Monday, August 10, 2009

Whose Holding Your Life Switches?

"You're making me miserable. I won't allow you to take control of this club. You can't control me," snarled a leader of a writing group to me.

"Take control? I have no desire to control this club, you or anyone else. But I will not be controlled by anyone but the Lord Himself. If you handed me your control panel; take it back because I don't want it. I never requested it. But I still stand by the boundaries I laid down for me. If that is a problem I will discuss this with you later," was my calm response to this perfectionist overwhelming leader.

She went ballistic. I was smiling a strange smile that only God and I understood. My fellow writers jumped in to try to calm the strong leader who was accustomed to people coming to attention when she barked loudly enough. She was ranting about this and that, and I truly was unaffected except to be concerned for her goodwill. Finally a new writer just swept me up in her arms and physically loved on me.

My smile...
My calm...
My surprise in my own words....
were part of God's tutoring me on how to manage life. For all of my life I had danced to the rhythm of anyone around me that exercised the most control or need. My mom had many emotional problems and I sense I was encouraged by aunts and family to keep her "calm" and happy. Now, I see well meaning folks gave a little child the responsibility to keep her mother sane. Wow! That's a biggee.

Bit by bit I developed mechanisms to please folks; no matter what. In that mindset I lost me; and what truly mattered to me. The poor writer's club leader just happened to be the first "controller" to encounter Free Kay! I had come through work with a Christian mentor and weeks of time in Bible study on being a strong healthy balanced Christian woman. I'm sure I needed some fine tuning in delivery, but I didn't buckle under and I didn't resort to her tyrannical manner.

I'm sure I didn't handle responsibility in full balance up until this point. My mom had displayed a manipulative passive/aggressive manner throughout my life. Now, I was laying down boundaries in my life. I had prayed on my purpose, destiny and the priorities in my life that pleased God. That week I had laid some big ones down with my mom. She came totally unglued, but then in the end she got it. That began some of the best interaction we had had together. So, this encounter with the group leader was days after I had been clear with my mom.

The vivid image of taking my writing club leader's control panel was repulsive to me. The weeks of seeking God's best in my life as a mature woman had been painful. Daring to confront my mom on being upfront and straight forward in our interactions had been painful for her. The leader had no idea what was going on with Kay. She was accustomed to the "yes" girl. Whatever anyone wanted Kay would try to do. But now Kay was laying down some boundaries. The leader's need for ultimate control was challenged and she reacted with loud forceful orders.

She was right on the point that I was no longer in her control. From that standpoint I was controlling her agenda. She had been accustomed to counting on 100% unconditional submission from me. Now, I was laying out times, assignments, etc. that worked for me with the other responsibilities in my life.

If controllers are hurting your life be prepared for new pain if you come into God's plan for living free. If you have lived as a people pleaser more than a God pleaser; there is hard work ahead. But ....hear me; the payback is amazing. No one holds my life control panel but God and me!!! Don't you want to live free?

Tomorrow we will explore how anyone ever falls into the trap of becoming a controller. Remember our goal is to get free; utterly free. When you are free in Christ you can truly love and pray for the controllers.

Do you have a story of being controlled, controlling or being free from either case.

We were designed to worship something, and when we fail to worship God, we create gods (idols) to surrender ourselves to. E. Stanley Jones said, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.” You’re free to choose what you surrender to, but you’re not free from the consequences of that choice: “So give yourselves completely to God” (James 4:7 NCV).


Kelly Combs said...

This was amazing Kay! I love that God was shinning in you and allowed you to remain cool, but to hold onto your boundaries. I remember when I started setting boundaries, it was hard...and sometimes still is...but I'm getting better at it all the time!

Off topic, thank you for sending Susan to meet me at Philly! I was so surprised when someone walked up to me and said "Are you Chatty Kelly? Kay told me to introduce myself to you." Wow! Thanks.

Wendy said...


What a great post. Oh, how easy it is for women, at least for me, to blur the boundaries in life and suddenly wonder who and what we are serving.

BTW - what study did you do (the one you mention in the post)?

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.