I approached with trepidation in my mind. Was this safe? Could I trust that it would all be OK?  Could I even do this?

Breathe . . . Climb up on the seat . . . Hold on tightly . . . Protest loudly when it is too high or too fast . . .

As a little girl, I was so scared of the teeter-totter.  It went way too high, way too fast, and dropped down hard at the bottom. I had two slightly older cousins who found great joy in scaring me as we rode it. I, on the other hand, annoyed them to no end constantly tattling about all the things they did wrong to our parents. Now don’t get me wrong, they were naughty, and they know it! 

At family gatherings, we always end up talking about how we acted as small children.  We all laugh as we remember times at Grandma’s house making mud pies, climbing the horsey tree, playing wedding, and riding the teeter-totter. They were my best friends, even if they picked on whiny, little me—often.

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I remember clearly thinking that if they would just let me on at the bottom, then only go up to a level position, I would be OK. I could control that. It was slow, low, and easy-going back down to the bottom again. The problem was it was boring.  They did not enjoy the half ride. I probably did not either.

But my fear kept me captive to the safe part of playing on a teeter-totter.

Climb on . . .

Hang on tight . . .

Start rising in the air as my stomach rises in my chest . . .

Safely in the middle position . . .

Ready to start my descent . . .

Wait!  Don’t go higher . . .

Tears start to form, and I yell, “I am telling!”

Heading back to the ground . . .

Way too fast! BUMP.

“I am telling! You all are mean!” 

Heading to the house to find an adult who would lend a sympathetic ear . . .

Missing out as the ride starts again.

This scene was played out frequently in my childhood. I didn’t want to be whiny, but I lived with so much fear. I didn’t want to miss out on the fun, but the risk was too great. I didn’t want to make others mad at me, but I had to protect myself. I could not trust anyone else to look out for me. Trust is a big issue in life, isn’t it? 

For so many years of my adult life, I have tried to control things. 

My surroundings, my children, yes, (head hanging low) even my husband. However, the more I tried to control things, the less control I felt. The more the people in my life had their own ideas, dreams, and ambitions (as they rightly should), the greater the feelings of being out of control. As the fear started to rise, so did my anxiety level, and then . . . 

One summer day, when life already seemed so full and taxing, a simple sentence destroyed any sense of control I ever felt.

“I’m sorry it looks like your daughter has cancer.”

Nine words offered with a sympathetic glance removed any thoughts I had about who was in control of my life. It was not me! Now my life and my daughter’s life were at the mercy of a wretched illness, a team of doctors, and ultimately the Lord. I had to learn to stand with open palms, admitting that I could not fix this. I could not direct the outcome, I could only trust that the One who sees far more than me could handle it.

RELATED: Cancer Opened the Door To Faith

This trusting came with submitting to the thought Not my will but thine, oh Lord.

I had to decide if I would love and serve Him even if the outcome was not what we had prayed for. 

Could I walk the path of a bereaved mama? Could I speak the words of God’s faithfulness after loss? Could I believe that even this great sorrow could be used for his glory? Could I trust Jesus, not just as my salvation, but as my strength, too?

Although we never arrive at complete surrender on this side of Heaven, I do daily try to die to my selfishness and control issues. I do look to Christ hoping to walk where He sends me. I want to step outside my fear and enjoy this ride called life. I want to be willing to trust the whole way to the top and then be willing to hang on tightly to Jesus for my security on the way back down. 

Hang on tight . . .

Start rising in the air as I call out to Jesus . . .

Safely in the middle position . . .

Ready to start my descent . . .

Lord, I need your strength . . .

Tears start to form, and I pray, Not my will but thine . . .

Heading back to the ground . . .

I’m clinging to you tightly, Lord! BUMP.

Show me how this can work to your glory Lord!

Resting in Him, as only He can make beauty from the ash of my broken life . . .

Willingly starting the ride again . . .

Trusting daily.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Courtney Mount

Millie's Mama, Courtney Mount became an author when Millie was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in the summer of 2019. She is a Christian wife and homeschooling mother to nine children. She and her husband live on an 80-acre hobby farm where they enjoy playing with the kids and grandchildren. Courtney blogs on Millie's Miracle FB page along with being featured in GLife magazine, on the "Better Together" podcast, and numerous news broadcast media. She is currently writing a book about embracing Millie's Miracle that brought healing from cancer in heaven.  Her future goals are to publish a children's storybook line featuring Millie's adventures.