the illusion of control

I take a lot of pride in how much I plan my next moves in life. Always looking for new ways to be more effective, save time, prioritize better; to be better. And I’ve gotta say, it usually works out well. But every so often, there are things that come up unexpectedly that go against every ounce of my intuition on what’s best for my life.

My first instinct is to take control. I have to do more, I need to pivot, put in more work to fix things. And if that fails, all that’s left is to blame myself. What could I have done differently to not get myself in this predicament in the first place?

But I’m reluctantly coming to the realization that this control I have is merely an illusion. And when I start to lose control of my life, it’s not that I’m actually losing control, but the illusion is fading.

I was never in control of my life to begin with. The Lord has always been guiding my steps, leading me, and I can do my best to try to align things with what I want, which I hope aligns with what he wants, but ultimately he knows better than I do. He is control.

My wife and I purchased our first home in March of last year. The circumstances that led us to purchase it weren’t the best (long story short, we got screwed over by a family member and had to scramble to find a place to stay), but somehow, we managed to find a home. We somehow secured a loan in days, got linked up with an incredible realtor, found a great home, closed on it in a week, and moved in within three weeks. It was unheard of how smoothly everything went.

A pretty, spacious house built in 2006, with a solid foundation, a great neighborhood, the only downside was that it was pretty far from everything else in our life. This house was almost an hour away from the church we attend. It was 45 minutes away from my workplace. Thankfully, it was closer for my wife’s work and my mother-in-law who is staying with us.

Because everything was moving so fast, I didn’t have time to sit back and contemplate if this was the best decision. I didn’t have much of a choice. I just had to trust that God gave us this house for a reason. Even if I couldn’t see exactly what that was right now.

And now, looking back a year later, it’s starting to make more sense. I’ve found a great network of doctors locally that have been helping me to treat my condition. Shelby and I just got admitted into Dallas Baptist University for grad school, which happens to be 20 minutes from our house, which is my dream school. And now my wife and I are working towards purchasing a second house, and possibly leaving this one to our mom. Who could then rent it out with her coworkers who can’t afford a nice house otherwise. Since it’s pretty close to their workplace.

I don’t know if any of that will pan out. I can’t know the future. But I can have a plan, and work towards it, and know that even if I’m wrong, it’s because God has bigger plans. And when things don’t align with my perfect way of seeing things, rather than thinking it’s something that needs to be fixed, I want to start believing that God sees things I don’t. He’s working with me, not against me. He always has been, and always will.

March 12, 2020
April 2, 2020

Josh Swanson