a bit of a control freak

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I pick up my feet, one flip flop at a time and  shuffle into the Urgent Care–the mask of defeat turning the corners of my mouth into a grimace.
 
The front desk nurse giggles, “You two again?”
 
“Yep.  It’s me. Again.”
 
I give a weak “he hee” and slink over to the chair to wait.
 
I feel the weight of people’s stares.  “Who is this lady who doesn’t  need to fill out paper work because they already have her kid’s file on hand?  Is it time to call Social Services?”
 
“Uncle, Uncle Uncle,” my heart cries.  I look to the mirror hanging on the sterile white wall half expecting to see a big “L” for Loser on my head. 
 
 And I try to remember that God is here and IN CONTROL.
 
It’s been a struggle lately.
 
It all started a few Sundays ago on the playground at church.
 
Little feet running too fast, slippery ground, then the crack, hard, against the concrete.  Curling sceams.  Boy writhing on the ground.  I run to help the child.  I ask his siblings for help. 
 
Find his mom!  Find his dad! Yet they ignore me.  He’ll get over it they say and go back to playing.  I get angry. 
 
More than angry.  I’m fuming.  
 
Eventually, I find the parents but  they turn on me, question me  and blow off the incident.  The child looks at me, still holding his head, big lump forming.   They don’t care.  His sad eyes meet mine.
 
I am helpless.  He is not my child.
 
I cried all day.
 
A few days later I tentatively share with my bible study group how it impacted me.
 
“Why does this hurt so much?” they inquire–peeling back the onion layers of my complicated heart.
 
I burst out to the group, “Because no one on my watch is allowed to get sick or injured or die! Got it!”
 
And as I speak the words out loud, I see the brokeness in my thinking. 
 
I think of the dad, “Shaw” in the movie Footloose who loses his son and then won’t let the kids in town dance anymore.
 
I’m Shaw.  Oh crap, I don’t want to be Shaw!”
 
But it’s true, I want to put everyone I love in a bubble and keep them safe.
 
Epiphany hits. Exhale. Big whoosh…
 
And the girls laugh along with me as tears  leak out of my eyes and I surrender, once more.
 
God forgive me.  Forgive me for trying to be you.
 
I am not in control.  Not of the big things or the little things or of ANY things.
 
And I mentally dump the bucket of control I’ve been precariously balancing for too long.  I pour it out and lay it down at His feet.
 
It feels good to drop this heavy load  I was never intended to carry.
 
Release me Lord. Deliver Me.
 
And he does. 
 
But not in the way I want or expect.
 
He releases me to utter chaos–to more hospitals and doctors.  The things I fear most…
 
The call from football practice–your son is injured. Lot’s of blood-he needs stitches.  The hacking coughs at night–all three kids go down.
 
Another leg injury from football, then my daughter slams her arm in a door.  Mouth sores appear in the kids. My husband get’s sick with a full load of work.
 
Do you trust me? God whispers.
 
They call our name.  I stand and grab my kid and we walk to see the doctor…again. 
 
But this time, they welcome us with smiles.  They know our name.
 
And I trust you are here God, even in this crazy mess.
 
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. -Job 12:10

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