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.