Five-Minute Friday: Try. A single word prompt. Write without overthinking or editing. And go:

I am a fixer. Perhaps it is more honest to say that I am someone who likes to be in control (okay, I’m a control freak). But, really, I am a recovering control freak. Please, God, help me not help them today.

Nothing, not even that prayer, changes the fact that I cannot help myself: I want to help them (read: I want to control them, or at least try to).

IMG_4824When someone in my family is trying to do something and it’s not going as smoothly as I think it ought: opening a jar, zipping up a jacket, tying a shoe, replacing batteries; really, it doesn’t matter. Whatever someone in my family is trying to do, I want to help. And by help, I mean, I want to do it for them.

But I mean it in the best possible way when I reach in and take over.

I mean it in the best possible way when they look at me with that look.

I mean it in the best possible way when I step in and don’t allow them to figure it out for themselves, when I don’t allow them to try.

In some ways, I think this is what I want God to do for me.

I want Him to step in; I want Him to intercede and to take over before I have the chance to screw things up. Again.

Yes. I want to try. I want to do it myself. I want to figure it out. Because that’s who He created me to be in some ways. But I know my track record. And I know He does, too, you know? We both know I’m probably making the wrong choice, not doing it right, making a mess of things.

I want Him to stop me.

I want Him to protect me from myself. I don’t want to learn. I just want to be able to do it right the first time.

So I want Him to be more like, well, more like me. To be a fixer. To be the One who steps in and stops me before I make such a mess that the clean up will take far longer than either of us can anticipate.

But, that’s not how God works. He’s the God of free will and choices.

And, slowly, oh-so-slowly, that’s what He’s teaching me.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not a slow learner.

IMG_4450God doesn’t work that way – stepping in and taking over – and He doesn’t want me to, either.

And so I take deep breaths and let my husband be the one to handle the task at hand and let my seven year old try and try and try until she gets things the way she wants them. I stand by and let my five year old try to measure the flour or the salt or the vanilla; I let her try and break the egg; I let her try.

I try to let them try when I want to do.

But instead, I wait. I watch. I itch to step in, but I let them try.

And when I step in too soon? God gives me another chance to try again.


(This post is part of Kate Motaung’s Five-minute Friday at Heading Home. She gives us a word and we write for five minutes. This week’s word: Try)


8 thoughts on “God Help Me Not Help Them

  1. Really resonated with where I am these days “help me to NOT help them!” I’ve recently been made aware that people feel like projects around me and that I’m too adamant…YIKES! I mean it all in the best way possible, but my need to be in control is thwarting growth and NO ONE will listen to or utilize all my excellent pointers (sheesh). Since this revelation my new prayer is – God give me questions, not answers. Thank you for sharing this, Judith!

    1. Oh, Diane, I hear you loud and clear on this and I love your new prayer: God, give me questions, not answers. That is a beautiful request and you should know that I will be joining you in praying those words in my life.

  2. Hi Judith!

    Great post! I can identify too–too eager to jump in and help…silently pleading that God would always take over for me. Keep breathing deeply and working to let go and trust God 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sabrina! It’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one trying to step in and help and do. It is so against my nature to pause and to let go, but I am thankful that God continues to provide opportunities to do just that.

    1. I think for me the times that it works, that is, the times that God takes control of me and my moments, is when I pause and when I remind myself to turn toward Him and seek His face and His presence. And, yes, Elizabeth, I am ever so thankful that He is a God of patience and a God of second chances, so that we can try, try again.

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