Everywhere I’ve turned the last few days, the message of “you can’t control this” hits me squarely in the face.  I think God’s trying to get through to me – and I’m listening.

I finished up the winter-term of Celebrate the Journey Restore-group leading, using Celebrate Recovery materials.  That was a great thing; we had some really great members and one asked me to baptize her next month.  Wahoooo!  :)

But in the last weeks of the group, we talked a lot about ‘control’ and what it means.  As a recovering codependent, I realize that I cannot control everyone (or anyone other than myself, really) or all circumstances.  And yet, this part of me pushes from time-to-time, urging me to exert control.  I fight it, but it feels as though I’m fighting an enormously primordial part of me.

And then it hit me when I read this tweet by Steve Komanapalli, who is one of Rick Warren‘s assistant pastors:  The control issue is the fear of losing our freedom.

Whoa.  Is that was this is all about?  It resonates with me, so bear with me as I think aloud.

  • At some point, my dysfunctional background caused me to lose my freedom
  • At some point in my loss of freedom was a rebellion against that loss and a determination to regain it
  • At some point in the regaining of that freedom was a determination to not lose it again
  • At some point in my determination to not lose my freedom was a decision to control my circumstances so as to avoid future losses


By jove, I think we’ve got it!  My freedom and autonomy was taken by people who needed to control me (ostensibly to protect themselves) and it spawned a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle.  The hurt and fear was something to avoid, and so attempting to control my situations and others who were involved in my life became the quickest way to avoid pain.  Instead of dealing with the pain head-on, I simply attempted to avoid it, but unwittingly, caused others pain by perpetuating the cycle.

Yowza.  That really puts new skin on the recovery-process and on my journey with my husband.  We have said for a while that we cannot control how others respond to our story but that we can control our reactions to others.  This whole realization was buttoned-up for me when we were talking one night as we snuggled to sleep and my husband said, “Yeah, but what if ____ thinks I’m not being true to myself?  I don’t want him to think that!”  I said, “You can’t control what another person thinks of you, sweetheart.  You have to let God take care of that.”  My husband was worried about a constraint on his freedom to be who he is (i.e., a straight man with issues) and not thought of by another who thinks he might be “gay, but in denial.”

It really does come back to a fear of loss of freedom.  Thanks, Steve for tweeting that, and thank You, Lord, for revealing that truth to me.

His and his,

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