God and Sexual Assault

Feeling Out of Control

Learning to trust God.

I have this need to always be in control of things in my life. I honestly come by it somewhat naturally from the way I was raised, but also there is a need to want control after experiencing sexual assault. The feeling of not being able to control what is happening to us or do anything about it leaves us with a desire to control what we can.

I was thinking about this lately and how out of control my world feels much of the time. I want to be working, but I have not worked through enough trauma to be capable of holding a job yet. I still have a desire to be married and have kids, but I can’t change the fact I won’t ever have a child and I’m in no condition to marry soon.

Even the little things find me wanting to control.

When something happens that isn’t in my control my mind appears to go back to the feeling from when I was assaulted. I feel trapped, can’t breathe, am scared, and feel like I need to do just about anything possible to get the outcome I think is needed to feel in control. Eating is one way some of us try to get control. I tend to go to the two extremes by either forcing myself not to eat and lose weight or eat too much. It’s hard for me to eat just what I need because sometimes it seems out of control.

In the winter of 2011, I was driving on the highway going a little over 65 miles an hour. My car hit a patch of ice on the edge of the road. I spun around and around and around hitting another oncoming car, finally landing in a ditch of snow on the other side of the road. There was nothing I could do to get control because it happened so fast. It took me back to my childhood when I had no control. I felt like I was going to die. I became so unable to handle it after the accident that I checked myself into the psychiatric hospital because I wanted to end it all then and there.

It has taken me many years in recovery to realize Who is ultimtalely in control and to begin to trust Him. God has control over everything. When you realize the many details He is in control of here it begins to put things in perspective.

The fact we are only able to walk around earth because God is holding us here with gravity. That He takes care of even the sparrows.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” Matthew 10:29

When I begin to feel out of control now I pray to God for Him to release the feelings of I’m going to die or that I’m trapped. It will also ease as I work through my trauma. However, that is a slow process so it almost forces me to trust God and His control – which is a good thing.

I would love if my life was planned out and I knew exactly what was going to happen tomorrow, next year or 10 years from now. The thing is when life is going like we want it to and when we “think” we have control we have no need to trust God. Hmmm, makes me more thankful for the hard times that bring me closer to Him.

So, the next time you are feeling out of control remember how much God cares for you and why you’re standing instead of flying around in the air. Thank him for another time to grow closer to Him and become the person He wants you to be for His glory.

© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.



Susan is an author and speaker who loves to share her journey of God's redemption and encourage others as they look to God. As a former elemetary teacher with a passion for teaching, Susan also owns her own tutoring and consulting business where she empowers students and parents in reading. Susan lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her adorable and grumpy Persian cat, Mia.

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