That Dreaded Uncertainty – Overcoming the Need to Control Everything

I hate uncertainty.

I like things to be clear, or at least to have somewhat of an idea of where things lie. I have this inner control freak that always seems to be chomping at the bit, ready to unleash full-force on any area of my life that seems a little unsure.

I’ve had to get comfortable with uncertainty, though. I often find myself struggling to let that go. God, you may be God, but you don’t totally get the whole picture in this situation. I think it would be best if I went ahead and dictated your plan for my life from this point.

As funny and backward as that sounds, I’ve had that exact thought. Uncertainty is the worst, and I get very frustrated sometimes when the plan for my life is not revealed in this big, visionary way. Even more, I think God has allowed uncertainty in my life consistently to prove to me that I can’t control everything (and shouldn’t try).

It’s a difficult thing to thank God for your health when you’re struggling with sickness. You don’t know when or if you’ll be healed, and you find yourself in the vulnerable place of feeling like you’ve been robbed of something. Uncertainty permeates through every part of your life in those moments.

You question God’s promises and who he says he is in the midst of the doubt that you’ll ever be healed, and wariness sneaks in when you see someone else’s promises being fulfilled. But the fulfillment of someone else’s promise does not diminish the process of yours.

That girl a few years younger than you who just got engaged to the perfect man in the perfect place at the perfect time. That person who’s never had to take a sick day in their life. The one who seems to have their entire career planned out and, by the way, they’re already making more money than you could dream of.

Their promises aren’t your promises. Their timeline is not your timeline. We can’t expect to experience joy when we’re seeking promises that are not our own.

Even now, in this season of life where I’m much healthier than I’ve been in a while (praise break, can I get a hallelujah??), there’s still a pretty hefty amount of uncertainty. About to graduate college? Let’s hear your entire life plan. Getting past 21? Let’s get you a man ’cause you aren’t getting any younger!

Some of the best-intended questions of how my life is going are the ones that drive my internal control freak up the wall. I crave certainty. And when I don’t feel that I’m getting it from God, I run to the advice of a friend or my own willpower (or honestly wherever seems logical) to feel like I have some sort of control.

I have had to come to this place of humbly accepting that I need to find peace in knowing that God has absolute certainty, even when my small mind can’t comprehend. It’s not easy by any means. I have to remind myself daily (sometimes more) of who God is in my uncertainty and of his promises to me. I have to consistently check my heart to make sure I’m not pursuing someone else’s promises. For me, that looks like this little daily reminder:

The Lord is all I need and I lack nothing. I am strong and full of life, vibrant and full of purpose. I am a daughter of the King, confident in the calling he has given me. I am bold and fearless in pursuit of Christ. I am healed in the name of Jesus. I am accepted, loved, cherished, and appreciated. I am effective in my calling, reaching people in love and changing the culture around me. The Lord will sustain me for all my days.

Where do you struggle to relinquish control? What do you repeatedly find yourself struggling to trust or believe about God? I challenge you to make a daily reminder for yourself. When you engrain an attitude of praise and humility in your struggles (in your pain, your doubt, your fear…) you’ll find that it’s easier to cling to your promises. You’ll know you’ve grown when you can celebrate the fulfillment of someone else’s promise, even when yours is still a work in progress.

Abby Shrewsbury

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