Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guilt and Control

I have a migraine tonight (are you surprised?) and I’m feeling guilty.  Why am I feeling guilty?  There’s no evidence that I did anything to cause the migraine.  I’ve tried every reasonable (and some not-so-reasonable) migraine treatment I can find.  Yet, I feel guilty.

I think it’s because I’m a (recovering) control freak (as I might have mentioned).  (PWM said my control issues are improving.  He and I hung up pictures in our bedroom and I did not need to control every bit of the process.  And it looks great!)  See, when you’re a control freak, you work to make sure that everything works out correctly.  Even things that other people are doing.  So, when something doesn’t work, it must be your fault.  So, every time I have a headache, I go right back to thinking that it must somehow be my fault because, if I was controlling everything properly, I wouldn’t have a headache.

Reading this on the screen, it’s obvious how faulty this thinking is.  Can I really control everything?  Of course not!  In fact, my biggest migraine trigger (and the one that’s likely giving me trouble right now) is the weather.  How in the world can I control the weather?

Being a control freak is the antithesis of trusting God.  It’s saying to God, essentially, “I don’t think you’ve really got a handle on things, so I’m going to help you out.”  I’m not sure that God’s really hip on that idea.  Let’s face it, He created everything that exists, and he cares about everything, even the sparrow that falls to the ground. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Nothing happens outside of God’s control.  Even my migraines are under His control.  So, while it’s still a good thing for me to try treatments that come along, it’s even more important for me to be able to understand that I probably can’t fix every problem in my life or anyone else’s.

When I give up that control, I also get to give up the guilt.  I can accept God’s gift of taking care of me.  Paul reminds us in Philippians 4 of the promise of God’s peace.  And in Colossians, we are again told how God not only saved us, but is growing us in His kingdom.  Who am I compared to God?  When God is in control, why do I need to try to manage every little nitpicky thing.  I can trust that God knows my circumstances and that His plan is being worked out day by day.

Dear God, I once again give you these migraines and give you all of my life.  Please show me every minute what You want me to do and help me to leave the rest to You.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you have a PFO?

Catherine said...

I've already had a trans-esophageal ECHO, so we've ruled that out. But, thanks for the idea!