• Tonya Towner

Unhappiness Traps Part 4 - Control Freak Identity Crises (Part 2)


If you’ve experienced the fear and frustration from trying to control everything in your life, you’re likely headed toward the last two identity crises.


Control Freak Identity Crises #3 – Exhaustion


Attempting to manage our life and everyone else’s is exhausting work, especially since God didn’t create us to do his job! We will also find ourselves exhausted when we are running from our pain, constantly being on the go. Even over-involvement in church can be an attempt to hide our pain.


If I am in a constant state of fatigue or exhaustion, I have to ask myself, “Is there some pain or person that I am running from that I don’t want to deal with?”


Our exhaustion can be a sign that we are hiding from our problems, just like David in Psalm 32:4: “My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them.”


Stop, find rest, invite God into the chaos and craziness of your life, and ask for insight into your exhaustion. When we stop trying to hide from what is really going on inside of us, our strength will return as we face what we are running from. Otherwise, we may find ourselves totally exhausted and depleted as we face dealing with our last control freak way.


Control Freak Identity Crises #4 – Failure

I hate this word. Who wants to be known as a failure? What I have come to learn is that when we keep trying to play manager of the universe, failure is guaranteed.


When I look back, I can see how I thought I may have been doing the right things, or good things, but it was all an attempt to control my life. When I failed, I had to decide what was I going to do: get angry and frustrated? Live in my exhaustion while repeating the same patterns of unsuccessful living over and over? Or get honest with God and ask for His help and insight as to why I failed.


Proverbs tell us how we can succeed in life if we will be open and honest about who we are. Proverbs 28:13 tell us, “You will never succeed in life, if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.”


Learning how to embrace the weaknesses that lead me into big messes has been freeing and healing.


I found a verse that really helped me understand accepting and embracing my weakness is courageous; it takes more courage to admit who we really are rather than pretending to be someone we are not. Every time I struggle with sharing my weaknesses with others, I would recall this verse to give me the encouragement and strength to do it: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses.” 2 Corinthians 12:9


Yikes! Boast about my weaknesses?! I can say I don’t know if I am there yet, but I am trying to embrace them and share about them with others. Scary and super challenging but very freeing. We can learn so much from our failures, mostly how God is there to help us get back up and try again his way. I am thankful to know I am not alone, and I hope you will want to trade in your control freak ways for a happier way of life.


Tonya Towner is the Director of Operations and leader of Celebrate Recovery at Openwater Church in Odessa, FL. She is married to Pastor Dave Towner and has three daughters and four grandchildren.

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