Life Spinning Out of Control

“Pero me conoces, y es Tu decisión. Y a Su tiempo me darás lo que es mejor….”–Tienen Tu Color por J.A.R.

I am by no means a laid back person. However, as a result of many life experiences, I have become a very flexible person. That song (Tienen Tu Color) has been one of my favorites for years. I like the reminder that my heart’s cry poured out to my God is not forgotten. It remains there before Him. And that ultimately He will make the final call on my life. He knows me…He knows what is best for me. And more than anything (my deepest desire) is to have His favor; His pleasure poured out over me. Seems unthinkable that that could be possible. He is way kinder, more forgiving, and more powerful than I give Him credit for.

My mind goes back to a time several years ago when life seemed to be spinning out of control. Truth is, life is entirely out of my control all the time, but there are seasons where I feel I have quite a bit of control. There are other seasons where I not only realize that I have no control; I start to wonder how God could possibly have control. We had come to the U.S. very suddenly. Basically within a week we decided we needed to leave Guatemala (for our safety) and come here. We left everything, our house, our things, family and friends, and honestly we had no idea when or if we would return.

Let’s just say….I don’t do that. Only time that was close was when I got married. I did leave my culture, my “stuff”, family and friends behind–but I had thought and prayed about it a lot. Certainly didn’t all happen within one week. We arrived in the U.S. a bit confused, lost, unsure of what direction we were headed. Few months down the road I was at work and my husband called. He told me that one of the employees at one of his businesses in Guate had embezzled a lot of money.

At that moment, everything just hit me. ALL of the changes, all of the uncertainty, all we had left behind, all of the emotions I had just thrown aside to survive–and I had a bit of a breakdown. At work. (I don’t usually do that either.) I started sobbing. My coworkers weren’t sure what was going on. I ran to the bathroom. Then I went and talked to my supervisor. I hugged her for a long time (Uh, I don’t do THAT either.) I literally felt entirely out of control in every sense. She sent me home. Called it a “mental health sick day”. I tend to be responsible, trustworthy, reliable, and hardworking. Not weeping out of control, hugging people, barely able to breathe or function. Especially at work.

Things felt so out of control in that moment. The reality of our situation hit me. ,In Guatemala we had family. We had a home. All of our “stuff” in that home–clothes, photos, furniture, wedding presents, kitchen stuff, etc. A Church family. Friends. Hugo had businesses. A normal routine. And, within a seven day period, we decided we should leave quickly, bought our tickets and then we just up and left EVERYTHING with no plan. No idea what to do next. There was no more pushing things aside or denying them–it all hit me at once.

Have you ever felt like that? Completely out of control and lost? Like everything is spinning out of control and all you know to do is break down and weep?

Joseph from the Bible comes to mind. I’d say he had a pretty good childhood. Favored by his father. Some pretty encouraging dreams. Life seemed pretty good indeed, until his brothers threw him in a pit and sold him. I’m guessing that came as a bit of a surprise. And that life felt out of control as it completely changed. Now, we can read the whole story…we see the whole picture and are able to see God’s hand and what He accomplished through it. But we don’t always get to see that in our own life, do we? Certainly not in the moment. When things are crazily spinning, you really aren’t able to see much of anything. And you really aren’t making big plans for your future…you are trying not to get sucked into the whirlwind. You are trying to keep your head above the big waves threatening to crash over you.

For people like me, who like to have plans and control, you are almost in a shock of sorts that you find yourself in this place. A place where literally you have no control. And to people who rely on you, it’s a bit hard for them to grasp and handle. You usually provide them with some sense of pattern and rhythm for their lives. You usually provide them with some security. An out of control, messed up Katie doesn’t seem to compute.

Thankfully, with God, a messed up Katie not only computes, I think that is one of the ways He sees me. And when I acknowledge that and turn to Him in my utter helplessness and need, I do not get turned away. Instead, He comes close, covers, and clothes me. He provides shade, shelter, and protection. He guides me. He arms me with everything I need to fight and assures victory. And He does all this in a “secret” place. He takes me away from those people who “need” me–I get to be needy myself. He provides for me. I am able to forget everyone and everything else–my thoughts and attention are only on Him. I go into His presence shut my eyes with all my might; and hang on.

O Lord , You have searched me and known me! Psalm 139:1



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