I finally learned a part of the reason God brought me back to Alaska for a season.
Apparently, I still needed to learn a different perspective on being ‘out of control’. Honestly, I thought a year of living on a college campus would do it. If the idea of living with 275 women after 6 years of living alone doesn’t teach surrender, nothing will.
If my living arrangement wasn’t enough to teach me, I thought a year of basically “playing it by ear” for my job description would count.
If that didn’t create the habit of giving up control, maybe the fact that I was transplanted to an area where no one truly knew me would do it. There’s nothing crazier than holding someone at arm’s distance and realizing they have decided transparency is a requirement for your friendship.
Control. I didn’t have much of it this year. As a matter of fact, I doubt I had any.
I was foolish enough to think that meant the lessons were over. I no longer desire control.. Or so I thought. Arriving in Alaska for the summer taught me just how much I still strive for control.
Now, when the phone calls come in about a friend’s hurting heart, they’re not right down the hall, or even right down the sidewalk. They’re a country away and all I have for them is my own tears, my own broken heart and the promise that “I’m here day or night.” Coffee dates are no longer possible, even scheduled weekly “let’s hang out” moments can’t happen.
I promise prayers, I help them laugh and then I hang up. They’ve calmed down, but I’ve started giving God a piece of my ever-lovin’ mind.
“Hey… So, all I have for my friend here is prayer? Can’t you let me do more? Can I fly down for a week? Can I send them money? Can I just make them forget it’s their issue and take over? Prayer doesn’t feel like it’s enough. You need to let me do more. I can’t even hug them, Lord. That’s not fair. Let me do more. Prayer isn’t enough.”
I know that’s a lie. Prayer is more than enough. Prayer healed nations, brought rain, mended families and fed communities. Because of the Jehovah Elohim behind it, prayer can heal broken hearts.
My issue is the fact that my hands get to stay idle this summer when it comes to actively and physically doing something on my friends’ behalf. Other than writing cards and emails, I can do nothing to help heal the hurts accumulated through the summer.
It’s a matter of control. Do I believe God can heal without my help? Can I believe that praying really is showing my friends I care? Can I handle not being in control, even when I’m not there to watch the situation take place?
Is it possible praying fervently is a sign of surrender when all I want to do is hug them and fix whatever I can?
Laugh anyway, Baby Girl… Control wasn’t yours in the first place.