I’m happy to welcome my friend, author Carrye Burr to the #BeBoldGirl series today. Carrye shares how a diagnosis allowed her to surrender control and find bravery. Welcome, Carrye! After reading, scroll all the way to the bottom and leave Carrye a comment.
“Hey God, could you please give me a chronic illness so I’d have more faith and stop being a control freak?”
Would you ever pray something like that? Me either. If I’m honest, many of my prayers revolve around God keeping everyone safe and healthy so I can get back to being in control.
“God, during road trips, keep us from running out of gas with no coffee nearby; heal my children’s pitiful coughs and fevers; let my husband to keep his job; and make me patient…right now.”
What about you?
It’s like we buy into this lie that we can basically control how our lives go with some hard work, a little people-pleasing, and an occasional prayer when we’re in a teensy pinch.
“Thanks for the help, God, I’ll take it from here!”
We’re not completely naive, of course; we know we can’t control everything. If I thought I was in control before my three kids, they’ve since shattered that illusion. I can’t control the decor in my home because no sooner do I paint a room than my ninja three year old adds his own artistic expression via marker. Also my kids never seem to align their tantrums or meltdowns with whatever schedule I have planned for the day.
No control there.
I’ve falsely believed that even if we can’t control everything, brave women are at least supposed to take life’s lemons and chaos and whip them into some spectacular lemonade. We feel responsible to fix and glue and make things happen.
We don’t realize what it means to be brave until we’re faced with something that we truly can’t control by trying harder, paying more, or covering over with another coat of paint.
Which brings me back to that chronic disease I didn’t pray for: I was twenty-three with a new baby when my doctor called with unhappy blood-work results.
He diagnosed me with type-1 diabetes, which meant I’d need an insulin pump or shots the rest of my life. Diabetes would dictate what I ate, how I exercised, and how I might grow my family, all while draining our finances.
It wasn’t cancer. It wasn’t the end of my world. But it was very much the end of my perceived control of my life. I couldn’t figure out how to make lemonade out of that.
Have you ever felt anxiety creep uninvited into the corners of your life?
For me it invaded simple moments like taking walks with my kids or grocery shopping, traveling and meals. Anxiety picked up where my control ended.
Before diabetes I could choose when I wanted to trust someone else or ask for help. I could be brave on my terms when I was confident in the outcome. I could be everyone else’s “fixer.”
How could I be brave or strong when all the rules to my game changed unexpectedly?
Yet in that seemingly dark place of wrestling and prayer, I gradually found powerful hope. When all I could do was cry out to God, I discovered that He was surprisingly strong in my weakness and present in my suffering.
Some of the most beautiful things in my life have grown in the fertile soil where God meets me at the end of my control. I don’t always understand and I still struggle to trust. Yet I grow bolder not by reclaiming control, but in knowing I’m not alone. I find courage knowing that though my circumstances change, God never will.
What situations are threatening to steal your courage by eroding your control?
We wouldn’t need to be brave if we could control everything. The bravest thing we can do is choose faith in our weakest moments and believe that God is stronger. That’s bold.
I don’t know all the scars on your soul or burdens that you’re carrying. But I imagine that, like me, you’ve taken at least a couple trips to the end of your control.
My sincerest hope is that you know you’re not alone, and that your weak and broken moments point you to a God who can carry you in any situation and make masterpieces precisely at the end of your control.
Carrye is an extrovert pastor’s daughter who grew up and married an introvert architect. They have three kids, through birth and adoption. She likes to write and sing. She finds herself daily learning to let God show her a different way to live…a way that asks her to give up the world to find something better than the world could ever give. You can find Carrye at her website and on Facebook.
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Sometimes, I think the worst disease we have as women is people pleasing, and I am glad as He is in control.
This is so true, Rebecca! People pleasing has plagued me far too long and I agree that simply knowing God and resting in His control frees us to live abundantly outside of the worries of what people think. Thanks for sharing!
As a recovering control freak, I can relate well to your words, Carrye! Thank you for being transparent and reminding me that surrendering IS being brave!
I’m glad to know I’m not alone, Crystal! I’ll probably always be a “recovering” control freak to some extent…but when I look back I can see the beauty in letting go. I’m grateful there’s so much grace for our imperfect journeys! 🙂
Rachel, I haven’t visited your place for a while, so I’m behind on this series, but happy to read Carrye’s story today.
And thank you, Carrye, for this encouragement. I struggle with letting go of things, and I agree that handing things over to God — no strings attached — is truly an act of brave faith!
Hello Michele! May God reveal so much more of Himself to us both as we learn to let go and let Him take over. Thanks for commenting, and blessings to you on your journey with Him!
Thanks, Michele. I’m excited because the #BeBoldGirl series has really taken off in 2018 and I can’t wait to see what God will do through the stories being shared. All the glory is to Him.
I have had seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy in my twenties. Every bad or weird feeling I had would give me anxiety for years, and the medicine makes anxiety worse. God knows I want control and that surrender is tough, but He brings me back to Him every time! I can’t imagine what people do who aren’t Christians.
Oh Sarah…though I can’t fully know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, I sympathize with you in your journey. I have low-grade anxiety about many things on a normal basis, and anytime my glucose numbers dip low it mimics a feeling of panic which usually causes actual panic. Sometimes I feel like no one understands and that feeling of isolation can create anxiety too. I agree…if I didn’t have my God to hold onto I don’t know what I’d do. Do you have any advice for ways you turn to God in the middle of that anxiety?
I can so relate to this! I have had type 1 diabetes for 20 years now, which means quite a few years of trying to be on top of my diabetes and take care of my health. I definitely have the tendency to try control everything — and I always fail at it, of course. This is a beautiful way of looking at surrender, though. It’s easy to look at surrendering and feel the challenge of it. Yet it somehow makes it seem easier when I think that I can grow and have more courage. Thank you for sharing this, Carrye!
You’re welcome, Ronja! Whenever I meet type 1s I always want to sit and talk for hours (and probably cry a little) over all the things that make up a diabetic life. My default is still control as well, but aside from teaching me to rely on God more, diabetes ultimately lead me to adopt, and it drives me to live fully knowing that life isn’t something to take for granted. I hope you continue to find Him in your journey, and that as you look back over your life you can see the beauty He has woven in the brokenness.