“How did you get over it?”
It’s a funny question. It seems silly to ask someone. It’s like asking: How do you eat? How do you breathe? You just do. There’s no other option. If you don’t eat…you die. If you don’t breathe…you die. If you don’t get over things that happen to you, you are letting a piece of yourself die. You are essentially surrendering that piece of you to this person, situation, or event that hurt you. You are giving THAT thing control of you.
So, how DID I get over it? How was I okay when it felt like my whole world was falling apart?
Listen. Crap happens. Get over it or never be happy. Those are the options.
But because I have gotten this question so many times and have always answered it the same way, I figured maybe my answer might help someone. Maybe the way I dealt with my situation can give someone else hope. Maybe. So here it is. My answer. For the world to see.
My answer begins with a problem I’ve always had. Truth be told, I never even looked at it as a problem until God pointed it out! I am a control freak. It sounds like something that I should go to a group counseling session for: “Hi, my name’s Keri and I’m a control freak.” Seriously guys, I am. I like things organized and in their rightful place. I like to clean and I’d rather do it myself so I know things are done the way I like them. Sounds crazy right? It is! But hey, I’m a work in progress!
I have always felt like I have been in control of my life…until a few years ago that is. A few years ago I knew my job like the back of my hand. I had a great guy and knew where we were headed. I had a financial plan to pay off school and my car. Life was good. I never felt the need to give God control. I have grown up in church and heard the phrase a million times, “Give God control” “Give it to God” but I never did. I can tell you with 100% confidence that I NEVER gave Him control.
To sum up about a year of my life into a few sentences. I decided to make a career change. I transitioned from teaching preschool to admin work. Opposite worlds, right? I was loving my new job…until they decided to close the doors 10 months after I started there. I was confused because everything had lined up SO perfectly for me to get this job. Why would God see fit to grant me this opportunity only to have it not work out?
A few months after I got laid off, my dad had a stroke. My strong, hard working, never needed help with anything dad. He needed help walking for a few months. He needed physical therapy. He needed someone with him 24/7 because he was a fall risk.
So, I was stressed from unemployment. I was stressed not being able to find another job. I was stressed from seeing my dad sick. And like a ton of bricks I get hit with more news. My relationship ends. BAM. Done. Just like that. Two years over with no warning.
Confusion. Hurt. Disbelief. I felt all these things at once. Like a tidal wave crashing over my life.
We went from him telling me to plan a wedding to being over. An overnight change that I couldn’t understand. I was given no explanation. No real reason. I was just left to sort out my emotions. And being that I was already an emotional wreck, I had A LOT of emotions to sort through.
After about a week I finally began to process my new reality. It was in that week of processing that I decided I wouldn’t let this bring me down. I prayed over and over “God, please let all emotions go away. If this is your will, let my emotions reflect that. Give me peace.”
It was in this time of prayer that I realized I couldn’t change anything myself. I can’t tell you that I had this remarkable “light-bulb” moment or that all of a sudden I had a revelation. I just knew. It was like God was saying “Oh, Keri, you don’t have control and it’s time you know and accept it.” I knew that for me to be okay and to really, truly start living for Christ, I had to give up control. Yeah, you read that right. This control freak did it. Gave. Up. Control. THAT is what started the healing and the change in my heart. When I focused my prayer life on HIM and HIS will, everything changed.
And if we’re being completely honest here, my thought went something like this, “Okay God, my life is a mess anyway so let’s see what you got!” But something remarkable happens when you give God control, no matter how reluctantly it may be.You find your comfort in Him rather than people.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a moment where I sat on my sister’s couch and had a nice long cry (thanks sis!), but as I sat there letting myself be vulnerable to His control, I felt God replacing that sadness with peace. I felt His comfort wipe away the feeling of betrayal. I felt all feelings of worthlessness being smothered out by an overwhelming feeling of love. His love. Sitting there, on my sister’s couch, I felt all my negative feelings empty themselves from my heart. Healing. Something I had prayed about for weeks. I finally felt Christ’s healing. All because I focused on giving Him control and accepting that His plan is far better than mine. I just let go and let God take over! And in return He gave me JOY. An indescribable joy deep in my soul.
Thinking about that year of trial, I realize all the hidden blessings that I couldn’t see in the midst of my sadness. If I hadn’t worked at that job for 10 months, I would have never met some people who I am still close with, one of which helped me get the job I have today!
If I hadn’t been unemployed, I wouldn’t have been able to stay home and help my dad recover.
Being unemployed for a year taught me how to be faithful with what I DO have instead of wishing for what I don’t have.
If I hadn’t gone through that heartbreak, I would have never given God complete control.
If I hadn’t given God control I would not be the woman I am today. I never would have opened myself up to love a man who leads me to Christ every day. I would have never known what true, real, raw love is in a relationship.
Looking back, I see every moment where God was working. That year changed me to the core and I will never be the same. I have a job I love and a man I truly don’t deserve. I am more secure in who I am in Christ. When we are secure in who we are in Christ we begin to see things as He sees them. When we see that, it’s so easy to just let go!
Giving God control frees up your mind to love like Him. To be a better friend, a better girlfriend, a better employee, a better everything! When you know God’s got it everything else just falls into place!
So…my answer to that question? I got over it by giving up. Control that is. I stopped worrying about the details of my future and focused on the details of my Savior. Peace. Love. Joy. Servanthood. Grace. FORGIVENESS! Amazing things happen when you surrender control to the One who ultimately has control anyway! Try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed! Can you imagine what would have happened if I would have never given Him control?
Moral of the story?
Stop being a control freak!
God’s got this.