I like control. Hopefully I’m not the only one, but I really like to be in control of things…situations, schedules, my life…I mean everything that can be controlled. Lol. Surely I’m not the only one.
I know people who can just roll with it and I just struggle with that. So. Much. I like to know what any plans are that include me in advance so I can write them down in my planner and then put them in my phone. Why both places? No idea but it’s what I do. Midway through the year I usually find a planner I like better and transfer all my plans into a new planner.
My love of having everything in my life organized (with the exception of my house…I think I gave up) goes so deep that I volunteered to balance the schedule at work. It’s a horrible job but if I did it I would know it was done, when it was done, and how it would affect my life.
There are people in my life that never have been good at participating in the preplanning. It makes me crazy.
What are you doing ___. “I don’t know.” Wait. What? How do you not know?
And then last minute, something inevitably comes up. I mean it’s fine. But it’s so bad I plan when I’m going to do my laundry and when I’m going to do nothing, so if you throw a monkey wrench in my plans, it kinda makes me crazy.
All that to say this. A few months ago, probably 3, I had my life in neat little boxes. They were stacked up and sorted. They were pretty. (The boxes are metaphorical in case you’re literal.) Everything was trucking along as well as it does.
Then it happened. I told my friend I thought someone kicked my boxes. And they kicked them good.
I had a series of medical surveillance tests about 6 weeks apart. Then they through in a blood test…CA125…the ovarian cancer lab. They also told me to come back in 3 weeks instead of 6, and see the doctor right after the test. Well that’s new. Ok what are you worried about and why the urgency? Box kicked.
While I waited days for the lab results I mentally was ready to say no to chemo and I mean all the things that the rabbit hole led me down. (The test was negative…thank the Lord!)
Then at the appointment, she said we needed surgery. We discussed options and length of time off etc and decided to go big or go home. Hysterectomy scheduled. Box kicked.
Also during this time, my work decided to tighten some belt loops and didn’t want to pay someone to come in and do the schedule and wanted the boss to do it. Um…what? I’ll do it for free (to keep control). No I probably wouldn’t. BOX kicked HARD.
Wait so now what was I left in control of? I mean nothing. My bladder maybe.
Then I had surgery. And it was harder than I thought it was going to be. The recovery has definitely been more physically and mentally taxing than I anticipated. The emotional recovery has also been something I didn’t even account for. I was told I could go back in 2 to 6 weeks. But lifting is a major part of my job and my patients weigh definitely more than 15 pounds. Heck the dialysis bags weigh more than 15 pounds. So it became 6.
I then was faced with 4 unplanned weeks. Like I had zero activities in my planner or my phone. I mean what am I supposed to do with my life? I think at this point my boxes were actually stolen and thrown away maybe.
So it took some time but I had to mentally adjust. I spent large chunks of time alone. It was a change. The lack of control over my own life was making my crazy.
I had to adjust my mindset. It’s taken 4.5 weeks to feel like I’m good. Physically still not great but mentally I’m back.
Want to know the secret and why it took so long? I had to relinquish control. And it was so hard for me. I literally have no control. But it’s okay.
Who kicked my boxes? I think God might have. You see, we had a sermon series on baggage, and we were supposed to give up something and write it on a claim ticket, and we left it at the alter. We were supposed to leave it there.
Mine said “perfectionism”. My need for control is a part of that. And I snuck back in (metaphorically) and picked it back up and put it back in the box with all its friends.
God gave me some time to put it back. I didn’t. So he kicked my boxes. He put my life so outside my control that there was no way to pick up the mess.
Then he trapped me by myself in “recovery”. I had to recover from surgery but also from perfectionism. I am not fully recovered (from either), but I’m getting there.
I am trying to fully rely on God. And he’s tested me a few times. But he’s also babysitting me because he knows if left to my own devices I’d pick it back up in a heartbeat. I’d build new boxes. I’d have my life together in no time.
But he’s challenging me to let it ride. Plan some things of course because you have to, but leave places open for what he will put in my path, even if it’s last minute. If plans change, it’s okay. I mean it is okay, right? I’m working on it.
The only thing I have control of…the ONE thing is my attitude. I can’t stop bad things (or good things) from happening. I can control how I react.
I can’t control other people and how they treat me, but I can control my reaction. I can’t control what plans I am or am not included in. But I can chose to not be upset about it. I can control my response.
But the only way I can control it is to ask God to control my attitude. So in actuality I can only control it if God helps me.
That’s it. That’s all God is letting me control right now.
Surprisingly enough, I think I’m okay with it…and that’s really saying something….about God working in my not about my abilities.