I keep seeing all these ads that say “Take charge of your life in 2017!” or “Make 2017 your best year yet!” That fired me up. I was ready to do just that – to make it the best year ever. I really started to believe for a second that I had some semblance of control over my future.
Then I spent a week in a hurricane.
Each day brought something completely out of my control. Holding it all together felt like trying to keep the waters of a lake completely still as the rain clouds roll in.
CONTROL OF LIFE.
Recently, my husband experienced dizziness, migraines, tightness in his chest, and labored breathing. This resulted in a trip to the hospital and four tumultuous days of lab work, questions, and very little appetite.
When the news came back that this wasn’t something deeply serious, but treatable with medication and changes in daily habits, we were clinging to our relief.
Spending four days wondering if my husband would grow old with me reminded me of how very little control I have over life.
CONTROL OF HEALTH.
A few days later, our 2-year-old developed the worst respiratory virus + ear infection combo I’ve ever seen firsthand. Each day, his fever fluctuated between 99.0 to 104.8.
Guess how in control I felt then?
God is good and our son started showing signs of recovery five days later, but this was one more reminder of the wonderful gift of health that I so often take for granted.
Clean drinking water, access to the best medicines, a warm home to protect us from the cold wintry winds. So many things for which to be grateful.
CONTROL OF THE FUTURE.
My grandmother always used to say, “What happens two times, happens three times.” We experienced our first major snowstorm this winter with white out conditions all across the region. These are some of the most hazardous driving conditions we face during a Midwestern winter.
Life must go on, though, and that resulted in my front-wheel drive, squash bug of a Hyundai landing in a ditch.
A spin out has got to be the ultimate example of losing control. It helped me realize this strained relationship I have with “control” is as fragile as frost on the petals of an October flower.
THE GOOD NEWS.
All of these frightening events came with a much happier ending than they could have. It made me realign my thoughts about 2017.
Rather than making 2017 my best year yet (which is impossible since I’m not God), I’m going to open myself to whatever God in store. Instead of clinging to my wishes and wants, I’m offering them to God, with an open heart.
Sure, I’d love to grow my business. Yeah, I’d love to attend a few business conferences. I’d love to get published. In fact, I’d love it if the only guarantee I was given was that my family would stay protected from any and all harm in 2017.
But I can’t have that guarantee because of the fallen world in which we live.
HOW I’M LETTING GO AND LETTING GOD
So, I’m going to cling to the promise that God is a good and loving Father who knows what He’s doing and hears my heart. Not only that, but I have His ultimate promise of being the caretaker of my soul long after my time on earth. Once the fog of “Best Year Ever” and “Must Control Own Destiny” started to lift, it became easier to be a little less concerned with income goals and home renovations and more concerned with:
- Spending more time in the Word
- Praying more
- Calling my friends
- Dating my husband
- Baking with my kids
- Unclenching my sometimes-anxious fists into open palms faced toward the heavens
As hard as this may be, my “new” New Year’s resolution is this:
I’m letting go and letting God have my 2017.
Here’s to a great year.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1 NIV
And call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will honor me. – Psalm 50:15 NIV