Sharon LaRose has been writing for 65 years. She encountered Christ at age 16 at a Nazarene Church in Kingston, NY and has taken great care to memorialize her life’s journey with Him ever since. This morning Kristi and I woke up yet again to one of my mom’s many missives. Kristi insisted that we read her writing together and then followed it by sharing an affectionate comment. Kristi couldn’t help herself and observed, “Like Mother Like Son.” Here’s what this 80 year old woman of faith had to share with us today:
I’m sure you’ve heard of “recovering alcoholics.” Some of these dear ones say they will always be alcoholics; however, they are in recovery. This addiction may never show up in alcoholism again but may manifest itself in eating, smoking, watching television or in other ways…or even “controlling.”
My name is Sharon LaRose and I am a “recovering controller.” I know, I know, that sounds a bit strange, but it is not. Some of us from our youth on have had to be in “control of our personal space” just for the sake of safety. I would say I am not alone. There are many like me. Consequently, I made it my business to be in control of my life as much as possible. I took this attitude right into adulthood. Eventually, the hard truth came home to me that there is no controlling life. You learn to live it. You become flexible or you would break. You find out what you thought was true…was not. Someone you thought loved you…did not. The job you did well did not give you the affirmation you needed. You are blindsided, overwhelmed, hurt, angered, betrayed, abandoned, ignored, and a myriad of other things you had not planned for.
Thankfully, I’ve lived long enough now to know…I (and we) am in control of very little. Life is life and I’ve learned to live in it the best way I can as a follower of Jesus Christ and having the Holy Spirit in my heart. (Philippians 3:10).
I was reading Acts 27:1-20 this morning. I read it over and over. Paul began his Christian life on the Damascus Road in a shocking experience with the Lord. He became an ardent follower of Jesus Christ. This brilliant well thought of man had been in complete control of his life. When he became a believer, that was over. He lived a life of uncertainty, danger, beatings, blessing, developed lifelong friendships that served his needs as he sat in prison. He was called to share Christ to the gentiles. He was articulate and wrote letters from prison sharing Jesus Christ to the churches. The only control he had was over his attitude which of course, effected his circumstances.
When I finished reading this for the third time, I wrote out the succession of events in those verses. The centurion and pilot were sure of themselves as they steered that ship…and they were wrong. Sometimes we are sure of ourselves as we “steer our ship” and we are wrong. Paul’s life was a life of uncertainty. He never professed to be perfect, so he was much like you and me…but he stayed with it, so much so he died on behalf of his faith in Jesus Christ. “Lord, let it be so of us…whoever we are, wherever we are, give us the desire to follow you as Paul did…even in the midst of a howling storm.”
I’m still a recovering controller but I learn more quickly now that’s a fallacy so I must give it up…more quickly than I used to. My agenda is not as important as His will. Relying on Him in the midst of this adventure called life gives me much more stability than my fallible attitude about “control.” Besides, He actually knows what He is doing!!!!!!
Blessings to you all as we travel together,
Thank you mom for your authenticity. You create safety for others to be accepted just as they are. I couldn’t know a better mother than you.
Your Loving Son,