How to rest when your life feels out of control

I live my life by a spreadsheet that tells me what to do each day. It tells me my chores, the phone calls I need to make, what time I need to leave to make it to the doctors office on time, what errands to run, what friends I need to text, and when to rest. Every night I make my schedule for the following day, and the next day I just follow the plan.

My life has been much the same way. I graduated from high school and went off to college. Then I graduated from college and got a job. Next I got engaged, then married and had 2.0 children. I became a stay at home mom and homeschooled them. Then they went to college and left me…with an empty nest.

And with absolutely no plan for what to do next.

You’ve probably found yourself in the same place at times. You were following YOUR plan for your life, but then something happened and suddenly there was NO plan. Perhaps it was a job loss, or a life-changing diagnosis, or a spouse that left you. Or maybe like me, you suddenly had an empty nest and everything felt different.

We have all been in seasons of our lives that were unexpected, unplanned, and felt frightfully out of control. We struggle to figure out what we are supposed to do next, and until then, we wait, we wonder, and we worry. We can all agree that it is no fun to feel out of control and like your life has been turned upside down.

Recently God gave me a mental picture that describes what this feels like.

We are a lumpy piece of clay sitting on the potter’s wheel. We feel safe and secure resting against the solid stone table. But suddenly the stone table begins to spin. It spins faster and faster until we are sure that we are going to be thrown right off the table. We don’t know what is causing the spinning, but we do know that we are not in control.

There is nothing to hold on to and we feel like we are spinning wildly out of control. We are powerless to stop the spinning.

What about your life – have you felt like circumstances are spinning wildly out of control and you are powerless to make them stop?

We continue to spin on the potter’s wheel. There is a reason that the process is called throwing – we feel like we are going to be thrown off! But there is no where for us to grab on to and hold on. But then suddenly we feel a slight pressure. The hands of Someone are touching us. We are still spinning, but we are also being held. We feel more secure, more stable, even though we are not in control.

We are being anchored by the hands of Him that holds us.

When your life is spinning wildly out of your control on the potter’s wheel of life, YOU ARE BEING HELD.

You can take a deep breath, relax, and rest all of your weight in the trustworthy hands that hold you. You can quit trying to hold on for dear life and just let those hands hold you. You feel out of control, but He is in total control.

As you continue to spin, being held in His hands, you feel a poke. Suddenly the poke becomes a deeper pressure and you start to feel uncomfortable. You feel every finger of the Potter’s hands on you, and they are poking and pushing and pulling and massaging and molding. You feel yourself being stretched to the point of discomfort.

The Master Potter is shaping you into a new, beautiful piece of pottery. But not only are you beautiful but you are useful. You have a purpose and a function that is specific to the the shape of your clay. You are becoming a work of art that has His fingerprints all over it. You are being prepared for your next season of life, the one that is not in your plan, but His.

We spin and we are shaped, all the while being held. During the most difficult seasons of life where you are uncomfortable and out of control, you are being held. And while you rest in the Potter’s hands, He lovingly shapes you into the person He wants you to be.

While life spins out of control, my advice to you is not “Just hold on!” but “Just be held.”

Rest in the hands of Him that is in control. Trust Him. He is faithful.

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2 thoughts on “How to rest when your life feels out of control

    • If I remember correctly, you sang that song at The Rock! “This is what it means to be held.” Be held, girl!

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