Our sermon this past Sunday at church was about respecting authority. While my parents did a great job of teaching me to show respect to others, I’m also a control freak.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with enneagram, but I’m a 8w9. As an enneagram 8, I like to be in control and I don’t like to be controlled by others. Not a great combo when it comes to how I deal with authority!
And the past couple of years have caused even more stress for this control freak! People telling me to stay home, wear a mask, get tested, etc. There is already so much I can’t control (weather, gas prices, etc.) that these additional requirements about sent me over the edge.
On top of all the pandemic nonsense, we went through some really tough stuff last year that I was out of my control and left me helpless and broken. And when I feel that way, I find myself desperately searching for something to control — which usually ends up being my husband and kids.
Loving or Controlling?
Instead of being a team player with my husband, I’ve been digging my heels in on issues (where we both have valid points) and trying to control God’s story for his life. I want to rush him through his healing process and take away his pain. Countless times he reminds me that I don’t get to dictate his feelings. That w9 of my enneagram (8w9)…that’s me wanting peace and happiness. So, I try to control my husband and my kids’ feelings to get to a state of peace and happiness, instead of just listening and letting them move at their own pace.
My 10-year-old daughter (who struggles with OCD and anxiety — which I definitely have no control over) keeps telling me that I’m not listening to her. I am listening, but I’m trying to fix her problem or make her feel better…control how she feels. What she’s trying to tell me is that she wants me to just listen and allow her to feel. She doesn’t want the solution or for me to show her the flip side of the coin. She wants to be heard and validated.
And I get it. Because I hate when people do that to me too. I want to be able to tell my frustrations and process through it, not have someone tell me what to think.
What’s the Solution?
Ultimately, it’s about trusting God. Trusting Him with those I love. Trusting God with the future. And trusting that He cares for my family more than I do and will handle every situation. I’m learning that, even when everything feels out of control, God is in control. And I’m trying to learn to let go, listen more, and let people be.
And this is how I can best love the people in my life.