The Search for Security
Where to find confidence when chronic illness rocks our world
Sisters, I’m a planner. I love making plans, designing plans, organizing plans, and then drawing out said plans with all my colored pencils and pens (like, 100 or more of these delicious pens!). There’s just something satisfying about that process to me! When I worked full-time in ministry, I actually kept 18 different digital calendars, all sync’d up together and color-coded to match my pen-calendars. And it made sense to me, y’all! It was a ‘thang – it just worked for me, I’m serious! Chris thinks I’m the cheapest date ever, just a hamburger, a donut, a trip by the office store with an hour or more to shop, and I am good.to.go. He affectionately looks in my direction, gives me a little hug-squeeze, kisses me on the forehead and then, with that deep, manly voice that I reassures me he’ll take care of me ‘til I die, he says –
“You need therapy.”
I know, sad – right ???
The years of chronic living have taught me so many things. One thing I’ve definitely learned is that this chronic life will laugh at my plans. And re-write them. With no notice. Nor permission. Not even any input. I stand by and watch helplessly as this chronic life reminds me that I’m not only not in charge, but my input in to things isn’t required. Or allowed, even. Chronic doesn’t win every day, but it wins a lot of days. And anyone who tries to tell you RA and chronic will never win is just not being honest. It definitely will win.
This part of chronic is not fun. It can be rather defeating.
Practically, there are some things that we must plan for. Like paying our bills when we can’t work. Or having enough insurance. Or asset-liability planning so we don’t leave a financial mess behind or our kids. Tactically, planning for the future has to be done, or at least we think it does. There’s no escaping the notion that some finesse about the future is a good idea. Maybe not to the extreme like I’m prone to do, but we cannot be successful on this journey without some forethought and planning, so we line things up, expecting them to work as advertised. This works well for us.
Until it doesn’t.
The insurance plan you thought you had doesn’t process the bills according to the policy provisions. Or the life insurance company goes out of business, or no longer provides your particular policy. And saving money for one thing yet being forced to spend it on unexpected expenses depletes the savings account you’d designated for that vacation or desperately-needed used car. Housing needs change, making the house you bought not the right one anymore. Heck, even friendships that you thought were there for the long haul don’t last and alas, the adage “friends for a season” proves true, once again. Some days it seems none of the plans that were lined up in good faith actually happen like they’re supposed to. The feeling of wagged around by the tail is all too familiar. It’s tiring. And we are mentally exhausted.
My friends, do we not know that trusting these earthly things will never produce the security we desire? These tangible, necessary, practical parts of life’s journey just aren’t a trust-able source of security. I don’t know that I’m even capable of 100% trust in anything earthly anymore. I just gave up. Surrendered.
Maybe that’s the point.
But God is worthy of our trust. Our security can be placed upon him and he is up for the task. He is who he says he is and he does what he says he will do. Down to the very last detail, like having dollars for some food or gas in my car. I’ve seen it time and again. He shows me I can trust him and that settles me tremendously. He is strong, and mighty, and knows everything that’s going to happen and when and how it will unfold. He knows me and my weak points, and knows that I struggle with not being able to predict outcomes of the decisions I make. He knows I struggle with the “gotcha’s” in my life. I just detest them. And yet, the chronic life is full of them. I’m so thankful He never lets me down. Oh, how this gains my trust. The predictability we have in Christ in a chronic life where the only thing predictable is its unpredictability – oh Jesus, thank you.
Thank you that YOU are the source of my security. You are up for it and You can be trusted. You, Lord, will not fail me. You will not fall through on your promises.
Oh sister friend, this is so reassuring. Re-direct where you’re looking for security in your chronic unknowns. Your chronic “gotcha’s.” Daily, re-gaze with me upon the Lord as the one we look to for security in our life’s unknown’s, the place we go for reassurance. He never, ever disappoints. We can trust him.