In a weird way, I sort of miss having Leukemia. Obviously, it is not with warm-fuzzy feelings, but I do look back on my Leukemia days with a certain fondness. There are actually a lot of reasons I am thankful for that season of my life; I made many new friends who I would have never encountered otherwise, my current relationships were strengthened and some of my acquaintances became friends in a new way. I treasure all these things with great gratitude. But I think what I miss most was the natural, humble, child-like trust I had in a God who had the only power to cure me. Maintaining perspective on what really matters came to me immediately and remained strong throughout the 6 month battle. And what DOES really matter to me? Living every minute with the willingness to be used by Him as I do life with the people I encounter every day. It became very uncomplicated to do so when I couldn’t do anything else, literally. I had a choice to live in self-pity as I spent 6 days in the hospital for chemo on 5 different occasions, OR to engage in life and people where God had chosen to put me for the time being. As a result, my friendship circle was enlarged by the dozens.
Now that I have made you almost WISH you had Leukemia, I throw out a suggestion about how YOU TOO can “live like you are dying”, without having to suffer from a deadly disease. This idea rolled around in my brain without ceasing a couple days ago. I am trying it out and suspect that it just might be the answer. Here’s how it works (easy to do, easy NOT to do): Turn over EVERY single circumstance, problem, dilemma, encounter, decision, and person to God. All day. Everyday. And THANK Him for the rest. There may even be times where you will be able to thank him for the bad stuff, knowing that it produces character and strength of heart. When I had Leukemia, I DID THAT ALL THE TIME. Now, I can turn into a hot mess over a cluttered house or the fact that none of my jeans fit! All my phenomenal perspective just flies out the window. When people tell me how encouraged or inspired they were about how I handled having leukemia with such strength and wisdom and peace, I tell them it was actually pretty easy. It was easy compared to having great strength and wisdom and peace in the mundane activities of every-day life. The “cares of this world” can drag me down quick IF I try to carry them all myself. It is beginning to dawn on me that perhaps the author of Phillipians was right when he said, “do not be anxious about anything. Instead, pray about everything. And the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” I have lived in that peace. And I have also lived outside it (and it isn’t pretty). Maybe, just maybe, if I turned over “the cares of this world” (i.e. my kids, my spouse, my job, my money, my home, my schedule, my church, my friends, my clients, my future, my eating, my sleeping, my past, etc.) to Him as they begin to lead me down the path of trying to fix, manage and control them, I could avoid the stress of it all by turning things over to the care of God. Maybe I can live everyday with the same perspective I had when I had Leukemia. When I was fully surrendered to His will for my life and trusting Him in all things. I knew without a shadow of doubt that I had no control in that area. When I lose perspective in the midst of “normal” life, it’s because I am believing the lie that I am in control of people, places and things and try to handle it all on my own. Very dangerous.
Here’s an idea to tangibly “turn it over to God.” It may sound a bit dorky, but get yourself a God Box. For some of you, you may need to take God OUT of that box first ( because you have been limiting Him by doubting that He can truly help you with your everyday life). So, take got “out of the box” and give Him permission to handle the worries and concerns and heartaches that you will write down and put IN THE BOX. Instead of trying to figure out all the answers about why or what to do next, simply write down the person, the prayer, the problem, and put it in the box. Literally turn it over by getting it on paper and out of your head. Tell God that you are going to trust Him to take care of it. Maybe then we will start experiencing the magnificent perspective that is available to us when we let God be in control (isn’t that nice of us?).