I AM OUT OF CONTROL

When we lived in Morocco, every single day felt like a monumental challenge. It certainly wasn’t because of the people (they were incredibly kind, generous and welcoming). The challenge primarily came from being so out of place – so keenly aware we were foreigners and didn’t have much sense on how to navigate an alien nation. Simple things like retrieving cash from an ATM, adding minutes to our cell phones (no iphones there), getting groceries, visiting the orthodontist, buying underwear, paying bills, etc., etc. were all accomplished so differently from what we were used to they’d suck us dry of time, energy, and brain space. The language barrier also played a part (we often complained of headaches in the evening from speaking French all day long).

For example, we had to pay our utility bills in person in the nearby village. Payments had to be in cash, in an envelope, in the exact amount. If you forgot the envelope or needed even 10 dirhams back, they’d refuse the payment. If you couldn’t say your address clearly in either Arabic or French, they couldn’t process your payment. Some days the office was closed (for no apparent reason) so it was a crap shoot if you’d be able to make your payment or not. It was an enormous headache (quite different than having your bills electronically paid each month…)

Because life was so hard in Morocco, I was immediately stripped of cockiness and confidence. I quickly learned how incredibly incapable, insufficient, and dependent I was. I had NO CONTROL.

We had only been their a few weeks when I woke up one morning paralyzed by fear. I couldn’t imagine getting out of bed and facing the day – there was just so much unfamiliarity and overwhelming newness bombarding me each day, I was beyond exhausted and discouraged. I remember thinking, “I don’t even want to swing my legs over the side of this bed because when my feet hit the ground, there’s no turning back.” So I cried out to God and said, “I can’t do this without you, God. I can’t even let my feet hit the floor until I know you’ve got me completely covered. Help me, God. Help me.”

And every morning, for four years, before arising each morning, I said that little prayer. It’s the only way I dared to start the day. I could have never survived Morocco without that prayer.

Sadly, we had only been living back in Michigan for a few weeks when I realized I had ceased that morning practice. In America, it was just so easy to accomplish everything and I could do it all on my own. In America, I’m confident, self-sufficient, capable and energized. Simply getting money from the ATM is a no-brainer and I use NO brain space whatsoever. The same is true for the doctor’s office, grocery shopping, talking to the neighbors, and parent/teacher conferences. Life’s so simple, uncomplicated and easy back in America, it’s almost as if I don’t need a God anymore.

So it’s no wonder I stopped inviting God into my day before swinging my legs over the side of the bed.

Then came COVID-19.

I have a nasty debilitating, progressive and degenerative lung disease. I am in that “high-risk” group that those in the media treat as disposable by constantly reminding the public that the old and weak are going to make up the bulk of the dead, so the rest of the population need not worry so much.

But because of my lung disease, COVID-19 has given me a new wake-up call and once again reminded me how OUT OF CONTROL I really am. My life is not my own and I am at the mercy of a virus that not even the brightest minds in this entire world can explain or predict.

Every day I wonder if this is the day.

So I’ve returned to that morning practice that I should have never stopped. Before I even swing my legs over the side of the bed, I pray: “Okay, God, this day is yours. You alone know the pathway of an unseen virus. This is all in your hands and I MUST trust your sovereignty. Whether I live or die or am asked to simply sit here for another 12 weeks, give me peace. Whatever your will, Lord, I don’t want my feet to even hit the ground until I know you have me covered.”

And then I get out of bed. My feet hit the floor and I say, “Here we go, Cindy.” It’s weird, but I truly feel like no harm can befall me. Even if the COVID-19 finds me, I know that virus can never steal my joy. Am I afraid? You bet. But I KNOW that I am covered – and that covering makes all the difference.

Tell me, my friends, how are you covering yourselves in this unprecedented crisis? I’d love to hear all your innovative ways!

6 thoughts on “I AM OUT OF CONTROL

  1. I cover myself with prayer or just by saying the name “Jesus” at least a thousand times a day! We have no cable, so when the news is over at 12:30p, I go to my room and begin an afternoon of prayer, devotions and finish with Christian music on Pandora. Then, it’s back to the news, dinner and scrolling through social media and Words with Friends. This virus has placed us in isolation for 11 days now. I have the same disease as this wonderful writer, and am on 8-10L of “O’s” with activity. So, yes I too am very fearful, but I KNOW I’m covered! God isn’t finished with me yet!!

  2. Well, first I loved reading your blog today.
    Makes sense , realizing where you are , what’s going on with you (not directing to you , speaking to everyone) , where you are at the moment,
    I really haven’t been covering myself, I think because I have been so busy trying to keep up with the News , buying groceries, still working / closed to the public , only taking calls, emails – taking care of Residents been crazy busy .
    But now I must cover myself , cover myself with my Faith in God everyday when I lift myself out of bed .
    Thank you sweet friend 🤗💕

  3. What a sobering reminder – I (also) am out of control! But I don’t remember this half the time!
    It is even good to go through times like these. Under pressure things come out that He gently shows us are not His Character or His Ways.

    Verses out of the Psalms, Isaiah, hymns, songs, sermons, Moody Radio, Joy 99, my church, friends, all are a sources of strength and comfort during this time.

    Most of all reminding myself that God is a good God, He is wise, and my life is not my own. Asking what I can do to show God’s character, His amazing love and selflessness.

    We have prayed for revival. What a great time for Christians to rise up and love our neighbors.

  4. I feel like it is surreal. Like i
    I’m in a movie like Contagion. I am uncertain about our
    future. The economy scares me as much as the virus. But
    one thing, the main thing, that gives me comfort is the
    fact that God is sovereign. I believe we are going through
    this for a reason.

  5. Cindy,
    Thank you for your raw honesty and candor. Thank you for your blog because every time that I read it, the Lord opens my eyes to greater growth and trust in Him. Do you remember Hind, our Moroccan neighbor up the street? She would always end our PT sessions with “Thank you for you.” That’s what I’’m saying to you, my dear! THANK YOU FOR YOU!!❤️
    PS-May I link this to my blog?

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