By Pam Horton
I was a very independent child, and I grew into an independent woman—one who had to be in control of things.
I was a planner to the point of ridiculousness. If I had planned something and there was a change for any reason, I became agitated. Nobody better mess with my schedule, and everybody knew it. I was not very peaceful, and occasionally, I made life chaotic for those around me. My father-in-law even allowed me to make vacation plans for the entire family once we arrived at their house because I had to be in control.
When our youngest child was in middle school, he started going to church with some neighborhood friends. He loved it and often asked to go. My husband and I figured we’d better go check out what was happening down at the church. We started attending and serving, and God started working on my heart about who was really in control of everything. We started going to a small group Bible study. Once I began to learn who God is, and what His attributes are, I was humbled.
My favorite attribute of God is His omnipresence. God is in the past, in the present, and in the future, all at the same time. How cool is that? He knows things about us that we don’t. He knows what will happen in the future.
The control freak turning point, for me, was when our youngest son got deployed to Afghanistan. I came to realize that I had absolutely no control over anything that was going to happen. Only God did, and He already knew whether our son would come home safe or not. I had no choice but to give my son’s welfare over to God and trust that He would bring him back.
I prayed often during that year, and it brought me even closer to God. Thankfully, our son came home safe. It was understanding that I had absolutely no control over the situation that allowed me to attain peacefulness.
The Christmas our son came home, we vacationed at my in-laws’. Our niece had given each of us a painting of a word that described us. Mine could have been one of many, but when I opened the paper, the word she had used to describe me was “peace.” Tears fell, as I realized it was not only me who noticed the difference, but that others saw it, too. God had changed my heart.
I’ll admit: I’m not perfect. Who is, after all? I still have moments of frustration, but they are few and far between, and I bounce back quickly. I must remind myself that God is in control, and I have put my trust in Him. We are all a work in progress. Right?
How can you attain peacefulness? I wish merely reading this would do it for you, but it can’t. You need to come to the understanding that God is the one in control of all things.
- He made heaven and earth. He knew you before you were born. “The Lord your redeemer who formed you in the womb says: ‘I am the Lord, the maker of all, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself’” (Isaiah 44:24 CEB).
- He knows you personally. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30 NKJV).
- He wants us to have peace. “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 CEB).
If you are a Christian, you have this peace inside you. All you need do is give in to it. Let go of the need to control everything, stop worrying, let go, and let God. It is truly amazing the sense of peace you get when you lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross and trust that God’s got this.
Even in troubled times, you can have peace because of your faith. As Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)
Believe it. Have faith that God knows what he’s doing and embrace peacefulness.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NKJV).
Pam Horton grew up believing in Jesus. As a teenager and young adult, she turned away from her faith for a few years. Once she came back around to understand that it's not about religion, but a relationship, she began a never-ending quest to grow closer to God. Through this process, she has learned to stress less and choose joy. Pam has published seven nonfiction books that are available through Amazon. She has also written articles for the Military Counseling Initiative and Youth Worker, as well as being featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents. Pam and her husband, Jim, own NewDirection Life Coaching, where they encourage others to move positively forward.