February 12, 2021

Joyful Witness / Kimberly Pohovey

Loosening our grip helps us yield to God’s control

Kimberly PohoveyBetween COVID-19 and cancer, I’ve had a lot of time at home.

Time to think. Time to worry. Too much time in my own head. I have had to be more intentional about prayer. I have been reading devotionals and inspirational books. I’ve been utilizing my Fitbit app to meditate. I exercise. I paint. Basically, I’ve been using all the tools in my power to stay occupied, stay centered, and to help me let go.

Part of being in my own head is the need for control. I want to plan and to dictate the outcome. I think we all suffer from this in some way, but I admit by nature I have a greater need for control.

Of course, intellectually, I know full well who is in control. I feel as if I have to work hard to surrender to God’s will and trust he will work out any difficulty I may be experiencing. It is a constant tug of war.

Our oldest son, Luke, recently graduated college and accepted a job working in Corpus Christi, Texas. I knew there was a better-than-average chance he would find work out of town. However, I didn’t consider him moving as far as Texas. It all happened so fast—right after I was diagnosed with cancer.

My husband Mark and I didn’t want him to make the 20-hour drive and try to find a place to live on his own. So the day after my breast cancer surgery, Mark and Luke packed up his Ford Fusion and headed for The Lone Star State.

Luke’s job as a news producer at a TV station is going well. He’s learning so much so quickly, and they are giving him more and more responsibility. However, being 1,200 miles from home is difficult. He moved there not knowing a soul, and, especially during COVID, has little opportunity to meet people.

As his mother, my heart aches whenever he sounds down on our calls. I tell him all will be well—he just needs to give it time. I suggest activities to keep him occupied, I suggest he pray, meditate, read, exercise.

Then it hit me: We are both sharing a similar experience. We are both in our own heads. Both of us want to control our own situations instead of trusting that God has our situations well under control. It is when we vie for control that we feel scared, frustrated, worried or lonely. We need to learn to let go and trust.

When I look back in my life, I see that there has never been a situation, challenge or tragedy that God didn’t have in control and ultimately use for his glory. Every challenge either helps us grow or leads us to a new and unexpected opportunity—or both.

There are so many instances in my life that I’m now able to look back and say, “Oh, that’s what God was doing.” I just need to loosen my grip on the tug of war rope and slide his way.

(Kimberly Pohovey is a member of St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis. She is the director of major and planned gifts for the archdiocese.) †

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