Recently I had one of those dreams again—the kind I’ve had on a regular basis.
In these dreams I’m trying to accomplish something, but I can’t.
Sometimes it’s driving from one destination to another. In the dream, I never arrive.
Or my dream consists of attempting to complete a task connected to my being a wife, mother, grandmother, mental health tech, or writer and I fail to do so.
This most recent dream had a bird in it. A large bird. Throughout the dream, I repeatedly tried to get the bird into a cage, but I failed again and again.
The bird squawked, flapped its wings wildly, and bit me. I would let go of the bird when I was close to the cage because of its resistance and the pain that attacks from its beak caused. Then I would go after the bird and start the process over.
But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get that bird into the cage.
I woke up frustrated and worn out.
As I wondered what the dream could mean, I thought of my trying to control certain individuals in my circle of loved ones. A particular person came to mind. My attempts at control were much like trying to put that bird in a cage. No matter how much I tried to control this person’s words and actions– how they spoke to and treated me and others–the more I failed to do so.
I prayed to the Lord about my dream, and this is what I sensed He was saying, “You don’t have to get the bird in the cage.”
In my mind that’s where the bird belonged. If the bird was in the cage, I would be safe. The bird might squawk at me, but couldn’t peck me from inside the cage. The bird wouldn’t injure others or herself.
My mind was convinced that it was mandatory the bird be in the cage, and that I had to be the one to accomplish the feat.
But who said so? The Lord was telling me otherwise. My mind told me life would be easier if the bird was in the cage. The truth God was communicating is that life would be simpler and more peaceful if I determined that putting the bird in a cage was no longer my goal or my responsibility.
I realized my latest dream and others like it are about my trying to be in control. Over and over I have determined to let go of this, and somehow I go back to it again and again.
The bottom line is that God is in control, and I am not.
Trying to stay in control is about pride, and about not trusting God. I want to trust Him, but when things seem out of control too often instead of turning to Him and saying what my Bible study teacher has taught, “God, You have a problem,” I try to solve the problem myself.
Once again lately I’ve been praying, “Lord, I want You to be in control. I want to trust You to make some sense out of this current mess. Please show me what my part is, and teach me how to trust You to do Yours.
As I’m doing this, peace is moving in. I feel myself forging forward toward greater freedom. I’m letting go and letting God and embracing every other cliché that has to do with Him being God Most High and me being His servant.
While writing this I asked God for encouragement from Scripture to address my ongoing problem with trying to be in control. Here is what He gave me:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” 1 Peter 5:6-7 AMPC
I want to be humble. I want to cast my cares upon Him and believe wholeheartedly that He cares for me. In my best moments, I am and I do.
Today I’m praising God that He fills in the gap between who I am and who I long to be. Once again I’m letting go of control knowing He is there to catch and comfort me.
“Control” by JJ Heller
“… Oh, control
It’s time, time to let you go…”