Losing Control

…and it’s actually a good thing


Hey, listen…I like order. I just do. I like predictable. Ducks in a row. I like to prepare for what is up ahead of me and understand what is behind me. Yeah, you could legitimately say that I like having a sense of control.

But not everything in this life is control-able, right? Truth be told, the older I get the more I realize that I am actually not able to control very much. When you add in the fact that I am a military wife, my “control-factor” is in the single digits. The list is pretty short.

Don’t get me wrong, I think order and planning are good skills to have and there is a place for them to thrive. But let me share with you what He is lovingly showing me these days…

Control has everything to do with me.

My strength, my ability, my understanding, my resources, my responses, my heart, my attitude, my circumstances.

The danger with each of those things is found in that two-letter word that precedes each of them: “My.”

When me is all I am fixated on, I just can’t help but have a limited view. And if my view is limited, so is my posture – especially towards my heavenly Father.

When you don’t know what to do, don’t you feel like your skin just crawls with the anticipation of what isn’t…yet? You just can’t wait for whatever it is to simply arrive.

Perhaps you are like me and you spend a great deal of time asking God for a breakthrough. You plead with Him to move mountains, to be clear with your purpose, and to show you the way you should go. But sometimes, no matter how hard you pray, the answers just don’t come and your own two feet feel anchored to the floor in a space that you don’t want to be anymore.

Perhaps you can relate to this feeling in your marriage, or your career, in brokenness, in your own heart and intimacy with Jesus? You are ready for movement, but no matter how hard you try (and we do in various ways, don’t we?) you can’t seem to control or move that ball down the field.

Well, I can certainly relate to that. But He is showing me a better way. It’s scary (because it involves letting go of all my control issues!), but it is also waking me up in the morning with a smile (literally) on my face.

One morning, while getting ready for the day, this song, “Sails,” from Pat Barrett (with Steffany Gretzinger and Amanda Cook) came on my worship channel. Besides the fact that I grew up on a sailboat and love the water, I confess the lyrics captured my attention right away. It’s a perspective-changing kind of song. I would love to share with you the connection that He spoke to my heart in those moments.

You see, if you want to get a sailboat to move, you need to know a great deal about wind, ropes, and sails.

One of the most critical ingredients to running a sailboat smoothly and swiftly is the ability to interpret and harness the wind that blows on any given day. Regardless of how fast or slow you want to go, there is one golden rule: NEVER totally let go of the ropes.

These ropes tether the sails and have control over them. Knowing when to draw them in or let them out (in response to the wind) is how you get where you want to go and determines how fast you get there.

There is nothing more frustrating to a sailor than “losing the wind.” When this happens, the boat literally coasts to a standstill and the very tools that brought you speed and direction flap in the breeze and go limp. The ropes (controls) don’t do you any good if the sails aren’t filled with wind.

At first, when the song began playing, I listened intently for the metaphors that would connect its message to sailing. But when the lyrics unfolded, it was contrary to everything I know about sailing…

I’m finally seeing that you were here all along

Your love wasn’t absent, it doesn’t come or go

The image I’ve had, is starting to fail

You’re patient with me, lifting the veil

Oh, Lord, set me free

And the truth washed over me again. He is here with me “all along.” My desire for control, for tugging desperately on those ropes to rein in everything in my life, actually isn’t working.

Doesn’t He love to turn life upside down in order to right it all again?  

As the bridge of the song unfolded, my heart began to understand what I needed to do…

I let out the sails of my heart

Here I am, here You are

I let out the sails of my heart

Here I am, here You are.

(Verse 2 and chorus lyrics)
CCLI Song # 7106814
Amanda Cook | Ben Smith | Daniel Bashta | Pat Barrett | Steffany Gretzinger
CCLI License # 11170170

As that beautiful picture of letting go of all those ropes and binds washed over my soul, tears just fell from my face. Just think about it…He is already full for you. Already right beside you.

Already waiting, patiently, to set us free from ourselves and into His glorious good plans.

Losing control to the One who always had it is a good thing.

So, today, if you are feeling stuck, frozen in your mire of ropes and anecdotes and desperate for some authentic movement in your life, try letting out the sails of your heart to the Father who delights to surprise and astound you.

Just imagine what would happen if you were fully loosed from all that you are trying to control and took advantage, instead, of the closeness and proximity of the God who is totally for you, with you, and is already going before you! What would happen if you were fully present, instead, to all He is?


Yes, losing control is actually a good thing.

So, it might sound a tad weird, but I am pretty sure that is my prayer – for you and for myself. May we  “loose control” today.

PS – don’t miss the conversation with the writers of this amazing song (at the end of the video). It’s such a sweet space to be able to hear their heart and own authentic walk and fleshing it out with the Lord. Totally worth your time.


With joy for the journey,