I am Not in Control March 10, 2016 08:00 2 Comments
Just a forewarning... this post is about to get really personal. (Becky here, and you may or may not know these things about me. They're things that a lot of people have struggled with - job loss, struggles of giving birth - but are sometimes not easy to talk about. I get through these things by support as you'll read below, so hopefully someone reading this will find it a helpful reminder.)
Do you ever have times in your life where you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed? Times when there are circumstances outside of your control that have the power to make you feel so small and insignificant because you can do nothing about them? I absolutely do. There have been things happening in my life that really just get the better of me, and I let myself get caught up in them. I feel sorry for myself and dwell on the situation, even though I can't do anything about it.
I graduated from college in 2007 and was fortunate enough to have multiple job offers. I followed my Dad's advice (which I do now anytime I'm faced with a tough decision) and made an old fashioned list of pros and cons for each architecture firm, making my final decision based on the cons. In the end I chose to work at a firm where I would be making less money. It was smaller, so I would get a ton of experience, I would work on great projects with great people, and there were a lot of perks built in. I loved working for this firm, but unfortunately the timing was just not right as far as the economy was concerned. In 2008 there was a major crash that affected architecture significantly. Many firms did not survive. Those that did made a lot of cut backs. The firm that I was working for had about 20 staff members total. I remember a lot of closed-door meetings occurring for numerous weeks, and a lot of speculation going around between the people that were not in those meetings. We knew what was coming, but we continued to work our hardest anyway. I had several conversations with my husband about what we would do if I were to be laid off. We discussed where we could make cuts on things that were luxuries, and knew we would be ok, but it was still daunting. We were used to our situation and our income, and losing any of that would be a major change. I left work on a Friday afternoon feeling so overwhelmed about the burden of what may come. I was fighting tears in the car when I made a turn and suddenly the sky took my breath away. The sunset was incredible and everything was a bright shade of pink. It made my mind stop in it's tracks, and I felt a calm settle around me. It was as if God took his paint brush and spread it out over the sky to remind me that I needed to stop worrying. He said to me, 'I've got this, I am in control'. I'd be lying if I said I completely stopped worrying, but I did stop obsessing. I had a more constant thought in my head - the comfort of knowing that I wouldn't be alone in whatever may unfold. The following Monday, 15 of us were laid off. I am not bitter about the situation at all. I thought I understood the circumstances, but come to find out our boss had been paying most of us out of his pocket for weeks. This was just the type of guy that he was - selfless and caring. I learned a lot working there and gained some invaluable mentors that I still reach out to (Jared, Becky and Jeremy, you guys taught me more than you know.) I had surgery to remove my tonsils scheduled for a few days after the layoffs, but I had insurance, and I had built in time to recover. I started working for my current company a few weeks after the surgery. Lesson learned: everything was ok. My obsessive worrying was for nothing, and there was a better plan for me.
Today I'm facing a new overwhelming circumstance. As I write this, I am less than 6 weeks out from having my second baby. I'm excited, terrified, and on the edge of my seat waiting for this little one to arrive. There's a big difference this time though, as I know that my little girl's delivery will take place on a certain date and time instead of waiting for her to decide when to come on her own. My first delivery was traumatic and ended in an emergency c-section with a bigger than average (but very very perfect) baby. This pregnancy is trending the same way, and I do not want another emergency situation, so with my doctor's advice, I have chosen to schedule the c-section. Because the first time around was so traumatic, I can't get it out of my head that this time will be the same, even though my rational side knows that it will not. Major surgery was nowhere on my mind when I went to the hospital to deliver my first daughter. Recovery from labor and everything that goes with it in addition to recovery from major surgery was even further from my mind. In the end we had a healthy baby girl and that is all that matters. Nothing has changed about that this time around - a healthy baby girl is my number one priority. But I am scared. I am scared of willingly having surgery, scared of the recovery, scared of having to care for a newborn and toddler while recovering. I have an incredible husband who will of course be there 100% and fantastic family members who will be there to help, but I am still scared. Sometimes I let these thoughts creep into my mind until they grow and grow and I feel alone even though I'm surrounded by a support system. Last week I was driving home from work, these thoughts turning over in my mind, and again, I turned a corner and the sky was all shades of low purples and pinks through the clouds. Once again, my entire body and mind calmed itself after seeing these and I had the feeling of peace, knowing that God is in control and will take care of me.
I'm not alone, I'm never alone, but sometimes I need a reminder. God is there to give me those reminders when situations become too much for me. I'm not in control, and I'm ok with that. I'd rather be in His hands than take my chances on my own.