beautiful way that our Father meets us in the middle of chaos and gently extends His hand, inviting us to take hold. Have you ever noticed that?
It makes me think of the beloved story we often tell our children when Jesus walked on the water and coaxed Peter to trust Him (Matthew 14:22-36). Just like our own storms that rage war in our lives, Jesus walked on the water to convince His disciples that He was Who He said He was – the Son of God. But, just as the disciples failed to recognize Him, believing He was a ghost, many times, I think we tend to do the same thing. We want to trust and reach out to grab hold of His hand, but we can’t seem to see Him for Who He really is, as our worry bubbles up and questions of “what if…” come to mind. Peter knew that all too well, but just as he began to go under, Jesus grabbed him. I think Jesus does the same to us.
Pay Attention, Listen, and Lean in to Love
Sweet friend, the battles we are waging are strong, but they are only intensifying. And that means we must remain vigilant, stay strong, and keep fighting! 1 Timothy 6:12 tells us to fight the good fight… with faith. This is a reminder that, in this life, we will encounter turbulence, especially as a believer as our faith will be tested. However, while we will naturally want to take control and harness in times that seem to be a little off base, we need to guard our hearts and minds by covering them with Truth.
Pay close attention to the atmosphere of your home, and when the enemy wants to weasel his way in, pray Scripture over your home. Choose to listen to the hearts of your spouse and children and seek God to place a barrier of protection around those precious relationships, extending grace when needed. Then lean into the source of love and let God bring you back to a place of surrender as you trust Him in each and every season.
This is also a call for us as moms to band together. We have the sweet opportunity to lift one another up and encourage each other on this journey. Be a mentor to a mom who is in need and seek a wiser momma to mentor you. We also need peers who we can depend on and who we know will be there in our darkest times. Pay close attention and listen to the hearts of your friends, and be their biggest prayer warriors because we desperately need prayers. Maybe now more than ever.
I’ll close with this: The truth is we will never be enough on our own and never be able to gain full control. We can’t. But, we can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:19). Now those words are worth etching in your heart and believing wholeheartedly!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/LightFieldStudios
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.