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A Loss of Control
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A Loss of Control


To be broken over something involves a level of pain. For me, I expected this pain. A silent surrender to something fought over for so long. The pain came when I tried to control and manipulate one of God’s revealed promises for my life. A promise He clearly spoke to me, more than once—that He is in a season of preparing me to meet my husband.

I held onto this promise with a firm grip.

Just in case the Lord might forget, I reminded Him of His promise in my daily prayers. Morning after morning, I creatively found ways to add on my own details in the prayers. I even used scripture.

“Lord, your Word says in Psalm 45 that my tongue is the pen of a writer who is ready to address verses to the King. With that said, I want to address the specifics about this future husband.”

So much time and effort spent praying in the wrong direction! Self-absorbed prayers that tried to take control of God’s will for my life. I can picture Him looking down on me and smiling. All God wanted me to do was let go, trust and love Him.

Yet I did not want to let go.

Because letting go admits defeat.

The prayers were fervent and specific. I felt like the woman Hannah in 1 Samuel who prayed so hard for her son that she lost her words altogether and began speaking out of her heart.

“As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart…She made a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me, and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all of the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head” (1 Samuel 1:11, 13).

Yet there was a major difference between my prayers and the heart of Hannah’s. This is because she believed God’s promise would come through in His time. Rather than focus on the promise itself, Hannah chose to worship God and focus on Him.

“Then they [Hannah and her husband Eli] arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house…” (1 Samuel 1:19)

The Bible says that in due time, Hannah conceived and had her son. Her heart was right before the Lord because she worshipped God and trusted that God’s promise would come to pass in His time. She did not try to guess it would be or try to manipulate God’s promise. Most importantly, Hannah’s focus remained on her love and service to her Creator and household.

Tears of brokenness wash over both my hands and my heart.

I remember my thoughts when I first realized I was being broken over misguided focus in prayer. I felt a loss of control. This struggle was clear in my journal: “My little heart, exhausted from beating twice as fast, is starting to wonder the validity of its race.”

His plan for prayer involves way more than just getting “daily bread.” That is only part, by far the tiniest part, of the picture. God wants us to tap into His heart, not his hands. I tapped into His heart through simple worship and redirecting focus on prayer from myself to the needs of others. Letting go of myself meant a fresh redefining of my relationship with Him.

This “letting go of myself” is not easy. The more I become absorbed with Jesus in prayer, the less I am absorbed with myself. He allows me to see that my life is created to fit into His perfect picture. One that would not be nearly as beautiful or colorful if He allowed me to take over the role of the artist.

Calloused and bruised

Dazed and confused

My spirit is left wanting something more

Than my selfish hopes

And my selfish dreams

I’m lying with my face down to the floor

I’m crying out for more

-Aaron Shust

Sarah Hamilton

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