When our daughter Adrienne was about 18 months old, she began to develop a nasty habit of hiding things. At first we found it to be cute and endearing to watch our first born creatively relocate different items about the house. But after a while, the novelty of trying to find the keys the car wore off. The breaking point was when we lost the remote control to our surround sound system, which our television and DVD player ran through. I’m not much into silent films or mime TV, so this became a problem.
The inability to control things is a very frustrating thing to me. Whether it’s riding in the passenger seat on a long road trip, not pushing the shopping cart in a grocery store, or having the option to quickly change the volume on the TV, there are some things in life that I would very much like to have control of. But, over this past year I have realized more and more that there are very few things in life we truly can control. We can control our attitude, our response, our mindset; we can’t control very much beyond that.
The further we travel down Elijah’s health journey the more I realize how much the idea of control is just that – an idea. I can’t control how Elijah’s brain functions and develops, how his body regresses from a mitochondrial disease, how slow his body digests food or responds to medicines. The longer the battle, the more helpless I feel.
Holding Elijah’s hand last night, watching him fight for every breath, I never felt more broken, weak, and defenseless than I did at that moment. There was absolutely nothing I could do fix the situation. All I could do was sit, cry, and pray. So that’s what I did…I sat. I cried. I prayed. I was completely helpless, and everything was out of my control. Yet, in the midst of one of the hardest moments I have faced this far, I kept my faith and trust in the One who still has the remote in hand.
Elijah is still putting up a fight, still showing his superpowers.The little guy is so strong and tenacious. He’s a warrior.
We are so thankful for our family that has joined us from out of state during the time, and for all of the supportive messages/texts/posts/comments from so many dear friends.
The hours are crawling by, and each moment we are granted have never seemed so precious and priceless. Through it all, I still sense a supernatural peace in the midst of such a powerful storm. I’m not freaking out, frantically looking for the remote control that’s no where to be found. Instead, I remind myself of the very powerful truth taken from a passage I have had memorized since I was old enough to tie my shoes: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4a ESV
I don’t have to have the remote. I don’t need to be in control. I can have peace during the final moments I have with our son. How? Because He is with me. He is Immanuel. He is God with us. He has been and will always be. Because He is God, because He is in control, because He is with us, I don’t have to fear.
Below is an excerpt from a book I recently started reading after a friend from our church suggested it. I pray that you and I both realize the truth and comfort from these words penned by Tullian Tchividjian in his book Glorious Ruin:
“We may not ever fully understand why God allows the suffering that devastates our lives. We may not ever find the right answers to how we’ll dig ourselves out. There may not be any silver lining, especially not in the ways we would like. But we don’t need answers as much as we need God’s presence in and through the suffering itself. For the life of the believer, one thing is beautifully and abundantly true: God’s chief concern in your suffering is to be with you and be Himself for you.”
He has the remote. He is in control. He is with us.