Day 15: Also in Chapter Eleven, I talk about the power of SURRENDER. Share a time when you had nothing left to do but surrender, and how it impacted your life to just let go and let God.
“Let go and let God.” So much easier said than done, isn’t it? Throughout my life, I’ve found myself reciting these words to myself fairly often. In recent years, I’ve grown to appreciate the endings of certain things because I truly believe that it’s paving my way onto a greater path in life. I’ve always told myself that God has a plan for me, but I can’t say with one hundred percent certainty that I’ve always whole-heartedly believed it. I definitely struggled in times of despair, but I really didn’t start fully trusting God with all of my struggles until the last two years.
Earlier in this challenge, I wrote a letter to my younger self. I addressed it to the me that I was two years ago, and I touched on a few reasons why that was a pretty trying year for me. I was working full-time and enrolled in an accelerated graduate program full-time. My schedule was so jam packed that I sometimes barely felt like I had time to sleep. I look back on that year, and I get exhausted just thinking about the insane amount of stress that I was under. I also mentioned about some health issues that I experienced toward the end of that year. It was something that was pretty eye-opening and scary for me personally. It definitely put things into perspective for me, and I’ll explain why.
In March of 2016, my dad went through some pretty scary stuff with his health, but he made it through. In October of 2016, I went through a similar situation with my own health, although my experience was much less severe. At the age of 26, I got a DVT (more commonly known as deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot) in my right leg. Working in healthcare, I knew the significance of what that meant for me. I knew it wasn’t something that should be taken lightly, so I wasn’t too surprised when the urgent care physician immediately referred me to the ER. It’s important to note that this was my very first experience of being a patient in an ER. It wasn’t exactly something that was on my bucket list. After finally getting seen by a physician that evening, I was immediately placed on blood thinners, and was told that I would likely have to stay on them for life. This terrified me because I am not a person that likes to be dependent upon medications at all. Not to mention the fact that anticoagulant drugs are incredibly risky, and prolonged use of them for anyone is extremely tricky. Hearing this news definitely took a hard hit at my psyche. Again, I found myself asking God why this was happening to me.
For the most part, I had considered myself to a pretty healthy individual. It was hard for me to understand how this could’ve happened. Even my doctors were stunned because they couldn’t find a reason for it. Eventually, they attributed it to my prolonged use of hormonal birth control pills (yes, I fell into that .1% of people that suffer from those risk factors that they always rattle on about in the commercials – so if you’re a skeptic, I’m proof that it actually CAN happen). Anyway, I felt pretty defeated after getting this diagnosis. I fell into a state of constant paranoia that I was going to get another clot somewhere, and it would travel into my lungs, cause a PE, and damn near kill me. I was so in my head about it that I found myself talking about it out loud so often to family and friends that they got annoyed. I guess I was just trying to process it out loud, I don’t know.
I soon realized that I just had to accept it and live with it. This was the hand that I was dealt, and worrying about it wasn’t going to help at all. This diagnosis happened right in the midst of my busiest semester of graduate school, so my stress levels soared to an all time high. In addition to getting my blood clot in October, I had resigned from my job at the hospital in August of that year to complete an internship for one of my classes. The week before my last day of my job, Baton Rouge was hit with record-breaking floods. I had family members who were directly affected. So, not only was I helping them rip up carpets, tear out sheetrock, and try to salvage some of their most cherished possessions, I also was on the recovery team at the hospital, so I had to be there indefinitely.
When I say the end of 2016 was trying, I’m not joking. I faced a lot of unpredictable personal struggles, and I also supported family members through some of their most difficult times. There’s also the fact that I got rejected from nearly every job I applied for after graduating in December of that year. It was just rough, and I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but eventually, I reached a point during all of that where I just stopped asking God why, and I started putting my trust in Him that all of these tests that He was putting me and my family through were going to be worth it.
And guess what? He was right. I faced a lot of adversity in the latter part of 2016. I tried to hide it pretty well from others because I wanted everyone to believe that I was okay. I didn’t want people to worry about me. In time, though, God delivered. In the beginning of 2017, I was offered a job up in Nashville, and I soon found myself making the move from Louisiana to Tennessee. My aunts and uncles were so resilient in rebuilding their homes. By July of that year, I was completely cleared by my hematologist, and today, I’m getting closer to being the healthiest I’ve ever been.
I realized that once I finally stopped worrying about all the tough things going on in my life at that time, everything would slowly fall into place. I surrendered all of my fear, anxiety, and worry. I just let it all go and I trusted that whatever was meant for me would come my way. And it is. All because I finally set my stubborn pride aside. All because I finally let go and let God.