When have you said it?
Have you ever said it? What’s the Worst that Can Happen? When Doug asked the question a few weeks ago… I’m certain he wasn’t expecting an answer. And yet… I’ve spent untold time and energy imagining every possible worst scenario. In fact it was that phrase, “what’s the worst that can happen” that became the tie breaker for a very big scary decision.
Ian is flying to Iowa to visit his buddy Malik, TOMORROW. I welcome your prayers. What makes the decision scary is well…. lots of things. But for starters, Ian is flying solo, the first time since his brain injury. Navigating airports, especially O-hare and DFW, (he’ll get to experience both) can be stressful for even a seasoned traveler. Factor in, distract-ability, no short term memory, challenged by reading, careless, labored walk, one good hand, peripherally blind and wanting to appear as if none of those challenges are true. If a non-stop flight was possible, the decision would have been easier. But…. what’s the worst that can happen.
There is a famous quote…I think it is credited to Winnie the Pooh — “What if I fall? But oh my darling what if you fly?” Ironic isn’t it that I’m talking about plane travel for my handsome ginger.
Taking the bait
During several nights of interrupted sleep, God and I spent some extra time together. He gently asked me, “who’s got this, Debbie?” Without any awareness or intention, it turns out I had, yet again, taken the bait. I fell for the lie that if I grip tightly enough I can keep Ian safe. Grrrrrr.
The Irony of Surrender
God is gracious. He is eager to revisit those familiar truths over and over and over again as many times as it takes. In my time of remediation, I discovered, the irony. We access the power of God by surrender. It seems as if letting go is a weak move, but in actuality it is the most powerful, efficient, effective move possible. It gives the Almighty Creator, the omnipotent, omniscient, Lord of the universe, permission to act on our behalf. And God in His graciousness has been waiting patiently for this the whole time.
What in your life have you white knuckled? What burden have you picked back up again? Maybe it’s a wayward child, a scary health situation or perhaps your marriage. Maybe it’s as simple as an uncertain future. What is it that you’re holding onto so tightly and wondering why God seems idle.
In my time with the Lord, I was directed to Lamentations 3:29.
Lamentations 3:29 (MSG) When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself, enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
I’m pleased to report, hope has appeared. It did the instant I let go. It takes courage to release your grip. I get it. I say that as I’m looking squarely in the mirror. But here’s the thing. He won’t be outdone.
A little girl with Pearls
I heard a story once about a little girl who saved up her allowance to buy a string of pearls from the toy store. She adored her necklace. Her daddy tucked her in that night and asked if he could see them. With a big grin she showed him her pearls. Then he asked if he could have them. “I just got them daddy,” she said reluctantly. The next night he he asked again. And again the next night. Finally, after about five nights, the little girl who loved and trusted her daddy said, “well ok. I guess you can have my pearls.” And the moment she handed them over, he pulled out a REAL strand of pearls and gave them to her. “Sleep well, little one,” he said.
So it is for us when we release whatever it is we’re holding on to. The moment we do, He gifts us with abiding peace. Because, that is His nature. He is a good God and worthy of our trust.
Yes… I will be eager to get updates from my traveling ginger. But… he is firmly in the hands of the only one who can make a difference anyway.
P.S. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen?
Wendy W says
Congratulations on your ability to let him go! Prayers for a smooth trip and God’s help over any rough spots.
Thanks Wendy! I appreciate your prayers. 🙂
Deb Wakefield says
Letting them “fly” is the hardest thing ever! Letting go, letting them handle the unknown. I had difficulty with that for so many years. All I could do was to put my thoughts and my children in HIS hands. It did not make it any easier on me, but it gave me comfort to talk with HIM every day and ask for HIM to get me through this.
Safe travels for Ian. God will look out for Ian as well as you. Thoughts and prayers for Ian and you as Ian travels on his next journey. God Bless you both.
Indeed it is. I find that the head understands this readily. It’s the heart that trips me up time and time again. Thanks for chiming in especially in your victory!
Ann Brooks says
We will remember Ian in out prayers. Ann
Thank you Ann!
Peggy Hieber says
Debbie it is our human nature and the momma in us that makes some of us want to control or keep taking it back. I’m always relieved when I do give back the control the feeling is like a burden has lifted. God is so patience to wait on us…I’m sure he has a sense of humor too! Like you say God’s got this!
Yes Peggy… I agree whole heartedly. I too think God MUST have a sense of humor!
Karen S says
Thank you for this, Debbie, and your real life wisdom each week. This hit the mark on my heart this morning as I continue to wait for God’s timing with my husband. Surrender and waiting are so very hard. The Lamentations verse is a good comfort. Will be praying for Ian’s travel adventure!
Thanks friend! Surrender! A daily due diligence.
Berta Pitzer says
I, too, have struggled with letting go of issues and people in my life—just recently too! Praying for Ian to have a safe and successful trip. Love how you share and are transparent! May you continue to trust God, knowing he’s got this. It is so freeing, isn’t it?
It is freeing. And liberating too to realize remediation of basic truths is a fundamental part of our christian life! Thank God for His grace. Debbie
Betsy Everett says
Thank you for reminding me I don’t have to fix every conflict, to control every situation, to feel the need to explain myself and be understood. My heart aches every day with unresolved family conflicts. So to remember that I must surrender all to Him, is very hard. Wonderful, healing words. Thanks Debbie, as always! And we will pray for Ian.
Amen. Surrender isn’t one and done. Thank God for grace.
Anne Kole says
You are an amazing and typical mom, Debbie! I’ll keep Ian in my prayers. And he is as amazing as you are. It’s a new adventure for him and God’s got both of you! Thank you for sharing your faith and trust in the One who holds us all in his everlasting arms.
🙂 Thanks for your faithful encouragement!
Angela Frittontton says
Letting go and letting God take over has brought such peace in my life. I remember a few years ago on New Year’s Eve a dear friend asked everyone, “If you could sum up your up coming year into one word what would that word be?” I immediately said “give-up”. My friend looked at me very puzzled. Initially, that sounded like I was a quitter.
What I meant to say was I was letting go of trying to control everything in my life. The prior- year was filled anxst and struggle as I was dealing with a teenage daughter who thought she knew everything, yet was in a very foolish stage of life. The more I tried to “control” her the more she rebelled. Family life was tense and extremely frustrating. Finally, I just handed it over to God. I was exhausted. Letting go and allowing God to take over lead to a much more peaceful year.
God’s got Ian under his wing. And tomorrow he will soar on Eagles wings. Prayers for his safety and your confidence in God’s protection.
Thanks Angela. I appreciate your encouragement and testimony!
Laura Hobbs says
This is so helpful because right now we are selling our house. It has been on the market for 50 days and I’ve lived in constant conflict of, as you say “white knuckling” the situation – angry that I don’t have control over how fast our home gets sold or when. And combating that with trusting Him, keeping my hope and faith in His power and control over the details I cannot see. Some days I win and I hand it over to God, other days I fight my strong willed spirit to “do something” about it. In the end, like you said, God is patiently teaching me the same lesson over and over, to trust, to persevere, and to rest in his provision. Even though I am blind to how this situation will resolve I know He knows all the answers and in time He will reveal them to me. Thank you for your blog of encouragement to redirect my burdens and my focus!
I so appreciate you chiming in Laura. The bonus… I will pray for the sale of your house. 🙏
Tanna L. Cullen says
I benefit so much for your inspired, honest writing and from the other people’s comments. I also struggle sometimes with giving up the control and certainly am needing this reminder this week – nearly always in relationship to letting go with my adult children. God opened my eyes again about this issue with your writing. I wish I could express it as eloquently as you, but I was thinking today about that song that ends where “He is the Great I Am,” and it made me think that when it comes to control, I can think that He is the Great God’s Got This God.
He is indeed. It has a ring Tanna! Thanks for letting me know of my writing’s impact. That makes it worth it!
Debra Harbaugh says
I have been in both airports and yes….they are HUGE! However, there are boards he can look at to find his way and possibly ask his fellow travelers where he is to go. He will be fine and if he misses the connection he can go to a counter and get rebooked for a later flight! That is what I had to do when I came back from France, with the plane being late and we had only 10 minutes to go through security again. I of course forgot to take off my belt so they had to do a pat down and I missed the plane! Now what? I got rebooked for another flight on the other side of DFW air port about 2 hours later. I had a stand by ticket and if that did not work the back up plan was to take a plain to Santa Fe, rent a car and drive to the airport to get my luggage, and return the car the next day when I had time to arrange a ride from my friends! However, that did not happen. So do not worry , as we all know God has this and your boy will be okay!
All my love,
Dr. Ify Achusim says
Always be still and know that “I am God”. It is well God is always in control!
I know. Still my heart can run off course. Even when I know the truth. Hourly vigilance.