Watch: Andrew’s testimony
Andrew shares about how he strove to be in control at all times because he had learnt from his family that that was the best way to achieve stability in life, not aware that this blocked him from hearing from God. Through a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit led him through a time of repentance and drew him into a closer authentic relationship with His Heavenly Father as God’s son. Praise God!
Click here to go to our YouTube channel.
I noticed through prayer that I looked at everything in life as a form of battle that I need to strategise, fight, and then ultimately, win. It wasn’t about God.
Hi, everyone. My name is Andrew. I come from a family of four, including an older twin. My parents both came from humble backgrounds, and my mother especially, she had to assume the role of head of her family from a very young age. Perhaps as a result of that, she grew to adopt a method of control through a lot of striving and hard work.
In view of that, we learned from her at a very young age that is ourselves and our family, instead of God, who are really the driver of our fate. There’s a constant need to be in control through ourselves and our family.
Separately, I’ve always branded myself as a Christian, but never really had any real relationship with God, given my self-reliance tendency as well.
I never saw that was a problem and I’ve always subtly believed that there is a spiritual versus practical divide. I tend to believe that God is the Creator, but I’m still the captain of my own ship. So, relating to God was never really a concern for me and I valued how people look at me a lot more than how God relates with me.
That was my faith journey until it really started in 2012, when a health scare brought me to realise I was not as in control as I thought I was or want to be. There was a relatively large cyst that was coincidentally discovered in my brain during a routine health check.
In the process of waiting for a diagnosis, it was for the first time in my life that I consciously realised that I’m not that person in control.
I prayed to God for the first time for Him to save me, and I will dedicate my life to Him if He granted me this wish. And sure enough, He did grant me the wish. And He did miraculously heal me by giving me an all-clear result and kickstarted my faith journey.
Having said that, and even with a new life as a Christian, I found myself struggling to relate to God.
I tend to believe that I need to be in control all the time, and my mother, being pivotal in my growing up, continued to function as the source of truth when life’s difficulties arose. I would consult her on almost everything, including most of my problems and priorities.
Striving was still my modus operandi, and I always felt that my relationship with God was half baked.
I found myself praying out of obligation and I didn’t generally feel His presence in all my prayers. My joy comes mostly from activities with like-minded people, instead of relating to Him. I did not feel peace by praying and I continued to agitate on the next thing I need to complete or take care of, with the false belief that my identity is still self-made, instead of coming from God.
In 2020, through the sheer grace of God, I met my beautiful wife. Our meeting and subsequent connection was a sheer miracle out of my control. We have no common touch points, yet we met through an app and became deeply connected instantly, as if we were long-lost friends.
Prior to meeting her, I did a not so traditional, rare prayer for my future spouse, and I got a vision of her.
At our dates, I found out more and more that this vision was actually her, and we fell more and more in love. And by God’s blessing, we got married in 2021.
While we love each other, we quickly ran into quite a lot of arguments and a lot of which originate from my tendencies for needing to be in control, for the trivial needs of things in life needing to happen in a certain way in our house, for instance, to our finances and my need to be in certainty of it.
She, on the other hand, is a very different person. She’s very free spirited and her personality is always free flow. That is very different from me. I would frequently nag my wife to get a sense of control over living with her.
With frequent arguments, we both felt very trapped and frustrated in our newly-wed life.
By the grace of God, I got to know a group of Christians who offered to pray for me in this regard. In the process of prayer, I repented and asked God for forgiveness, for my tendencies for being in control. God then revealed to me my obsession for war-related movies and history to be relating to my tendencies to be in control and strategise the next move. I noticed through prayer that I look at everything in life as a form of battle that I need to strategise, fight, and then ultimately, win.
It wasn’t about God, or it wasn’t about loving God and/or loving other people. It was about gaining control and winning. My false belief was that by gaining control and winning, life would be smooth and stable, which is one of the highest priorities in my original family.
This kept me stuck for my tendency to be in control and gaining even more control.
It dawned on me that I was always stressed and preoccupied with thinking about what’s next, and I didn’t know how I could release myself from the thread mill of not being enough or having enough.
The Holy Spirit then revealed to me through the prayer, that my need to be in control was rooted in an unhealthy idolisation I had for my mother and for her approval.
With that idolisation, I had not entirely left my family and cleaved to my wife.
This resulted in a lot of the negative patterns in my marriage, where I was always observing myself nagging my wife to gain control in how we live and do our lives together.
A lot of this patterns were, as I come to realise, how they had played out in my original family between my mom and my dad, and one that I really didn’t wish to have in my own family.
I’ve come to realise these generational patterns; that when we idolise our parents, we tend to follow their patterns subconsciously, even though consciously, we don’t want to, and that we can only break through when we truly follow Jesus 100% and not in a half-baked manner.
God then showed me my patterns for being in control were rooted in a heart of pride, which meant that I was relying on myself and not on Him to decide my own fate.
I prayed to break ties with those patterns and repent of my idolisation. I asked God for help to restore my marriage.
In the prayer, I could sense that God has been restoring my relationship with Him by asking me to seek Him first and I do not need to be in control anymore. In the process, I humbly asked the Holy Spirit what His view of me is and God gave me a new identity of who I am. I now know that I’m a man made in His image with His spiritual gifts, not one that is defined by my belief of self-sufficiency and generational patterns.
With that, I grew in confidence to know and trust God through His reassurance, instead of relying on myself.
I felt a strong sense of relief after the prayer. I had been having a headache during this time and it immediately went away. I felt freedom and release in my spirit.
After the prayer, I noticed a subtle and gradual improvement of my relationship with my wife. I noticed my ability to rely on God on things beyond my control and identify a healthy boundary with my parents. As an example, I was able to take a pause on some of the difficult situations and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, instead of instinctively making a decision and/or consult my mom.
I was able to let my wife to be who God made her to be, by listening to her, instead of nagging her to meet my expectations. And while I’m still hit with life’s priorities and difficulties, I don’t feel as big an urge to know what’s next. And I’m able to lift them up to God first.
God mended my relationship with Him and freed me from the burden of performance which I was carrying for years.
I now have the confidence to realise I do not need to out-think every difficulty as I am already well-loved and taken care of by the wisest One — God — and my human mind can simply not compare or comprehend.
For the first time in years, I felt peace and security, even in the worst of circumstances. He continues to teach me through difficult circumstances after this experience, and I’m able to draw on more of His peace, knowing that God is in control.
If you have the same struggle as I do on the need for control, I want to let you know that God can heal you and that you are not alone in the fight. I encourage you to open your heart to God to let Him in. His love for you is far more than you think and His grace is all that you need. He is chasing after you and I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to redeem your relationship with our loving God, the Father, and for Him to give you all the peace that you need in this life.
To receive notifications of new posts from Teaching Humble Hearts, please subscribe here .