Do you have to be in control or can you let go?

This week has been an interesting one. It marked two years since I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome and was left pretty much paralyzed. It is funny how the brain works. Every moment I couldn’t move seemed endless and yet, only two years later, it is hard to conjure up the way I felt. I obviously was unable to control what was happening to my body and was forced to trust that others would know what to do. I did not want to be alone if something happened because I was unable to hit the call button. It was a challenging time. Yet, there was something freeing about giving up everything because I had no choice. Someone else would have to check my emails, Facebook messages, voice mails, pay the bills, etc. My only job was to do what was next to get better and I did.
March 2nd came around again in 2020 and so did this virus called Covid. Little did I know I would lose control again on March 12th when my doctors told me I needed to self-isolate because of my compromised immune system. I had regained my health and now the way I worked, spent time with family, mentored folks, and gave back to the community was turned upside down again. The spring turned to summer, then fall, into winter, and here we are entering spring again.
I continue to learn so much as I journey through these two experiences and other types of adversity. It has not been easy and there have been times I have lost my joy. The beauty though has been experiencing the freedom of letting go. Admitting that there are things going on I can’t control. My only job is to be the best version of me in the present. Taking pride in what I do with each day to make a positive difference with those whose paths I cross. PRIDE in this case is broken down this way.
Personally Responsible for Individual Daily Effort

This focus works whether in business, as a husband, father, brother, grandfather, or a friend. What can I do today to be better in all these relationships. While recovering from GBS or being isolated because of Covid, I had to find other creative ways to be the best version of me knowing there was and is so much I can’t control. So how is it done? Here are my thoughts.
1) instead of fearing or worrying, Trusting that God is in control and wants only good for me. Psalm 56:3
2) do not complain or grumble over things you can’t control. Instead, find ways to serve others. Philippians 2:14 This will reignite your Joy.
3) remember that “all things work together for the good”

Finally, I would encourage you to start journaling. When I was paralyzed in the hospital two years ago, Dottie and I got two great pieces of advice. The first was pay attention to the trends. Watch all the numbers. Sometimes the oxygen level, blood pressure or temperature may go the wrong direction but how are they trending over the course of the day. Second, don’t compare the day, compare the week. We kept record so we could see small signs of recovery from one week to the next. Both of these kept us from slipping into discouragement along with our fervent hope that I would get better.
You can do the same in your life not matter what challenge you face. Lean in and find the “eye of the storm”. Know that God is on the journey with you. Nissan Parwar says it this way, “Lord grant me the strength to be content where I am. The patience to wait on your timing and the faith to remember that you have your hand always on my heart” Ask Him to help make you a little bit better today than you were yesterday. Take that first step and then the next. Pretty soon you will look back and be amazed where it takes you and who you have positively impacted along the way.
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4 Replies to “Do you have to be in control or can you let go?”

  1. Wise words. What a wonderful reminder…”Lord grant me the strength to be content where I am. The patience to wait on your timing and the faith to remember that you have your hand always on my heart.” God is faithful. May I always praise Him and reach for Him on both my best and worst days. You continue to motivate me to do and be more….thank you, Michael.

  2. Michael, I’ve been following your GBS journey on Caring Bridge since your CB postings started. I just went back through them and found your blog. My renewed interest was prompted this past week when a resident in Cresswind at Lake Lanier, Gainesville GA, (where Ellen and I have lived since 2015) was diagnosed with GBS, apparently triggered by his COVID-19 vaccination. Chuck is a believer, and a career minister of music in the SBC. He’s also the founder and director of a 100+ member Cresswind community chorus (that Ellen and I sing in).. He’s been in the hospital for the past week and moving to a rehab center this week. His road to recovery is just starting. So Ellen and I now have two friends to pray for as they battle GBS.

    1. I am so sorry. I had been told that unlike the flu vaccine, the Covid vaccine was not a concern for a GBS reaction. I just got my first Moderna shot last week. Pray that my 2nd one on 4/2 doesn’t create any problems for me. Please keep me posted on his progress. My email is Please send me his address. I would be happy to write him. The early posts on my blog should be an encouragement to him that he will get better.

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