Two Steps Forward

…and one step back.

The story of my life, lately.

I had just told one of my friends last Wednesday that I was finally getting fired up about Sky again. I could finally see that it was needing to go in a different direction from the one I had first imagined, and accepting that seemed to open up the door of inspiration again.

Naturally hindrances began the very next day. I had and appointment with the gastroenterologist that morning in preparation for the colonoscopy my oncologist recommended last summer that I have “sooner rather than later.” “Sooner” and “later” being relative terms in light of the ten-year screening intervals experts generally advise. I’m still not completely clear on this, but apparently there is some increased predilection for patients who’ve had endometrial cancer to also develop colon cancer.

Or not, if you’re talking to the gastroenterologist… Anyway, my oncologist recommended it, and I see him next month, so I’m doing it. After the visit I met with the medical assistant to set up the appointment  for the procedure. I wanted one that would coincide with my hubby’s days off, but the only day that worked was out into February. So I took it.

Arriving home I realized it was opening day of javelina season. So I called them back. Well, you can’t talk to the medical assistant who is the only one who does appointments. You have to leave a message.

I hung up and tried calling my hubby. He was away from his desk. Confusion ensued.  I called back and left a rather garbled message that the February appointment was going to be difficult and I’d rather do one that the MA had first assigned me before I started trying to coordinate with hubby’s days off.

After I hung up, hubby called. He suggested a friday two weeks further into February. So I called the office again, and asked the ladies  at the front desk if they could put me through to the MA because I was afraid that she’d listen to the first message I’d left and act on it before she got to the second message with the request for the new, later date.

The receptionist still couldn’t connect me with a live medical assistant but did inform me that the later date would not work because all colonoscopies must occur within 30 days of the consultation. She, however, assured that the MA was indeed checking her voice mail and would return my call soon.

Of course she did not. Somehow the uncertainty of the situation worried my entire afternoon. (Or at least as much of it as there was, what with walking Quigley and doing Bible class.)  Would they fill the earlier spot on the calendar before she got to my message? Would there be no good choices left? Well, really, there weren’t any to start with, so that wasn’t a terribly valid concern.

Nevertheless, every time someone called, I jumped up to answer the phone directly, rather than let the answering machine take it. All fruitless. Finally it was time to walk Q, and even when I returned she still hadn’t called.

Why couldn’t I just let it go and trust the Lord to handle it?

Because it’s just a silly little appointment; why would I take it to the Lord? This was something I was supposed to take care of, because… well… because it was.

It’s one of those areas that feels Right and proper and logical, so you don’t even question it.  Somehow it becomes Imperative that I get the proper appointment, even if I don’t know what that is yet and have no real control over the situation to be able to ensure that I do. Still it feels like somehow I do have control, or should have or if nothing else, just take control and get it done. Thus I usually won’t let the matter go until I’ve got it resolved.

Which means I can use up an afternoon of perfectly good hours that could have been devoted to thinking about writing, and maybe even actually writing, on fretting and fussing and making repeated and futile phone calls. When I should simply put the matter into my Lord’s capable hands and let Him handle it.

Elisabeth Elliot spoke of this in one of her books, (I think it might have been Keep a Quiet Heart)

I realize that nearly all of my trouble with finding out the will of God came because I wanted it too soon. I like to plan. I like to have things mapped out well in advance and uncertainty of any sort puts me on edge.

Perhaps it is for this very reason God has often asked me to wait until the last minute, right up to what looked like the screaming edge before I found out what He wanted me to do.

My acceptance of His timing was a rigorous exercise in trust. I was tempted to charge the Lord with negligence and inattention, like the disciples in the boat in the storm. I would always ask desperately to be shown God’s will in the matter but He never showed me until the time came.

And when it came it was clear as the sunlight. What to do was all mapped out for me exactly, and I had a matter of minutes to make up my mind to do it…”

I can so relate to this. Because all these little details really are something that He wants us to take to Him, to trust Him with. Always. Every day. He’s told us He cares about the sparrows and the flowers so it makes no sense to think He doesn’t care about doctors’ appointments or whatever other detail of daily life has us in a tizzy.

Tizzies are His call to stop and look up and remember. He’s got the hairs on our heads numbered, and the days of our lives as well. Every action, every conversation, every need, ever desire, all of it. It’s only our flesh that keeps thinking it has to do something. That everything depends on it.

So that’s been the lesson for me today. In truth, nothing depends on my flesh, or should, and once I’ve lost my peace because of my misguided attempts at controlling things that are refusing to be controlled, it’s time to step back and let it go.

Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.

Oh, and on the appointment? It took me until Friday to get it resolved, but in the end it was resolved. If only I’d not wasted a day fussing with it.

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2 Responses to “Two Steps Forward”


  1. 1 Jackie January 16, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Thanks Karen! This is very timely for me. I was let go suddenly on a temp assignment last Thursday. I had been praying that the Lord would open a door and finally He did. I proudly proclaimed what the Lord had done for me to others’ who were believing with me during my time of unemployment.
    I was hired the same week and let go the same week. I even laughed at God’s humor because I prayed to be on a specific team on the job
    ( Team Omega) and the Lord answered my prayer. The reason I laughed was because the guy that was selected for the same team name was Christian. When the HR Manager came in the room and called my name aloud I was like what is going on. She asked me questions and it appeared she wanted me to beg her in order to keep me but the HS instructed me to be quiet and I did. I thanked the lady for my short stent and was escorted out of the building. I did not look back. It stung my flesh and my mind was trying to grasp it all! The question that came up was
    “What Say Ye About JC?”……………
    Like you have stated – God knows all of the details and He has worked them out! We have no control over any situation. Trusting God is not easy but I believe He helps us deal with unbelief. I have yet another decision to make concerning a job fair – should or should I not attend. I am waiting on the answer from the Lord and pray it comes before 5:00 p.m.
    Thank you Karen for hearing me out. God bless and keep you!


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