Damsel {Refusing to Be} in Distress

Independent. Self-sufficient. Controlling. Dominating.
All words that I've come to see very well describe me. I have been basically on my own for my entire life. Not in terms of family, because if nothing else, I have always been surrounded by such a strong and supportive family and group of friends. BUT ultimately my lack of relationships forced me to become independent and self-sufficient. I don't need anyone, (especially not a man) because I am strong. because I am independent. because I am able to take care of myself with help from no one. 

Because if I let anyone know that I needed someone {especially a man} then I would be perceived as weak.  If I'm weak, I am vulnerable. All four-letter words in my dictionary.

The problem is that I didn't realize that I was closing myself off to pretty much all relationships (even just plain friendships which are just as important). I didn't realize that I was even doing this or that I'm using it as a way to shut out God and not allow Him into certain areas which I call "mine." He can have His areas as long as He lets me hold onto mine. I am such a control-freak. It's actually quite ridiculous. I don't realize what I control-freak I am until I am in the middle of a moment and suddenly it hits me ... that I am trying to control something which was never in my control to begin with.

There is so much to this story which is easy to share in person, but not so easy to type out into words. In order for me to tell stories, I usually have to make circles to cover all my bases. Therefore, I felt the book I am currently reading could explain it better than I can. Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge puts words to my struggle. Enjoy.

"Fallen Eve {a.k.a ME} controls her relationships. She refuses to be vulnerable. And if she cannot secure her relationships, then she kills her heart's longing for intimacy so that she will be safe and in control. She becomes a woman 'who doesn't need anyone -- especially a man.' How this plays out over the course of her life and how the wounds of her childhood shape her heart's convictions are often a complex story, one worth knowing. But beneath it all, behind it all, is a simple truth: women dominate and control because they fear their vulnerability. Far from God and far from Eden, it seems a perfectly reasonable way to live. But consider this: 'Whatever is not from faith is sin' (Rom. 14:23 NKJV). That self-protective way of relating to others has nothing to do with real loving, and nothing to do with deeply trusting God. It is our gut-level response to a dangerous world. Now, this is not to say that a woman can't be strong. What we are saying is that far too many women forfeit their femininity in order to feel safe and in control. Their strength feels more masculine than feminine. There is nothing inviting or alluring, nothing tender or merciful about them."

"Controlling women are those of us who don't trust anyone else to drive our cars. Or help in our kitchens. Or speak at our retreats or our meetings. Or carry something for us. Make a decision that is 'ours' to make. Suggest a different dress, agenda, restaurant, route."
"Controlling women tend to be very well rewarded in this fallen world of ours. We are the ones to receive corporate promotions. We are the ones put in charge of our women's ministries. Can-Do, Bottom-Line, Get-It-Done kinds of women. Women who have never even considered that our Martha Stewart perfectionism might not be a virtue. We have never considered that by living a controlling and domineering life, we are really refusing to trust our God. And it has also never dawned on us that something precious in us is squelched, diminished, and refused. Something that God has given us to bring to the world."

Like WHAT???? You mean to tell me that my control-freak and independent ways are not a gift from God? haha. Oh I just crack myself up. I've been so blinded to these ways of mine until last summer when a guy told my best friend that he could never date/marry a girl {like me} who was so independent, self-sufficient, and unsubmissive (is that even a word?). Well, after a year and a half of brooding over these hurtful words, I finally called this guy to get some more details. By this point, I just wanted the truth, so I could hand these things over to God to fix in me. When he was talking to me, it was making so much sense. I make people think I don't need a thing, ... because I've always made sure that no one knows that when I'm hurting, when I'm lonely, when I'm in pain, or when I'm not okay. Why would a guy want anything to do with a girl who doesn't need him? A girl who is bound a determined to do everything on her own with no help from him? I see this flaw now, and I see how God is trying to show me the error in my ways. {whew. this isn't much fun but I know God has good plans for me.}

Sorry I put so many quotes in this post on top of my normal ramblings, but I just couldn't say all that stuff above any better than these amazing authors did. I highly recommend the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. God has used this book to shine his light on my sinfulness and the places of my life that I need to turn over to Him and allow Him to work this out. It is not going to be easy to allow God access to each of these areas of my life. one by painful one.

Daily Reminder: God is in control. {NOT ME}
Feel free to remind me of that any time you want. I will {more than likely} need the reminder.

Learning to be the Light,