The title of this blog is a complete oxymoron, but there’s good reason. Let me explain…
In my mind, I feel the need to control every situation for Reagan. Who am I going to let be around her…who have THOSE people been around…and so on and so forth. You would call that a tight grip, a short leash, neurotic maybe, if she didn’t have the GA-1 diagnosis and I didn’t have a good reason for it.
But recently a dear friend from college, Denise, asked if she could stay with Rob and I for the weekend. We’ve always offered our place before, and now…she’s taking us up on it. Whoa. That’s my first thought.
Denise: Do you mind if I stay with you this weekend while I’m in Orlando?
My internal thoughts: [Um…oh wow, are we ready for that? Who’s Denise been around…how do I answer this nicely? Can I question her past few days of people interaction without sounding like I’m giving an interrogation].
Me: Let me ask Rob.
As I chatted with Rob and told him my fears, he calmly reminds me that we can’t live in fear. Our Dr.’s remind us that we can’t live in a bubble…I keep asking myself why we can’t do that…even though I’m an extreme extrovert, I can make this sacrifice. But the thing is, it’s just not possible. Reagan needs to experience LIFE, like a normal baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult, etc. God knew what he was doing when He put our family together.
My thoughts continue to wander…every night when I pray for Reagan, I pray that God protects her. And recently I realized, am I really trusting God if I pray for Him to protect her and yet, I try to keep my grip on every circumstance and scenario that presents itself to us? The reality is that I’m not trusting God to protect her. Yes, I need to be cautious, but at some point, I have to loosen my grip to try and control EVERYTHING and start trusting God for her safety. Guess who controls everything? Not me. That’d be God. And I can’t think of anyone else who wants the very best for Reagan than the One who created her.
This impromptu houseguest is something that is helping me 1) realize my fears and also that I’m doubting God and 2) it’s giving me the opportunity to face my fears and trust God.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
In all my decisions surrounding Reagan, it’s a ripple effect in my mind…if I do this, how will that affect her…if I go here, what if this happens? If I bring her to that, what if something unexpected that I didn’t plan for arises? … and on and on and on.
I was reminded recently that even if I try and I think of all possible scenarios, I can’t predict what will happen.
Case and point: My recent mall trip to return one item and exchange another. I thought, I can bring Reagan, I can do this, and I’ll be fast, 30 minutes in the mall tops. Plus, I can fool her…I’ll put a night time diaper on her, those hold so much pee, she won’t even know if she has a wet diaper. I’m such a GENIUS! Bonus: Reagan has already pooped like three times today, there is NO WAY she has more in there. I’ll feed her before I go, but still take some food just in case, and she should be totally fine. I’ve accounted for everything...
Well, the screaming started about 15 minutes in…OK, I’ll hold you for a little bit before we go to the next store. Now let’s go in your stroller…oh, you want to scream the entire way? Maybe you’re hungry…let’s stop at Starbucks and get hot water to heat up your food. Ahhh…I figured it out, you were hungry, small delay in my expected 30-minute mall trip, but no big deal. Now you’re fed, let’s press on. Did you not get enough food…b/c now you’re screaming in Baby Gap and I’m not quite sure why. Also, there’s a strange lady trying to touch your arm as if she can soothe you.
Ok, let’s power walk to the car…and while we’re on our way, let’s tell the mall about the new octave you learned about in your voice! WOW! I am now on the receiving end of those people who give dirty looks to those parents who have screaming babies…(disclaimer: I am also one of those people, see above)…if I could have given myself a dirty look, I would have. Instead, I gave everyone else a dirty look to MOVE! GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! I’m trying to get out of here…my baby is fed, she has a night time diaper on, and there is NO WAY she has pooped in that night time diaper, she’s just cranky, OK?!!?!
Whew…finally in the car, luckily my mom was in attendance, and also a witness to the crazy in case you want to pepper her with questions for a good laugh, and she helped to soothe Reagan while in the car.
Back home, I decide to change her…well, what do you know. POOP! Do you see my problem? I was clinging to MY pre-determined expectations and MY wanting to control the situation and I gave no room for any deviation to MY plans. Except, I have this one constant variable…my daughter, and I can’t control what she does.
I keep learning this lesson. God keeps putting me in these situations and I realize, I can’t control everything…or anything really…other than my reaction to what I’m presented with.
So this weekend, my friend Denise stayed with me…and we hung out with Reagan, I even let her hold her. Please don’t be mad if I’ve delayed giving you the joy of holding Ray Ray, just love this precious pic below like I do…
I love Denise, she always encourages me, challenges me and makes me want to strengthen my walk with the Lord. We had such a fun time…she joined me to show a property, we cruised around UCF and briefly took in a bar mitzvah (but seriously, we did…Congrats Nick, we’re all sooo proud of you!!)
And before she left, she shared a verse that gave me major perspective and further cemented that I am not in control of anything…
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
And there you have it…God does what he pleases, and God is good, I’ll keep working to loosen my grip.