On Losing Control

I shut down my computer, but I couldn’t turn off the chaos.

So many things out of my control in my heart and on the other side of the globe.

I’m a Type A fixer of things. I scratch it out on my to do list and I attack, I problem-solve.

I grabbed the vacuum and violently battled the dirt while I started barking orders at my family. How did this house get so dirty? Who made this mess? On and on…

My best friend stopped me, rubbed my shoulders and bravely stood against my torrent of commands: “Can I make an observation?” he asked quietly. I stilled. “When things are out of your control over there,” he said pointing to my computer, to Africa, “You try and control things here. Let it go, Kristen. Give this to God.”

He read me like a book. Every word true.

I don’t know why God asked me to help start a maternity home in Kenya, something so big, so out of my control.

But that’s probably exactly why He asked.

He knew I couldn’t fix broken people. He knew I couldn’t restore hope. He knew I would desperately need to seek Him.

God knew I would need to lose control.

We are in a good place: Girls are slowly healing. Staff developing. A house full of precious babies. Plans for more pregnant girls in the Spring. Big plans for 2012. Dozens of volunteers and interviewing interns stateside.

But it’s not easy, this giving birth. I never set out to be the founder of a non-profit, filling my days with tasks I don’t know how to do.  I’m just a mom.

A writer telling the story of my life…

But God is teaching me that I never had control in the first place. He is showing me what trust looks like. He is expecting faith.

He’s is showing me that when I feel like I’m losing control, I’m actually winning.

P.S. Our girls and staff in Africa want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!


Comments

  1. 2

    says

    You have a wonderful best friend to steer you in the right direction…the Lord. You are doing a wonderful thing, but only through Him. Without him it would only be a vain attempt.

  2. 3

    says

    It’s so beautiful, Kristen. Truly. How you’re being broken in the process of doing something marvelous for Him–something you never could have imagined. The truth of your story is what inspires me to trust Him more in His life.

    *This* is such worship: “He is showing me what trust looks like. He is expecting faith.
    He’s is showing me that when I feel like I’m losing control, I’m actually winning.”

    Rich blessings as He leads you through brokenness and into softening for Him.

  3. 4

    says

    Can I make a friendly suggestion?

    I’m a new reader so I don’t know if you explained the reason why you are saying “Africa” and not the country. Is there a reason why? Does the non-profit you created serve the entire continent of Africa?

    I’m asking because I work with a lot of students from the continent of Africa and have for several years and it has been my experience that the majority become offended when people call them “African.” Instead, they’d like to be called Nigerian, Liberian, Ethiopian, and so on.

  4. 5

    says

    Kristen, This is absolutely beautiful! Your heart shines through in this post.

    “I don’t know why God asked me to help start a maternity home in Kenya, something so big, so out of my control.”

    Isn’t when we finally learn to give up that “control” that God really moves!

  5. 6

    Heather S. says

    WOW. Your husband and my husband are cut from the same cloth. I could easily have written this post several times in the last few months. The exact details would be different, but the theme would be the same. Control Freak (me) trying to do it all, not knowing it all, displacing my frustration and husband/best friend comes alongside and quietly talks me out of my tree and makes me put my focus back where it belongs – right on the ONE and ONLY.
    I’m inspired by your honesty and your sharing of your heart. God has called you to such a big thing – but only HE can equip you, and He does…doesn’t He? But not any sooner than you need it.

    Blessings to you and Merry Christmas to those amazingly beautiful African women! What a precious blessing they are!

  6. 11

    says

    You are an amazing woman who is an awesome example of doing what God has called you to do. Even when it isn’t easy…you listen and do it. You are inspiring. I hope your family and all the girls in Mercy House have an incredible Christmas!!

  7. 12

    Anna says

    I loved reading your confession. I feel the need to control things also, and it feels good to hear those words..I want to be out of control so I can win, too! Love you, Kristen!

  8. 13

    says

    “But God is teaching me that I never had control in the first place. He is showing me what trust looks like. He is expecting faith.
    He’s is showing me that when I feel like I’m losing control, I’m actually winning.”

    I love this heaven sent juxtaposition of what seems like a failure next to God’s purposes for us. Amazing what a simple shift of focus can accomplish!

    Your frustration is our encouragement!

  9. 14

    says

    “He knew I couldn’t fix broken people. He knew I couldn’t restore hope.”

    By the looks of your photo, you are nowhere near “middle-aged” but what you wrote in this post called to mind a book I read by Paul Tripp called Lost in the Middle. The Bible does not speak of middle-aged (or teenager), but what often happens as we mature is the realization that the problem is US; our brokenness, our lack of ability to ‘fix’ things, our bent toward sin. This realization is at first disorienting, but actually leads to a truer understanding of Who God is and how we must always, always rest in Him.

  10. 16

    Amber K says

    Kristen…Oh, Kristen. You always leave me some sort of tear in my eye…sad, joyful, funny. I can’t imagine the heartache of being pulled there when you’re here. But you have to look in the faces of those girls and those babies and JaJa Maureen and say “Oh…yes, this is HIM.” There is a garden stone at Dayspring.com that says “It’s not leading if you don’t let me go first. Love, God” :) There’s your sign, sweet Kristen.

    So glad you have the support of your husband. Man, that’s awesome! <3

    Hang in there, girlfriend. It's amazing what's taking place. I'm on the outside looking in, with the knowledge of all the hard work and heart work, and I can tell you-there's impact being made. HUGE!!!!

    Hugs,
    AmberK

    P.S. I happen to believe through you and Maureen God IS changing all of Africa! ;)

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