Today’s Forecast: Restless
Herculean effort, a war waged on
Like those before me, the heroes gone
My one desire, to live with grace
Despite the struggle, despite the pace
Intermittent, my strength does wane
Some days triumph and some days pain
Righteous celebration, silent contempt
Dueling emotions, no day exempt
Fitful sleep, I toss and turn
All the while my heart does yearn
For one decision that I can make
Instead of results I’m forced to take
My body fragile and not my own
A lack of control I’ve never known
I pray for peace and strength to fight
I pray I’ll see the morning’s light
I know not when the end will near
I tell myself, contend the fear
But to fear is human and to err is real
At least I can own what and when I feel
The quest continues, I forge ahead
Conjuring up spirit, instead of dread
No doubt will encounter more foul play
But thankful for what I feel today
~Jennifer Wuersig 2/22/11~
This is a poem I wrote back in February of last year when I was still in the throes of my sudden health decline with Cystic Fibrosis. Any of you that know me personally, know I am a complete control freak! I like to have things just so and I like to have a plan, ahead of time. It’s not so much that I have to control everyone else’s lives, but that I want to control mine, and with CF, it is a constant battle. This desire for power over my circumstances ultimately impacts my relationship with God too, because I have never been one for just trusting His plan, I have to work at it – really hard. I constantly fight through how I think things should be and try to control the circumstances around me to make sure they get there. Again, not so easy a task when you’re battling a chronic illness that doesn’t give a care about what your plans are or where you need or want to be at a particular time. CF is just that way. It doesn’t care that you promised you’d take your daughter to the movies with her friend or that it’s family night at the school. It doesn’t care that you had a romantic, intimate overnight planned with your husband and that it’s your anniversary. It doesn’t care that you are co-chairing an event to raise money for it and you can’t be at the event because you’re stuck in a hospital bed. It doesn’t care that your husband is doing all the work and that the kids see him as the “go-to parent” because Mom’s just plain unreliable, it doesn’t care that you need to buy groceries, return library books, go to the bank. It doesn’t care that your family had a birthday lunch planned.
But I do.
I care so much sometimes it hurts. I know circumstances are bound to change; after all, change is the only constant, right? But… I don’t have to like it. I don’t like that CF can be so unpredictable. I don’t like that it interrupts my well-laid plans— all the time. What choice do I have though, honestly? I can spend my time expending energy on fighting the inevitable or I can spend it healing and living in the moment. I say that now, but don’t think for a second that I won’t jump back and forth over that fence at least a million times.
One of my absolute favorite bible passages is:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
In times of anger and distrust, I often look to this passage for comfort and guidance. It helps me to remember that my limitations and my seemingly missed opportunities are all part of a bigger plan God had for me before I was even born. I also realize I do have control, control of how I choose to feel about my circumstances and control of whether I choose to trust God in his goodness to guide me through times of turmoil.
Are there areas of your life that feel out of your control? I think we all have them. A good friend recommended a book to me for people like you and me who are struggling with the surrender. It’s by Lisa Bevere and is called Out of Control and Loving It! I need all the encouragement I can get in this area, so I think it’s going to go on my Kindle wishlist. If you read it and like it, let me know. In the meantime, let go and let God. I’ll try to do the same.