Have you ever felt pressure? Pressure is a force that often feels as if something is behind, trying to move you. This force can be refining or sometimes cause you to break. Different sources of pressure can be: friends, family, societies standard, or even yourself.
In my case, the pressure I felt I also generated. I had an expectation to be something I could not. That expectation was not only unfair for me, but for God as well. I was trying to take his place and of course, I failed. Let me explain.
I Tried to Be the Joy
For a very long time, I felt the pressure to bring happiness or joy into situations filled with tension. Not to mention moments of “awkward silence,” I especially could not stand these. So, I did whatever I had to do to keep these situations from happening.
I would tell a joke, do something crazy, or introduce a new topic into the conversation. Sometimes even make conversation, just to create a comfortable atmosphere. Discomfort was my enemy, and I went to battle against this daily.
Unbeknowest to me, my fighting wasn’t limited to discomfort alone. I often fought my Savior by trying to be the joy that redeems situations, when the only true source of joy can be found in Jesus Christ! I sought to fix everything without realizing that I am not the one who can, or should.
He Gave Me Freedom
This wasn’t easy to lay down the pressure I placed upon myself. I had carried this pressure longer than I could remember. Just like Linus, from Charlie Brown, who carried that raggedy blanket everywhere he went as source of comfort, I too carried this pressure into all areas of my life. Despite fear and doubt, I knew that if God called me to give up control, I needed to do so.
Freedom is what God has given me in return! I laid down control and now the pressure is gone. I am not responsible to bring others joy, God is! I don’t even have to supply myself with joy, God will do that when I look to him!
Lay Down the Trash, Gain the Treasure
To anyone who struggles with giving up control, this is my advice to you: stop trying to control your life. From the smallest situations to the decisions that are classified as monumental, give it all to Jesus! He knows better than you…trust me.
When you cling to something seemingly as natural to you as breathing and you are scared of what your life will be without it, remember this: when your hands are filled with the trash bags you carry, you cannot pick flowers. Why carry trash, when God wants to give you great treasure? There is so much more freedom in having your hands open than having them closed. Freedom is sweet, and his love more precious than the most perfect diamond.
May is a student in our Spring Discipleship Training School. This is her story.