It was only a few weeks ago that I was on my knees praying daily for my niece who was fighting for her life. Then my thoughts fled to only a few short months ago, and how I was on my knees praying for God to grant mercy on me and my life.
One thing I have learned in walking through the trials of my health issues is to trust that God is right there with me. I can remember feeling emotions of fear running through my body when I was notified that something was severely wrong with my back. Only natural when you get a phone call at work from a doctor who tells you to get to the Emergency Room immediately, and that I would probably have back surgery later that day. I don't remember much of the car ride as I was on the phone notifying close family members and crying out loud to God for the strength to carry me through whatever I was about to learn. (Thanks to Darla for driving me.) I repeatedly took deep breaths and followed the doctor's orders and listened intently on his comments. Surgery didn't happen that day. More tests and appointments followed with surgery scheduled two weeks later. This afforded plenty of opportunities to carry my worry, stress and fret to God.
I kept telling myself that whatever was in my back was there, surgery was inevitable, so this whole situation was completely out of my control. If something is out of my control and I choose to focus on the "what if's", that is time wasted and exhaustion would set in. I had established that no amount of my worry or stressing over this health issue would change anything. The only thing I had control over was how I reacted to my daily living not knowing what the future would hold for me. I made the decision to turn all of my worries and concerns over to God. I had to trust that He had a plan for me. I no longer felt the need to know the end result, and focused on living one day at a time. I call this my daily footwork. What is it that I needed to be doing today?
I felt moments of fear the night before my surgery. I remember quieting my mind by asking God to fill my mind, heart and body with His perfect love and peace for the night. I focused on that very moment. Where I was at, what my body felt like, and all the blessings in my life. My relationship with God blossomed that night. I felt His presence and I slept peacefully.
I woke up calm and with an attitude of positive thinking. I recall my mind wanting to think about my children and what would happen to them if something happened to me. Also, concern for the fear they must be having about this day and the future. Each time my mind would try and go there I felt a calmness, and a little voice that said, I am here with you. Give me your worries. Trust me!
I tried worrying about the snow that was sputtering as we drove to Des Moines at 4AM, but that too was squashed in my mind with a voice saying, Yes, I know. I have this worry of yours too.
All of these things, and many more were completely out of my control. I could have chose to worry, be angry and think negatively about everything that was happening. However, I've found that by remaining positive, even when I don't feel like it, provides a more peaceful, happy me.
Many of us find ourselves facing health issues, or other challenges in life that are completely out of our control. Is there something in your life that you are holding on to? Are you allowing it to steal your serenity? Here is a simple, but powerful prayer that I say daily:
God, I pray for your will in my life and the knowledge, courage and strength to carry that out. Amen.