Monday's Musings: When Life is Out of Control

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

There are very definitely times when life is out of control. 

Times when we can't muscle through. Try harder. Work smarter. 

I know. I live that life at times. 

You see, I have migraines. 

They aren't all exactly alike. 

There are the ones where I  have to shut down and move to a dark, cool room to try and reduce the stimuli. For hours. Even walking hurts my head. 

Or, I may have a simmering migraine that won't go away for days. 

Then there are the ones that simmer for days and then flares. 

I've had to of the the Emergency Room because of them. I've actually been hospitalized to try and stop them. 

They are hard to live with. 

Yet, I do. 

I do live with them. 

I live. 

Don't get me wrong.  Migraines are debilitating. I would relinquish them forever if I could. I wouldn't wish them on anyone. 

But I've learned to live IN SPITE of them.  To not let them take me down. At least not completely. 

There are days when I can't function. But there are days when I have to pick and choose what's important. What I can and can't do. 

I've learned to function through some of them. When I should be resting. But as a mom of 5, I had to make a choice that I wouldn't just roll over because of the migraines and let them stop me completely. I had to keep going. 

The migraines have taught me a huge lesson. 

Life is sometimes beyond my control. 

Migraines happen. I'm not alone in this. Millions suffer with them. 

I can't control the weather. 
One of my triggers is weather frontal boundaries. Atmospheric changes. Think stormy bands of weather that come through. High pressure to low pressure and vice versa. 

I can't control that at all. Yet, I'm deeply affected by those triggers. 

What do I do with that? 

Honestly, sometimes I grow weary when I've had a longstanding migraine. I'm there right now. Out of the past 13 days of my life, 12 have been with migraine pain. And this one isn't showing sings of stopping. Even after the ER. At least it's at a simmer for now.

Yet, I've been here before. Although I wish the migraines were gone completely from my life, I will say that God's taught me through them. 

To relinquish control of that which I never had control over anyway. 

There may be aspects of life we can control. But we all hit a point where we can't control a difficult situation. Whether it's with other people, a job situation, our health, or our family, we can't change it. 

That's a critical time in our lives. What do we do then? Get angry? Lash out? Bemoan our hard luck? 

Well, I don't know about you, but I've done those all. And more. 

Yet, I hope as I've aged, that I've grown. That I've matured. That I've learned something through the suffering. 

I think I have. 

God's in control, even if life feels out of control to me. 

I watched my mom suffer with grace and dignity like I've rarely seen. It was hard to watch. I wanted her to be well and strong. 

Yet she gave me an incredible example to follow. To trust God in spite of the pain. To focus on others in spite of the pain. To be thankful for everything she could be thankful for. 

To see what's really important in life. 

So once again, as I sit here dealing with chronic pain, I must make choices. To think. Will I let the migraine take me all the way down or will I fight? What can I put off till later? How can I best spend what time and energy I do have, first on my family, then on others?

Take time to reflect.
Without the migraines, I might not have taken the time to stop, reflect and evaluate my life. To learn to ask hard questions of myself. 

While I'm ready for the headaches to leave, never to return, they have made me stronger. I've learned to stand up to them and fight to take my life back. But conversely, to accept them and the limits they place on me. To realize they're not outside of God's jurisdiction. 

We all suffer at some point. Either physically, mentally or emotionally. Or in all three ways at once. 

But can we learn to live strong and well through the suffering and struggling? 

To be a light for others on the same dark path?

To be a comfort to those behind us? 

I pray that God continues to walk with me through the tough times. Times when life is overwhelming. Times when life feels beyond my control. 

And that he walks with you, too. 

What areas of your life have you felt are out of control? How have you grown through those times? 

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  1. My daughter and I had a similar conversation about this yesterday. She has Cerebral Palsy. Thanks for posting!

    1. You're so welcome Sherry! I pray that she doesn't get overwhelmed but can blossom through the difficulties!

  2. How beautiful, Mary! Recently, I've felt life's been out of control. I've bee out of town almost every week since the last week in April. Of all that time, the week at the writers conference and one week visiting grandkids were the only fun times.

    But, as I read your post, I realize that God used me during those other weeks to minister to several dear friends who were walking through tragedies. Instead of looking at myself, I should praise Him for allowing me to serve Him!

    1. That's a great way to look at it Sherry. As someone who's needed encouragement along the road of tragedy, I appreciated the people who walked along side me. I'm sure they really appreciate you being strong for them and helping them along!

      I hope that you do get a break and another time to enjoy something special in your life. :) HUGS

  3. Mary, I am in awe that even through your pain you can write such a great post, I hope you manage to throw this migraine off soon. Hugs
    Wren x