Conversations With Daughters of the King: My Struggle With Control

In Op-Eds by Meghan Layne

When I was asked to write this article I literally chuckled at myself. I was asked to write an article about the challenges of being a Major League Baseball wife and mom and how the Bible has helped me through those. Seems pretty basic to my everyday life, right? The irony is, just four days prior, I made a pretty deep confession about my struggles in this EXACT department in our wives Bible study.

We are studying a book by Jackie Kendall called “Surrender Your Junior God Badge.” It’s about our need, as women, to control everything. It’s innate. From the moment Eve took the fate of man into her own hands in that dang garden, we were destined to attempt to control everything in our lives. We all do it. In one fashion or another. So in a lifestyle that requires three moves a year, unexpected job changes, living in cities with no family and friends, sacrificing careers, new homes, friendships… essentially extreme instability and inconsistency… imagine the control freaks that come out!

The first question we were asked in Bible study was, “Why do you try to take control? What is it that makes you feel like YOU need to have the reigns of your life?”

Ok, lady. Let’s be real. You really have to ASK that question? I mean I think that’s pretty obvious. At any moment, my husband could get traded, released, or demoted without the slightest inclination. And let’s assume a best-case scenario where that doesn’t happen, the longest amount of time we spend in ANY one place is seven months. So, my natural instinct is to ALWAYS be anticipating the next move. So, yeah, of course, I’m a control freak. I’m trying to grasp onto ANY little thing I can actually take control over. I’m constantly in survival mode. Ok, so again – isn’t it pretty self-explanatory?!?!

Well, guess what? We all had the same answer. That’s the given answer amongst women in this lifestyle. But that wasn’t good enough. What is it about YOU, not your circumstances, that makes you want to control?

And in that moment, I felt super vulnerable. Super weak. Fragile. Like Kendall had struck a chord with me. Something that I try not to think about. Something that I push to the back of my mind and instead focus on the present. The groceries. The laundry. Our next flight. Someone’s birthday we are missing and need to send a gift to. Parker’s next milestone she should be reaching. The dog poop in the yard that needs to be picked up before the neighbor kids run through it. The bathrooms that need to be cleaned. My legs that need to be shaved. My hair that needs to be colored, or for that matter washed. The list of LIFE!

So, what is it, deep beneath this list of frantic “to dos” that causes me to grasp onto this list and cling to its accomplishments like they are the holy grail. The end all, be all. My defining moments.

And so I blurted it out in front of a room full of girls I hardly know in our first Bible study of the year… “I try to control everything because I feel like I, Meghan Layne, am a nobody. I’m Tom’s fan. And I’m Parker’s servant. But I am no one.”

Ok, Meghan! Let’s be real. You are a wife. A mom. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A dentist. A business owner. And the list goes on and on. You are a LOT of things!!

Meghan and Tommy Layne with their 18-month-old daughter, Parker.

But for some reason, those things aren’t enough for me. They aren’t enough to fulfill me. My whole life, I was a student. That was my identity. Then I became a dentist. And that was my identity. Then a wife. And a mom. And then I put dentistry aside for our family while Tom plays baseball. So now I’m “just a wife and a mom.” Then I started my jewelry line in an effort to have something to call MINE. Then a blog. I am actually a lot of things.

A lot of “things” that I’m relying on for fulfillment. When in reality, the only thing that I should truly be fulfilled by is the title of being His daughter. THAT alone should be enough for me. But I’m not perfect. I don’t study the Word as often as I should. I don’t seek Him as often as I should. Instead I seek fulfillment in this absurdly long “to do” list that never ceases to disappoint.

So when I was asked to write this article, THAT is why I laughed. You want ME to write about how the Bible has helped me through being an MLB wife and mom. Ha-ha! Well, it has helped me in almost every other aspect of my life. But this EXACT topic you are asking me about… yeah, that’s my BIGGEST struggle right now! So why in the world would I write anything for other women to read? Just to open myself up to criticism or sympathy comments?!?!

So here I am. No self-help instruction. No “how to” on letting go of control. No step-by-step on using the Bible to get through mom life. Just an honest confession that I struggle. I struggle with letting God be enough. With letting my identity as His daughter, the greatest title I will ever own, be enough to fill my cup. That instead I frantically grasp onto the accomplishments of my to-do list in a hectic, crazy life for fulfillment. But I’m trying. I’m working on it. I’m reading. And studying. And meditating. I’m aware. I’m confessing. It’s a season of my life. And it’s a journey. But the beautiful thing about it… no matter how far off the path I roam, He’s always there. Waiting for me to come back. My lengthy to-do list shamefully hidden behind my back.

So to all the “just wives and moms” out there who feel like they are a nobody: you ARE enough! I don’t have all the answers on how you own it. How you disregard the qualifying factors of everyday life. But the fact that He died on the cross so that you can have eternal life… I mean, yeah! I think that trumps that stupid “to-do” list. And if nothing else, just know that you aren’t the only momma out there having an identity crisis. From what I’ve been told by these amazing “veteran” Christian women I’ve encountered is that the more time you spend in the Word, the more you call out to Him, the more you yell and cry and beg and laugh with Him (just as you would in any other relationship) the more He will make himself known. And the more your relationship will grow. And the more you will be fulfilled by Him alone. But how can you be fulfilled by Someone you can’t see and you don’t know?!?!

My challenge to myself, and anyone else out there with this struggle is to cross five things off that obnoxious to-do list and spend those 30 minutes every day with Him. And in six months, let’s evaluate how fulfilled we are.

Meghan Layne

Meghan is married to NY Yankees pitcher, Tommy Layne. They are the proud parents of a sassy 18-month-old daughter, Parker, and a handsome silver lab named Charlie. Meghan and her husband met almost 10 years ago when she was finishing college and he had just been drafted. After 6 years of long distance dating, we were married the fall after she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. She is the proud owner and creative mind behind SoLayne Designs jewelry and a fun little family blog, Cirque du SoLayne.

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