Being In Control
I like being in control! I feel in control of most areas of my life, but there are some things we have zero control over: the weather, what other people think of us, and has been increasingly evident, whether I get pregnant or not! We also can’t control people’s actions, which can also be increasingly frustrating or heartbreaking when we see people we love making stupid decisions, or when it’s people in power whose actions have a negative impact.
For sure, sometimes we can have a semblance of control and we can try and influence situations, but all too often we come to realize how powerless we are. I’ve experienced that trying to get my stubborn niece to wear the clothes I picked out for her, which were way more suitable for the weather than her choice! I also saw it in the devastation caused by the series of tornadoes that touched down in Ottawa in 2018. These last six months have shown us how a tiny virus can change and control so many aspects of our lives which we took for granted.
Giving Up Control
Giving up control, losing control, is hard, and not something we usually do willingly. When it comes to trying to have children, the issue of control is something I find particularly challenging. Obviously, there is something we can do, actually something we need to do, to have a chance of getting pregnant! There are also other practical things one can do, like keeping healthy, drinking less coffee (help!), not getting stressed. Trust me, I’ve tried all these and more! We cannot, however, guarantee the end result. Even the best science available can’t guarantee a baby – only 14% of IVF cycles in 2018 resulted even in a pregnancy, let alone a live birth.
Last year we looked into adoption. I have always been open to adoption, but as my husband was less sure, I’ve always said it would need to be him who drove it forward. I know I could persuade him if I really tried, and I equally know that that wouldn’t be fair or honourable to him. So I was full of nervous anticipation when we met with the adoption counsellor to explore our options.
I left very upbeat, especially as she said we would need to be proactive and open to “sell” ourselves as a prospective family. I knew I could do that! That is completely within my comfort zone. But, even in the car on the way home I clearly heard God say “no”. He reminded me that he wanted me to surrender control to him, and to trust him. Pursuing adoption would be me taking back control and trying to get a family in my own strength.
For many couples, choosing adoption is absolutely the right thing to do, God leads them there and blesses their journey. I know many incredible families who have been formed this way. For us, though, I strongly felt that God was saying no, that he wanted to teach me to surrender control and to wholly trust him rather than my own ability.
It was surprisingly easy! I have known for a while that God has wanted me to surrender control – I just didn’t know how. Not pursuing adoption was a tangible step I could take to surrender control.
What I also found was that, by surrendering control in this, I could actually surrender more control in other areas of my life, as well as this infertility journey.
What about you? What area of your life do you need to surrender control of? Is there a small or big step you can take today? I’d encourage you to take that step. It’s not easy, but I feel much more peace now than when I was trying to cling to control! After all, I trust the God who created the whole universe more than I trust myself, knowing full well all my shortcomings!