As the 2006 spring break approached for our family of 5, we were planning a family trip to Florida: driving 1400 miles each way, eating as many meals in the borrowed RV as possible to save money, limiting our packed clothes to just the necessities to conserve storage space…it was a job only I could do (though do right is what I was really thinking), but was it? God said “Guess again” in this prideful moment of control. It’s been a lesson from which I glean wisdom to this day.
A mere 5 days before we were to embark on this soon-t0-be highly memorable family vacation, I stood up from my computer chair and felt a sharp pain my back. Within moments I was unable to bear any weight, had to be supported by my husband by hanging most of my weight onto his shoulders while walking, and could not sit whatsoever. Long story short, an MD prescribed pain pills, I found a new chiropractor, and I was strapped into a huge back brace and given a list of exercises to start doing to strengthen my core and back once every hour!
This unexpected back situation had me completely out of commission in preparing for the trip. I had bought the lie that I was indispensable. God quickly showed me I was not. I was unable to help, control, or do things my way, but something even better happened: my family handled all the details and everything turned out just fine!
Besides the invaluable lesson of surrendering control, the best part of being out of commission was the chance it allowed me to see the loving, serving hearts of all 4 family members – hearts which I’d be privileged to even remotely mirror. To this day, I cherish the most tender, loving, selfless act of my oldest stepson when he graciously laid at the end of my bed for hours, just to be present. He wasn’t asked, and I was far from deserving of such a gracious act of love from him.
Our trip was unforgettable and filled with laughter, love, and inside jokes that live on still today. In the end, my family successfully prepared everything for Florida without me, and I reaped tons of lessons that have knocked me down to size, and solidified the truth in my heart that I don’t have to be in control for everything to turn out well. God is the only one truly in control, and He can be trusted for every detail. He is our Provider.