Give Up Control
by Linnea carlson
When I was a young adult I spent a year traveling as a part of a six-member ministry team. We sang, did puppets and skits, led Bible Studies and all kinds of other stuff. One of the places we did ministry was Papua New Guinea. We spent 4 months there. It was very primitive-think National Geographic. We bathed in the river, used outhouses, walked from one village to the next. We would receive our schedule about a week in advance. The schedule would be packed from morning until night. Even though we had a schedule it did not really matter. None of the locals cared what time it was or even had a watch. It was a period when I had no control. I did not know what was going to happen next, when we would finish for the day, when we would eat, or when I would get to roll out my mosquito net. I learned pretty quickly I liked to be in control and when I was not I became pretty restless. The more I dwelt on what I did not know, the more anxious I became.
The situation we are in now is something I would have thought only happened in a science fiction movie. But it is what it is. And I have the same feeling of not knowing what will happen next. Not having control. Now that I have children, I want to have control more than ever. This is a situation that changes from one minute to the next.
One book in the Bible that grounds me is Romans, chapter 8. It reminds me that I am God’s child. Paul also says:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Through all this, God is with us and God loves us. That may not give me any more control, but I don’t really have control anyway.
As a parent, I know my children pick up on my anxiety. I can tell them there is nothing to worry about, but my facial expression, body language, and tone of my voice can say something quite different. Instead of getting caught up in my own situation of trying to teach a five-year-old and both of us having “cabin fever,” I am a much better example to my kids when I look for ways we can reach out together. I am so grateful for the folks in this congregation who have looked for ways to be the community to each other. The staff continues to look for ways for us to connect.
Please know the staff is praying for all of you. If you have any ideas or needs, please send me an email.
Let me close with another verse from Romans 8 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
God loves us and is with us. May that give us peace during this challenging time.
- Linnea Carlson
Children's Ministry Director