The Upside of Being Down
by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
My medical leave ends today. It feels strange going back after nearly a month off. I’m excited, but this ordeal has changed me, and I may not approach therapy the same. Don’t worry, the changes are good because I have experienced the upside of being down.
My old life could have been summed up by this saying, “You can always tell what you have turned over to God because it’s got scratches and claw marks on it.” I have struggled to trust God fully. This has caused me anxiety, control issues, guilt, and even therapy. Luckily, He’s been way more patient with me than I have been with myself.
Do you know what I did not have the strength for when I was flat on my back? Anxiety, control, pride, performance-driven guilt…all that junk had to go. I felt like I was in a lifeboat, jettisoning anything that took energy away from getting better.
Guess what? The world did not stop spinning. I did not spontaneously combust because I could not have my nose in everything. Caring Counseling Ministries did not slide off into the abyss or go belly up because I wasn’t there. God really did take care of everything. My clients survived, my finances survived, my dogs even survived. I discovered I am not nearly as indispensable as I thought, and that was a great feeling.
Plus, when I was in the hospital with my head in a puke pan and my backside hanging out of a gown, I felt a love from Jesus
I feel like I had been given a glimpse of the old me, and it looks like me, in a panic, white-knuckling a fake steering wheel attached to nothing. But Jesus, in his infinite love and patience, is there steering the car, chuckling at me with a look of love on His face, coaxing me to let go of the fake wheel.
I think this is best summed up in an excerpt from a book by Judah Smith entitled Jesus Is: “I’m convinced that in comparison to God, we cannot make our problems small enough. We cannot make Satan small enough. We cannot make sin and sickness small enough. When we consider the magnitude and majesty of our all-powerful, all-knowing God, when we realize Jesus is here with us no matter what turns or twists our lives take, we find peace. I’m not worried about the state of the union, the state of the universe, or the state of my finances. I’m going to bed with a smile on my face because Jesus is in control. That’s not irresponsibility, gullibility, or naivete’. It’s true life.”
Good stuff, huh? And so, I may have lost an appendix, but I feel like I have gained a Kingdom. This feels a whole lot like God’s Kingdom. It operates by love, faith, and grace.
How about you? I only share this stuff about my life because I know my struggles are universal. The world is full of anxious Christians. We trust God with eternity because we know we can’t have any control after we are dead. But everything else, well now, that’s a different story. Take it from me, don’t wait until you are down and out to learn you really aren’t controlling anything, except your own misery. Now, take a deep breath and repeat after me, “Let go of the steering wheel, it’s not attached to anything!”