God is definitely working on me and my many human faults. I have always been a take charge detail oriented person and I like my control just, the way I like it – Ha, ha, ha. Today I had three big conversations and a lot of prayer throughout the day about how I need to give up being in complete control over so many things, and how I need to, according to my hubby, “Just start thinking and saying "Oh, well."” Seriously, if you are a control freak like me then you know it’s much easier to say that, than to actually change thinking, speech and actions, especially when you are older and set in your ways. Some people call this need for things being just so, perfectionism, but we all know that's just a nice way of saying that you have control issues.
It’s hard to give up control, but today God showed me a visual of why I am struggling with it so much. I thought of my control as my signature on a drawing of my life. I saw myself drawing a picture and then I painted it and got it just the way I wanted it, and then when going to sign my name, I realized it’s not me who gets that signature, it’s the Lord’s right and His masterpiece (even if I think my life is far from looking like a masterpiece). Jesus is the only one that can claim anything that is good in me and that comes from me. I was trying to claim the rights and privileges to the work that He has commanded me to do. How foolish? I was even thinking that the drawing was somehow mine. Truly when it is me trying to be in charge, it looks much more like a 2 year olds scribble scrabble picture than a Mona Lisa. The drawing and the signature all belong to God, not me. He should always get the credit or glory for anything good that is ever done. We can do nothing apart from Him. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
An example of this is thinking is: Years ago I asked my friend to get t- shirts made for our CC (Classical Conversations) group. Anyways, she said that I had to have it my way through the whole process as I wanted the T-shirt color, font and even the cross exactly the way I wanted it, especially as I thought, I am the one that has got this group up and running and I have worked so hard, surely I get to pick out #112 cross over the #58 cross that she had chosen. In the end, I was happy, because I got what I wanted; however does it really matter in the whole scheme of things? No, probably not. Especially, if I hurt others feelings along the way, making them feel like nothing they do is ever good enough and/or exactly the way I want it. I have no rights to anything that comes my way. Anything, that I get comes from the Lord, or is allowed to come to me with the Lord having providence over everything. I feel pretty stupid to be getting this idea/concept at 40, but Oh well. See? I am getting better at this already.
I think emotion is the biggest contributing factor to this thinking. I think that I somehow deserve this or that and that. I will say or do XYZ in order to prevent being disappointed again, or even vise versa, I’ll change what I do so I don’t disappoint again. The key word in all of this is disappointment. I don’t want people to be disappointed with me and I don’t want to feel frustration, sadness, etc. with others disappointing me. Today though I realized that in letting go of some control means that I am not trusting in man as much as I am to trust in God and seek Him in order to help me with the emotions, when no doubt, they will come.
If I could redo the t-shirt situation now, I guess that it would look more like me allowing my friend to do it and then me saying Good Job and Thanks; and if I didn’t like it, biting my tongue and moving on because in the end it’s just a t-shirt and not anything major. I have been looking at everything as major and I think “I am just passionate and opinionated and what’s wrong with that? I actually like it when people say how they feel and tell it like it is.”(Go Chris Christy). That’s all fine and great, but I guess I need to be full of more grace for people when they disappoint me, and I could even give myself a bit of grace too, as I can be pretty hard on myself. I think I’ll be biting my tongue so much that you might not be able to understand me ever again – Ha, ha, ha!
I have always been a glass half- empty kinda girl and I have liked that about me, as there is always room for improvement and I thought of the glass half- full people as lazy with a happiness excuse of “oh well’ everything is great mentality (sorry guys). I guess today I am trying to find balance. As one friend said to me today “You are gonna run yourself ragged.” She is probably right, I need to let go of some things and not worry if everything isn’t exactly perfect or perfect in my mind anyways.
So how does control relate to cancer in my life? I have been thinking about the cancer decisions that need to be made sooner rather than later and asking what control do I really have? I can't trust man; I have to place my trust in God. (It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8) But what is God leading me to do? Well, I know I need to eat healthy and try to be better with the Red Phase diet because I have been very frustrated there. I know I am waiting for the right God- ordained conversation with just the right person to sway me this way or that. And, I know I need all the prayer I can get. I have been thinking about calling my pastor and asking if the elders would pray over me or asking friends to come over and pray over me. Honestly, I have been thinking about that since the beginning of January, but I didn’t want to seem needy (which I am) and I didn’t want to disappoint or be disappointed (control issues) if for example only 3 people showed up or I cried or someone said the wrong (in my mind) “poor you” comment to me that upset me, etc. I know it sound a bit ridiculous, but we all know, not trying is easier than failing and being disappointed with yourself or others. I guess I’ll continue to think and pray about this and maybe get some courage up in this area.
One of the biggest things you hear with cancer is “Watch your stress levels!” I usually don’t feel stressed, unless I stop to think about cancer and what I should do, and how to live? Something I don’t think most people think too much about. The cancer plate of treatment choices is a huge plate and it’s hard to say, "Just eat it, like an elephant - one bite at a time", when you know that the clock is ticking and time is not on your side. If I said, “Eat that elephant in 30 minutes.” you’d feel overwhelmed and pressured right? Do I really only have so much time or is that just what the doctors say? I think if my doctors were Christians that I would have a better sense of things and trust in them. (Sorry, to all you non- believers out there reading this but truly it’s just easier putting your faith in someone that has the Lord on their side.) Perhaps I need to start looking into finding a Christian doctor so I can feel confident in their words and the truth about the timing of things. How long does cancer take to spread to other organs in your body? Surely every individual is different. Perhaps it’s spreading as I type this and perhaps it’s stopped and I’m healing. In the end only God knows.
I’m like a rollercoaster, a few days I am all over eating right, researching things, calling doctors, reading books and watching documentaries (BTW, I posted more under websites that you should check out) and the next few days I am on normal life, auto pilot, working on my new schools and doing the laundry and homeschooling and playing with the kids and just being a normal Mom, bald as I may be. I really would love some consistency.
I just wonder when am I gonna find the new place to be? What’s next? Am I going to stop doing everything and drink kale and spinach smoothies the rest of my life? Or am I going forward with surgery and chemo and eating popcorn with butter at the movies? Who am I? What is my identity? And what do I want to be? Who am I willing to trust and move forward with? At 40 had it not been for cancer, I don’t think I’d be asking those questions, because well, my identity was wrapped up in what I did and was doing. Now my identity isn’t gonna just be that I am a married mom of a few kids and that I home school and go to church, etc. Now my identity is in how I choose to move on. I will always be the woman that had cancer and beat it by this or that. Or I’ll be the woman that died from cancer that could have done this or that. In the end, God is in control and not me, and so I’m still reaching for His robe and trying to figure out His will for my life no matter how long or short it may be. Hopefully in the end, I’ll be able to just say “Oh well.” no matter what happens since I can't be in control of everything. I am very limited sinner, very thankful to God for his refining process that inevitably will make me a true masterpiece. I will try to find rest in Him today.
Blessings and if you read this far, Thanks! I know it was really long today