I am someone who loves, listens, and understands the power of words. When I was 16 years old it was time for me to learn how to drive, and boy was that interesting! I have a tendency to over think at times, and over thinking and driving isn’t the best combination. Well, first my older brother tried to teach me how to drive, and that didn’t last too long. Still love him. My mom suggested I hire someone. I started working when I was 12, so I was able to pay for it on my own. I love my mom and she knows her strength, so she knew if I was going to learn to drive she wanted me to learn from someone who teaches others for a profession. Well, even Arty seemed a little freaked out by my driving. (Arty was the name of the driving teacher.) I mean I got the idea of moving the car from point A to point B, but it just wasn’t clicking. The process was wobbly and honestly quite scary, for myself and anyone in the passenger side…LOL 🙂 I recall Arty pressing on his brakes a few times, and kind of giving me the side eye, which I happened to catch in my peripheral vision…LOL 🙂
Anyway, one Saturday I went to work. I used to work at my aunt’s restaurant every Saturday from when I was 12-18 years old. I told one of the other waiters that I was trying to learn how to drive and I just couldn’t figure it out. Well, Andrew told me something that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “Control the car don’t let the car control you.” Right there in that moment it clicked. I didn’t have to be in the car to learn how to drive. I learned how to drive in that moment, with those words. The next time I got in the car, I stopped letting the car control me, and I took control over the car. It was a mental thing for me. I’m like okay car it’s me and you buddy, and this time I’m going to win! I took control over the car. I stopped letting the car guide me, and I guided it, and that’s how I learned how to drive, because of those words.
Over the years I have often shared that story with my family and friends if they are going through a situation that seems to be taking control of them. I remind them that they need to control the situation and not let the situation control them. I often reflect on it for myself as well (The funny thing for me many times control, means surrendering and letting go and letting God. Not being consumed by it and releasing the burden of a situation or person to God, and trusting that He will work it out the way He has planned. Also that process may take action on my part as well.) What are you allowing to “control” you today? It could be a situation, a person, a struggle that has gone on for years, anger, negative thoughts, addiction, bad habits, whatever it is you and God know. My encouragement is that whatever it may be, take the necessary steps to take “control” of the situation. Even if that means you need to get help from a professional or open up to a loved one.
As I’m writing, I’m reminded of a few years ago, when I suffered from extreme pain in my stomach. I dealt with that pain for over 5 years. It was very intense. I would just take Ibuprofen to help soothe the pain, so I can go about my day. However, that wasn’t getting to the root of the situation. I remember one day at work when I was a 4th grade teacher, my team was having a team meeting, and I was crying in my room because of the excruciating pain. Well, my brother Paul spoke with me about this. He said, “Leneen, you need to take control over your health. You need to grab this situation by the horns and not let it consume you anymore.” From that moment I asked God to either remove it completely or send me to a doctor with gifted and anointed hands that could remove the pain. Prior to that I did have a noninvasive surgery, but it still didn’t get to the root. To make a long story short, God led me to the OBGYN of the doctors and nurses, Dr. Hoa Nguyen. I don’t know all the doctor terms, but he opened me up, and got to the root of the problem. He believed that would be the only way. Well, it turns out that there was a mass that was growing and started blocking my bladder. (I’m a teacher not a doctor, so I don’t know if I said that right.) However, I know surgery took a lot longer than intended because he had to reconstruct somethings. Thank God I was healed. I was thankful that I got the best doctor to finally get to the true root of the issue. I’m thankful for my brother telling me to grab the situation by the horns and to take control of it. You see those WORDS spoke to me, and planted the seed that I needed to actively take “control” to seek change.
My encouragement to anyone reading this is for you to control the _____________ don’t let the __________ control you. Fill in the blank. You may have more than 1 thing. Whatever you end up writing, pray about it, and ask God to guide you on what to do. Sometimes before I’m fully awake, God will put a message on my heart. Some may think it’s just my thoughts, but I believe it’s God, because I’m not fully awake yet, and it just comes out of nowhere, and I’m not even thinking about it. Well, I got a similar message. I didn’t hear an audible voice or anything. It was more of a thought that passed by quickly, this is the Holy Spirit I believe. The message was, “Control your body. Don’t let your body control you.” I applied that to me waking up earlier and our family eating healthier. OMG as I’m writing, I realize wanting to wake up at 5:00 AM is something I’ve tried to do for over 7 years. However, God knows I learn and take action through words that pierce my heart. He used the exact same words that it took to teach me how to drive, and to get to the bottom of the pain I dealt with for years, to help me wake up at 5AM. Then he put someone in my path, to help make this happen. You see every morning one of my friends has been calling me, because it’s an area she wants to work on as well. Somethings we can’t just “wait” on God for. Somethings I believe He’s waiting on us to take “control” of with His help and guidance of course. Whatever you feel may be controlling you today remember to control it don’t let it control you. For some of those things that we just can’t control (like another person’s issues) we can ask for peace in the situation. The situation or person may not change, but God can change our outlook and give us His peace in return. Hopefully, this will be an encouragement to someone, somehow <3