I have always had a bit of a control problem though I do manage it much better than I did when I was younger. I am sure the fact that I was put “in charge” at a very young age, has influenced that attitude.
Sometimes this can be for the good. I can take charge if I have to. I was able to be a leader in the health care field, and can manage some pretty complicated areas of our personal health. But truly, I just have to give in and realize that most things are not in my control. You know the prayer ” God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference”. I am not sure I am following that little prayer at all these days.
My husband, as chronicled in past posts, has quite a few health problems and just when life seems to be going fairly smoothly, our world crashed again. In late summer, our fall plans were derailed. Hubby suddenly was very ill with what was diagnosed as a septicemia (whole body blood infection). After two ambulance rides and two days sitting waiting for a bed in Regina Emergency Department, I spent a few days watching an incoherent and drowsy man who essentially slept nearly 24 hrs a day. It was difficult for me to sit beside him watching others control the medications and care. In these situations, my mind goes overtime, trying to solve the problems and control what I can. (I am not sure the staff love a patient’s wife who is an “old nurse”, but the nurses were kind and looked after both of us well)
It was hard to leave at night, but for my sanity, I know I had to. I don’t do well without a decent sleep. One early Wednesday morning they called to tell me he was bleeding. The nurses didn’t seem very upset so I somehow went back to sleep. I returned early in the morning to find a situation I could not control – He was having a lot of bleeding and his blood pressure was dropping, while we waited helplessly for him to have a scope to look for the cause. Finally, with a blood pressure number that I can only whisper to those who know what it means, he went to the Endoscopy room, the scopes happened and his ulcer was fixed. He was stable again. Texts to family and friends were slow that day as I sat in fear, praying for his life to be spared and helping the nurses to keep the chaos of a gastrointestinal bleed in check. When I was able to take the time for texts, the crisis was over. So foolish that when I need support the most, I didn’t call my family for help !! I must say that despite my lack of communication, family and pastoral care were right there for us.
Control you say?? I have it bad.
Since discharge from hospital, life has been rough. He didn’t recover in my allotted time and all things in my power did not seem to help him. I struggled to seek what might be holding him back and came up with a couple of possible reasons, which our doctor acted on. My waking hours ( while closing up the cabin and canning my garden supply) were spent trying to fix and control a difficult situation. This wasn’t very easy on my patient. It also took a toll on my sleep and my well being
One Sunday in church, in the midst of all this, I realized that the problem is not that I cannot control this, but that I am not giving the control up to God. As we sang a moving chorus called “Trust it all” I realized that trusting God for everything in my future is difficult for me, and I needed to give it all over.
I also started to see a strange pattern of irrational thinking… that if I could do something that I hadn’t done before,- something I always left for hubby to do, then it would prove that I could control the uncontrollable! I have had to learn a lot of ” blue chores” that I would gladly give up. In 2007, during one of hubby’s darkest times in hospital I looked at our “to be painted” computer room, and patched areas in our main bathroom , and decided that if I could prove to be able to paint those ( when I had never really handled a paint brush and don’t do well on ladders) , then I would be “Okay”. So I painted that computer room (not the best job but done). That day, as I lay exhausted on my bed I heard a loud voice tell me that ” YOU will be all right.”
Now you may truly believe that I just might be crazy to think that in today’s world God does talk to us in huge voices ! That was the only time that God chose to do that until the day hubby got ill this time. I was at the lake cabin and he was at home. I was trying to sleep in and was suddenly convinced I should check on him even though he should be safe at his dialysis appointment. Yes, again in a voice loud enough to wake me!
Our plans this summer included a bunk bed basement guest room/sewing room. As changes go, that meant looking at the old carpet, and ordering a replacement and looking at faded, marked old white walls. So it seemed necessary for me to use those painting “skills” again (now strengthened a bit with my accessory role in lake renovations) so I painted the room. Sweat (literally)and a few tears went into that painting job. No voices from heaven, no assurances of all being well.
The Sunday after that, God told me clearly that “my life is in His hands” and I needed to give up control and trust Him. The tears that just wouldn’t come before flowed freely, as I let go. Hard for a control person. But the message was clear, and the need was real.
After that , our daily life had with some very down days and more and more up days (for both of us). As time passes, with some changes in treatment, we are learning to live with another new reality. Hubby has made huge progress and I am finding myself more patient and less anxious. You will see us out walking Walmart and the Mall to gain leg strength.
I am learning what I need to “control” as there are things that have to be planned, done and advocated about. But through it I remember that I do not need to be in control, for
God has my back. No matter what life gives us, I will learn to trust Him in all things.
But I know that giving up control still will be a lifetime struggle – Some things just aren’t easy!
.** check the link Here to read the full lyrics of Trust it All