The difference between peace and panic is believing that God is REALLY and practically IN CONTROL. I’ve been a human study in this matter for the past 3 months, and I am happy to tell you, that you CAN move from panic to peace when you REALLY trust God for your situation.
In my example, I was working for a client that drove me crazy – ran up my blood pressure and made me miserable. Then some things went wrong for him that he decided was my fault, and therefore stiffed me for 2 weeks pay. Needless to say, we parted ways, but as my main client, that left me with almost no income. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know my history of panic when my money disappears.
However, since this client relationship had caused my blood pressure to shoot dangerously high, I decided to schedule my annual doctor and OBGYN check-ups (since that’s basically the only thing my major medical insurance covers). During my family physician visit, my doctor bluntly told me I had a “huge mass” in my uterus. Luckily, I like blunt doctors who don’t candy coat anything. [And funnily enough, I was sort of happy to hear this, because I had lost 35 pounds but my stomach still wouldn’t get any smaller. This at least explained it, and helped me not feel like my diet and exercise was fruitless.]
My blood work showed slightly high cholesterol, slightly high blood pressure, slightly low thyroid, and slightly elevated cancer screening, too. So he advised me to see my OGBYN asap, which I did. To make a long story short, I have 7 fibroids, the largest of which is the size of a grapefruit. The mass is so large that they couldn’t even do an internal sonogram, because the fibroids filled my entire uterus and the probe couldn’t see anything!
The verdict? Total hysterectomy. My first thought was, “How much is this going to cost?” My deductible is $5,200 personally, and I have no income, AND my husband is scheduled to be laid off right at the time of my surgery. We won’t have enough money coming in to even pay our normal bills, much less pay for surgery costs.
My second thought was, “Great. I can’t even look for a job, because my recovery time will be 6 weeks from my surgery. There is NO WAY for me to make ANY INCOME AT ALL during this time period.” All in all, from the time my client stiffed me to the time I will finish my recovery period, it will be THREE MONTHS of NO INCOME.
THAT’S when I started hyperventilating. That’s when the overwhelming panic set in. Obviously, there was absolutely nothing I could do about my lost income, or my husband’s impending lost income, or the upcoming additional bills we were about to incur. So what could I possibly do?
Eating at me was being cheated by my former client – I wanted to go online and take down everything I had done for him over that unpaid 2 week period. But God clearly told me to LEAVE IT ALONE. He said NOT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, that He would take care of it. That money was supposed to cover taxes, house insurance, etc., and without it my bank account balance dropped horribly.
I started trying to spend time on my front porch to find a little peace and quiet, externally as well as internally. I read my devotion every morning and tried to pray and let go of what my client had done to me. During one of those mornings, I clearly heard God tell me that THIS three months was to be my vacation – my time off – and that I should enjoy it while I could, because when it was over, I was going to be extremely busy. I thought, “OK, this sounds nice, but what about my bills, my business, etc.?”
Still, I decided I would take God at His word, NOT worry about the things I had absolutely no control over, and enjoy this time off. I started relaxing and not feeling guilty for enjoying this break.
The hospital bill was going to be $7353. We don’t have that, and couldn’t pay loan payments on that amount right now, either. I asked the hospital if they had financial aid, and they gave me someone’s phone number to call. She sent me a form to fill out and instructions, and since my surgery was in 3 weeks, I could send my info directly to the person in charge, because normally the approval process took 4 – 6 weeks.
I figured it was a long shot, but worth the try. My husband hadn’t been laid off yet, and we don’t have a mortage payment. I knew there were probably other people in much more dire straights than my husband and I. Maybe they would give us a payment plan?
In one day we had an answer. They would write off my surgery bill ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!!!! I was stunned, shocked, and couldn’t believe it (neither did my husband). When I called back to confirm the message that had been left on my phone because it sounded too good to be true, the woman laughed and said it definitely was true.
GOD had allowed the perfect storm to brew – have my husband lose his job right when I have my surgery, and cut off my income from my client at just the right time – so I would be approved for 100% of financial aid. He had made good on His promise to take care of everything – and of course, in a way that I NEVER would have guessed in a million years!
However, God does still want us involved WHEN HE DIRECTS IT. He directed me to contact via email my previous clients and let them know what my present skill set was, and ask if they or someone they knew needed any of my services. I only got to the B’s before I received several responses of people who forwarded my information, offered to interview and promote me, and also one person in particular wanted to partner with me to do all of her clients’ web sites and audio and video – in July (which is when my convalescence ends). Once again, God’s perfect timing.
So what are my lessons learned?
- When God says He is going to take care of it, He means it.
- If I try to figure out how God is going to take care of it, I will not be able to do it, so don’t bother trying.
- If I expect God to fix it in any particular way, I will most likely be unnecessarily disappointed – because He hadn’t promised to fix it in a particular way.
- If I try somehow putting my little fingers in the mix, I can mess up what He is trying to do, and make it take longer to fix.
- I have to listen to and obey Him to find out what, if any, part I am to play in this mess.
- I can enjoy peace and tranquility and joy even when everything appears to be going wrong – and I mean like “vacation-style” enjoyment, like I’ve been rewarded enjoyment.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with God proving He was in control. It would really encourage others to know what He has done for you in the past – so they know it can happen to them now and in the future.