Walking in the Dark: Control

I am a servant to my illness or God is in Control? Release control of your life, your situation, and your battle with illness over to God.

Control. Isn’t it something we all strive to maintain? Whether it is over your children, your finances, your employees, your job, your health, your future. When our life seems out of control it can seem as though we are walking in the dark, we are so overtaken by the things or situations in our life we struggle to see where we are going and an end.

There are those of us that are perfectionists and control freaks who are impacted more by this need for control, we thrive on having control, organization, plans, and everything being perfect and in alignment in our lives.

I am one of those people. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness two years ago made this trait and desire of living very difficult. Having a chronic illness affected my desire for control and planning of my day to day life. It affected my desire for perfection in school, getting straight A’s. It affected my desired plan for highschool. It affected my desired plan for my future.

Chronic illness has unpredictable symptoms and hard to manage symptoms; you can be fine one minute and the next minute be experiencing flare symptoms. Having a disease like this means you don’t know how you will feel day to day and especially not week to week. This makes it very difficult to plan ahead. You have to learn to live in the moment and be flexible, and not be hard on yourself when you don’t get something done or have to push something back.

I was diagnosed with a Chronic Illness my junior year of high school. My plans to play basketball all four years of high school were canceled, I wasn’t healthy enough to play. My plans to go to Homecoming and Prom were canceled, I was new to my symptoms and managing them and couldn’t have the confirmation I would be ok and didn’t want to cancel at the last minute.

My college plans were affected too. Just this year my plans to attend college for four years were changed with unexpected flares landing me in the hospital twice and causing me to have to take a leave of absence for the spring semester.

My perfectionistic desires from high school into college to get straight A’s had to go, I had to place my health and wellbeing above a grade that won’t matter a whole lot in the future. I didn’t fail classes by any means but I realized the insignificance of my grades to my life and my future.

I struggled through these instances wanting to have control when simply I couldn’t and I still do. It is extremely frustrating to have so much of your life out of your control, you feel controlled and bound by your illness or situation. I felt as though I was in the dark blindly following my illness, having no control and not knowing what the next hour, day, or week would bring. However, something I learned is I can live my life with one of two mindsets; I am a servant to my illness/situation or God is in control. When I live life with the mindset I am a servant to my illness that is a miserable life, one of frustration, anger, doubt, and resentment. But when I live a life with the mindset that God is in control that is a full life, one of security, peace, forgiveness, and comfort.

While we may not have control over our life or understand what is happening to us, why it is happening to us, why we have to miss out on things; we can trust the one who is in control, God. It is hard to live life in a world that is broken and unpredictable and a life with an illness and try to control everything around us, things important to us, and the things that happen to us, but when we give them to God and our life to God and let him be in control we experience peace.

With God in control your priorities begin to change, you put heavenly things first instead of worldly things. You don’t have to stress about school, your job, your health when you give God control over all things in your life. Getting a bad grade doesn’t matter as much because it doesn’t affect God’s purpose for your life. Missing out on things makes you appreciate the things you do get to be a part of, it makes you resilient, and you realize God sees and recognizes you and you don’t need the world to recognize you.

God has a greater plan for our life than we could ever comprehend or imagine. The milestone experiences in our life homecoming, prom, high school graduation, college graduation while they are full of memories don’t contribute to God’s plan for our life. While it is important to grieve the loss of experiences that we missed out on, we must refocus our eyes on God and he will heal the wounds of the things we have lost and strength and grow us to be better followers of him.

Verses:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

“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”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”

Isaiah 41:10

Heavenly Father,

I pray for the person reading this right now, I pray that they surrender all control of all things in their life and their situation to you. I pray that you would strengthen them and provide them with a peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that they know that you have a plan and purpose for their life. While what they are going through right now is hard and they are grieving and feel as though they are lost and are uncertain of what will happen next they can trust in you and you will provide. I pray they know you have a great and unimaginable plan for them and their life, this is not the end, there is so much more for them. I pray you fill them with your presence today, fill them with strength, comfort, and peace. AMEN.

Originally published at on June 22, 2020.

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Shannon Dingey

20. Christian. Faith. Chronic Illness-Systemic Mastocytosis. Grief. Anxiety. Encouragement for others battling life threatening or chronic illnesses.