Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Control Freaks Rejoice!

A while back, I watched the documentary Pain Matters, which aired on the Discovery Channel. I had some rather interesting (and disturbing) reactions. The more I watched, the more upset I became.

Envying others

No two people experience chronic pain and/or fatigue exactly the same way. I would also venture to say that we all deal with our chronic illnesses differently. This is based on our physical and emotional makeup. Some people see things through "rose-colored glasses", but sometimes our lenses can get very dark.

As I watched the Pain Matters video, through my dark lenses, I found myself getting upset at the former pro hockey player who had the funds to access top medical care. I got upset at the woman who had the strength to swim laps and go on vacations. I got upset at the mom who said "don't talk about your pain". I had to admit that I envied their ability to regain some semblance of control in their lives.

Turning negatives to positives

At one point during the video, someone said they couldn't change the fact that they were living with chronic pain, but they could control how they managed it. I have heard this before, but never fully bought into it. I now know too much - both through medical and biblical channels - to be able to negate this truth.

Using my control freak powers for good, not evil

I used to be such a control freak. Let me rephrase that...

It has taken me a long time to understand that being a control freak is a very dysfunctional way of living. While control really is just an illusion (it's impossible to control every aspect of our lives), what if I could approach this God's way? I am the one who controls my thoughts, the words I speak, and the actions I take, BUT I need to remember that I am not doing this alone - I can rely on God's strength and power!

Helping others through our dysfunction

Because of what I have experienced through my own health issues, I want to help others by sharing what I have learned. However, I used to think that I had to have it all figured out before I could help anyone - that is a lie! God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). When people see what a mess we are, but that we still have hope, even if just a little, then prayerfully they can feel hopeful too!

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Are you fighting for control over your health, or life in general?  Would you be willing to learn how to let go of your fears and your need for control? What steps could you take today towards that goal?

13 "Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.