Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who's in Control?

I love checklists. I love the satisfaction of scratching things off the list one at a time as I accomplish them. I love order. I love tidying up my house, putting everything neatly away in the drawer or basket or closet or cupboard where it belongs. I love preparation and planning and seeing things run smoothly and efficiently. I love going to bed knowing my day has been full of getting things done.

I love being in control.

Something happens when a person like me becomes a mother. Something similar to swimming against a river's current, or trying to run up the down escalator at the airport. I found myself fighting for that control I felt before Baby Brown Eyes was born, but instead I just felt wearied and exhausted, with nothing to show for my battle.

I didn't know what I was fighting for at first. I just knew that while I loved being a mother, I constantly felt frustrated at the changes in my life--that I could no longer go for a run or a horseback ride whenever I felt like it, that Baby Brown Eyes screamed in terror whenever I tried to vacuum, that my clean laundry wallowed for days in the dryer before I had a chance to fold it, that a restful night's sleep was a thing of the past. I would look at other new mothers and marvel at how at-ease they seemed with motherhood. Was I the only one who felt so frustrated?

Becoming a mother upset the orderliness of my life. And I had a hard time letting go of it.

Slow learner that I am, I've only recently discovered that the control I thought I had before was no more than an illusion. The recent tragedy in Japan has reminded me that none of us are in control. At any second an earthquake could rip through my world, just as easily as it did in Japan. My perfect plans could be turned upside down. The future I picture in my mind right now could take on an entirely different hue, or cease to exist altogether. When I really stop and think about it, there is not much in life that I do have control over. And that is a terrifying thought.

Until I remind myself that while I have no control, my Heavenly Father does. And while that doesn't mean that nothing will ever go wrong in my life, it means that I can have peace, trusting that everything He does is out of love for His children, that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can be strengthened, forgiven, comforted, no matter what happens. With God in control of my life, there is nothing I need to fear.

Learning to trust Him is something that will probably take my entire life, but as I pour out my heart to Him in prayer and allow Him to take my burdens, I feel the stress and frustration drift away. I am no longer fighting against the current. I am drinking deeply of the things that really matter in life, letting the unfolded laundry wait its turn while Baby Brown Eyes and I happily scatter his toys all over the unvacuumed floor.

Learning to Let Go,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

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