Ok. I will be honest. I worry. A lot. Personality-wise, I would definitely consider myself a perfectionist and an almost type-A personality. I like having a plan. I like structure. To-do lists work well for me.
Sometimes life doesn’t work out that way. Especially with a chronic illness. In finding my new normal, this has been the hardest adjustment for me personally. I like planning and I like to do things myself. I’m pretty stubborn about it too. Once in taking a grief and loss class in seminary, we took a survey of what factors regarding death affect us the most. Some of the questions revolved around topics such as the thought of being in the ground or cremated, the question of the afterlife, or the loss of independence. It was easy to see that my independence is something very high on my life and its definitely not something I want to give up anytime soon. So chronic illness and I are in a seemingly unending battle over it.
So it has been a learning process. I can plan but I have to allow myself to let go of the plan if my body needs a break. I have to allow the dishes to be left undone if my time is needed elsewhere. It has been so hard to adjust but I think that in the last 5 years I have really made progress and have learned to relax and give myself permission to say no.
And then the last diagnosis came. Since then I swear it feels like I have unraveled. My anxiety levels are so much higher. I feel like I am in less control of my emotions. The slightest thing puts me over the edge. Almost to the point where I’ve considered calling my doctor. But then I stopped to ask myself some questions. Why am I so anxious? What am I worried about? Of course I had a long list of answers (in the form of questions) to these questions – is this my last diagnosis? what if they were wrong? what is it going to be next time?
Then I asked myself this question – Who is in control? Definitely not me! But what a reminder of WHO is! God is in control and has a plan which includes hope and prosperity so why should I be anxious? Am I going to have questions about my health and illness from time to time? Absolutely. But why should I let the anxiety steal my joy? God’s word is full of promises that can allow us to be free from the burdens of worry and anxiety and trust that He is God. Here are a few of my favorites: