Saturday, January 8, 2011

Letting go

Letting go. Sometimes, this is an enormous task. Sometimes, letting go is painful. As I think of the things I've had to "let go" during life, I relive some sorrow, grief, pain, and regret. Often, our lives take a turn down a path, and we must let go of relationships, jobs, or even a social status. Sometimes, we have to let go of people we love due to various circumstances. Other times, we let go of certain habits or lifestyles that are not in our best interest. When I look at myself, the hardest thing to release in any circumstance is control. When I was diagnosed just 2 months ago, I immediately proclaimed that my God is great, mighty, and faithful. I began the battle with cancer. I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Three weeks into treatment, I met with my oncologists. He told me that we were "cruising right along." Bouncing out of the cancer center, I repeated those words - why they had a musical ring to them. "Cruising right along..." Sounds good doesn't it. We were right on track. Less than 12 hours later, things came to a screeching halt. I had a rough night, resulting in a late night call to Doc. The next day, treatments were postponed and I spent the week receiving fluids all day, each day in his office. I was pretty dehydrated and my blood pressure decided to hang out between 70/30 and 60/30. Doc didn't like this and was determined to get it higher. Low blood pressure is not unusual for me, but oncologists aren't very accepting of these numbers when it comes to sending their patients home. After this week, I figured that SURELY I would resume treatments the next. Not so fast. Friday night found us at the ER with a fever and infection. Sunday brought complete chaos. Stephen was sick. Two of the boys had the flu, one was recovering from croup/bronchitis/asthma stuff. I again had complications and was sent to the ER. This time, I was offered a 3 day, 2 night stay on the 7th floor of Gadsden Regional Medical Center. Yippee. Christmas was coming. My entire family was sick. My treatments were off schedule. I am in the hospital. What had happened? I was doing so well. I was fighting the cancer, and when I got tired  -- I let God take over. Yes, I was trying to fight, then letting God handle it when I got tired. He was my backup. That my friends is a problem. God doesn't play backup. He doesn't sit the bench until I'm played out. HE is the one who was capable of fighting this battle. I could do nothing. The two week hiatus provided me with lots of thinking time. God revealed to me that I had not let go of the control in this battle. I was still trying to play Commander in Chief of the cancer battle. He quietly reminded me of Gideon, Joseph, Esther, Jacob, Mary, and countless others from His Word. So many times He had proven Himself capable of fighting the battle. In the hospital bed, by myself, I handed over the control. I truly began to fall at His feet in complete surrender. Since then, He has not been my backup. He's the one and only. I'm His servant, doing what He calls me to do on a daily basis. It was then that I also began to honestly live on a day to day basis. Remembering that I cannot borrow from yesterday, it has already passed. Tomorrow is not promised to me. I only have today.
Things changed. I can't explain it all, I just haven't found the words. I knew He was capable all the time, I just had not let go of the control. Turns out, He was in control all of the time. My stubborn spirit had to learn not to attempt overthrowing Him. He is the Great Physician. Why in the world would I not let him have complete control from the beginning? Why would I try to handle more than one day at a time? Even He took creation one day at a time.
Each day, He has provided me with a new, refreshing peace that washes over my soul. Difficult moments have come, but none can take His peace away.
Each day, He has been in control of my treatments. Chemo and radiation are no good to me if He does not guide each drop of chemo and each radiation beam.
Each day, He has poured mercy and grace to cover my every need.
Each day, He has placed many of His faithful children in my path with encouraging words, meals, gifts of love that bless my heart.
Each day, He has held me in the palm of His hand.
Each day, the adversary has attempted to steal these things. For he always attempts steal and destroy what our Father is doing. With my Savior's help, I will strive to fight back against satan and his attacks. For, our God is faithful. He is victorious. He is the king of Kings. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess His name.
I have found myself complaining from time to time. Fact: I don't like pain, discomfort, or inconvenience. Well, this entire experience has been painful, full of discomfort, and just downright inconvenient. As I was listening to something - I can't remember what - Philippians 2:14-16 became a topic of discussion. It really hit home, reminding me that no matter what, my attitude should be full of praise and thankfulness toward God.

Philippians 2
v 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
v 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
v 15 that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
v 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

I don't know about you, but it humbles me to know that God choose to work in me. Pain, discomfort, inconvenience -- I guess it's worth it if God can use me. What an honor to be part of His plan.

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