Casey Beathard Finds Freedom in Losing Control

Jonathon M. Seidl

June 06, 2024 | 2 minute read

What if there really is freedom in letting go? What if you actually find peace once you submit yourself over? That’s the story of our newest White Chair Film, featuring Songwriter Casey Bethard. 

I think one of the most intoxicating things we crave is control. It comes in so many forms. As someone who struggles with anxiety and OCD, I’ve found that a big part of what drives those two things is a desire for control. 

Simply put, I want to know how things will turn out. When I don’t or can’t, I try to take matters into my own hands. And more times than not, I end up making things messy or they end up causing more worry.

There’s an image that often comes to my mind when I think about this issue. Imagine you’re holding a ball of Play-Doh. You apply some pressure. Then some more. You continue squeezing harder and harder. As you do that, what happens? 

Well, the Play-Doh oozes out the top and the bottom of your ever-tightening fist, until eventually there’s barely anything left in your grasp. Your desire to squeeze it and control it pushes it away and completely out of your hand altogether. It’s that image that came to mind when I watched Casey Beathard’s new White Chair Film.

“I was constantly trying to take control of where [my sons] need to go,” he admits in the opening seconds. “But I was losing control of my children.” 

Casey is a legendary country music songwriter. He’s written songs for the genre’s top stars, including George Strait and Kenny Chesney among countless others. Besides being a songwriter, he’s also a dad to three boys and two daughters. And it’s that responsibility of being a dad that he has gripped to tightly. So tightly, in fact, that he could feel it slipping through his fingers.

“I was talking with my wife and she said, ‘Maybe you should let go. You’re a really good earthly dad, but maybe you should let the Lord have them. Even the eagle kicks the baby birds out of the nest at some point. And I think you’re weighing too heavy on them,’” said Casey. 

That hit him like the proverbial ton of bricks. 

“Oh you mean like, ‘Let go and let God?’” he said. “I don’t know how to do that.”

Little did he know how exactly he would learn that lesson. Or rather, how God would redeem an unspeakable tragedy in his life featuring one of his boys to show him how to let go. 

I won’t spoil the whole story because Casey tells it much better than I ever could. But suffice it to say that where he ends up can be summarized in these words of his: “I have learned in all these things, that I was never in control. I won’t be in control. And at some point you have to surrender.” 

And what did Casey find when he did? 

“The happiness was gone. but a joy started to be found. And the peace of him [Jesus] turned into a trust.”

In other words, he found the freedom of losing control. I found freedom in realizing I couldn’t control everything, as well. And I invite you to find that freedom, too.

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. (Jon) Seidl is a writer, speaker, and digital media strategist. He’s the author of the #1 bestseller, Finding Rest: A Survivor’s Guide to Navigating the Valleys of Anxiety, Faith, and Life.

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