A lesson that I have been learning lately is letting go.
Letting go of control.
Several weeks ago I would have told you that my life was orderly, yes chaotic at times, but over all controlled.
We had schedules, and routine. We had places to go, people to see and agendas to meet. We had meetings and meets. We had appointments and practices and competitions. We had work, dates and play dates for our children. Life was packed-full, orderly and controlled.
And then it wasn't.
Over a year ago I was reading in the news of the prediction of a pandemic. Being a nurse, this well articulated article by a well referenced source struck me. I felt unsettled. A pandemic? I remember thinking, how can one properly prepare for a pandemic when we do not know what it will be. This feeling stayed with me. How can we prepare to fight what we do not know is coming? Life went on for me. But I have not forgotten that article.
That pandemic did come and it shattered our schedules, our plans, our routines, our agendas. It shut down our schools and universities. It shut down most things. It continues to shatter finances. It has taken countless lives in loneliness and isolation. It has left families without closure because they cannot say good bye to their loved ones as they are dying in the hospital. It has shattered our control and left it like a broken mirror.
What I am learning is that I was never in control. When life is smooth, we feel that we are doing a great job. And in essence, we generally do our best and work hard. But control is a perception. I started reflecting on this. What do I really have control over? If I honestly dig deep and think about it, the answer that comes up is myself. I can control my thoughts and my actions. Reactions are sometimes involuntary, but I do control how I choose to respond. I may set the agenda and plans for our home, but ultimately it is not me who controls the outcome.
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9
Social distancing was not a phrase I had ever heard before the coronavirus. Now it is a common household word that even our young daughters use and understand. Our large dry-erase family calendar which was once full, now stands empty. It is in our kitchen and is a daily reminder that life can change in a moment. That 'control' can change in a moment and leave us feeling lost and disorientated. Never would I have believed that our schools would be shut down and that I would be homeschooling our daughters three different grade levels. So whether I resist the entire change in social order or embrace it, life goes on and I am only in control of me and my attitude. I have chosen to embrace that this is life as we know it. Letting go of my grip on 'control' is freedom. You are not in control, neither am I. We quite simply aren't that powerful. As a Christian, I serve the God who is in control and who is that powerful.
In times of world chaos we are reminded that we are quite powerless. Our nations call out in desperate prayer to God, even if at other times in our lives that is not our
practice. We pray and beg God for help and healing.
God is the one true source of hope, healing, power and control.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or [disaster] calamity or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?...No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ Jesus who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't
The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.-Romans 9:35-39
That is our source of hope!