Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
TITLE: When All Else Fails Let God
By Anne Harrell
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This past summer, our church gave us a vacation at one of Joni and Friends Retreats in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Their theme last year was Christmas. When we first got the confirmations in the mail, I was upset about having Christmas. Christmas has been a struggle for me since our daughter died on January 1, 1997. I was dreadfully nervous since I feared the season bringing unpleasant memories to recollection. I was apprehensive of going to the retreat and not being able to handle the stresses. I felt like I was undisciplined over the circumstances.
During the week prior to the retreat, our children’s doctor told me “to go to this retreat open minded, willing to let God assume responsibility of the situation, and see what happens when God has control.” Being jittery, I hesitantly agreed to go open-minded, letting go of the control I wanted over my self, and let God have power over me. When we arrived at the retreat, I was a bundle of nerves, fit to be tied. Yet, as the first evening came on, I was starting to ease up and see that God was taking control and showing me a time of my life.
As the week went on, I notice that I was extremely calm, and sense tranquility over me that only God could put there. The peace that my family had during that week would have never dreamed what was going to happen at the end of the week that would threaten my husband’s life. Our lives had been shattered in a matter of seconds, with out any warning. No one in the family saw any warning signs, which would indicate that Richard, our autistic son was going to turn violent and out of control. My family had quickly become unmanageable, where other people had to restrain Richard to get him off his dad.
With Mark being on blood thinners for his heart, Richard attacking Mark was not the ideal thing to do. Mark’s blood thinner being unmanaged well caused him to bleed profusely, causing cardiac problems that threaten his life. Mark had to be air lifted to a hospital two hours from the retreat center. The emotions going through me from the catastrophe were so below par, that I had to step back and let Joni and Friends staff to take care of the crises. I could not have asked any better people to be in charge of the state of affairs, which were in a disarray condition, then the ones at Joni and Friends. Their prayers and wisdom was so comforting and assuring, they were completely in control and acted swiftly in the time of need.
With Mark’s condition being unstable, I felt as if what ever I did, it was not going to be good enough. I knew then that it was time for me to let go and let God be my guide and strength. That it was time I just sit back and let God take control of my family, my husband, and most of all my self. Then right when I let go and let God take control of the situation, I felt the burdens be lifted off my shoulders, and the weights go from me to the ground. God was my comforter and strength in a very time of need. The lord was going to get me through the next couple of weeks of uncertainly. What peace I had, when I stepped back; and let God have complete control of my life. I could not have done it without God, on my side those two weeks.
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