It’s not often that teachers are the ones learning the lessons. But the past few months I’ve been slowly learning a very big lesson. I’ve been learning just how little control I have over, really, anything in my life.
We went on a school break just like normal and then coronavirus hit. Sudden lack of control. We did choose to leave China and return to America for what we thought would be only a few weeks. But again, we didn’t have any control over the spread of this disease or the closing of the Chinese border to foreigners, not allowing us to return to our home.
Then about three weeks ago at a doctor visit that seemed minor and no big deal, things took a very unexpected turn. I had a CAT scan, an MRI and ended up staying one night in the hospital and learned in a matter of hours that there is a 7cm tumor on the right side of my brain. Absolute loss of control. Plus a significant amount of fear, stress and worry now hangs over all of my loved ones as their concern for my wellbeing skyrockets.
Oh and days after, when some friends stopped by to “socially distance” and drop off a gift for me, the hand-railing my mom was leaning on broke and she fell off the front steps leading up to our home and landed very hard on her back on a large pile of rocks. After getting checked out at the hospital, they found no broken bones or cracked ribs, just lots of bruising. Honestly, at this point, who needs control anyway...
But then a man was killed, George Floyd, who should not have. The city I have called home my entire life has been enveloped in chaos. As much as my heart aches and breaks with sadness and frustration at all of it, it is not a situation I personally have any control over. As much as I would love to just snap my figures and fix all of it, I unfortunately do not have that kind of power..
Growing up I have always been a planner. I like knowing the plan, creating plans, and trying my best to then follow said plan. But for years now, God has been showing me and teaching me that I can plan as much as I want, but at the end of the day He is the one who is in control. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9 Although this is something God has had on my heart for years, it has become painfully clear just how little control I have and just how desperately I need to put every ounce of trust, faith, and hope I have in Him.
In the Bible there are incredible stories of God’s people facing unimaginable difficulties, but He got them through it. All they had to do was trust Him. One story that comes to mind is about a man named Gideon and a battle him and his men fought in, but this was not even close to being a fair fight. A few hundred troops (Gideon's men) versus over a hundred thousand. I could not imagine the fear and uncertainty those men were feeling going into that battle. It’s easy to trust and believe things will be okay when life is easy and going as planned. But when life throws you challenge, after challenge, after challenge it very quickly starts to feel helpless and hopeless. By the way, God’s people (the few hundred men) won the battle! *Read the whole story in Judges 7*
The past few months and especially the past few weeks, I have felt pretty helpless and hopeless. But I have also felt helped and hopeful. It is not easy to just “trust in God and things will be okay” when everything around you feels like it is falling apart. But in all honesty, trusting in God feels like all I have left, the only ounce of control I can even possibly muster up at this point.
I’m not telling you that you have to believe in God, I just want to share that right now my life feels very out of control but I am finding comfort in trusting God with everything I have left. Maybe trusting in God can help you too if you are also feeling a great lack of control.
**For updates on my surgery and recovery you can follow the CaringBridge page we have created to more easily share with loved ones: www.caringbridge.org/visit/noellekane