Wanting to Control: Learning to Release

Labor of Love

It feels good when we think we are in control. As a mother I  pursued the health of my children vigorously. I had been trained as a nurse at the University of Michigan. I believed in the medical profession and my ability to protect the health of my children.

The mental illness of my brother and the impact that it had my parents, my siblings and me, infused me with fear. As a mother I was devoted to maintaining the physical and mental health of my children.   

Women and Families

At first I put my trust in the medical field, going to the pediatrician with every concern.The pediatricians and gastroenterologist that we consulted did not resolve the repetitive ear infections and gastrointestinal disturbances of my twins, despite the antibiotics and medication to relax the gut.

So I pursued answers and treatment with a doctor practicing alternative medicine. With allergy testing we made changes in our diet and the health of my children improved.

Soon I was putting all of my energy into allergy diets and nutrition. I was was gradually depending on my own abilities for the health of our family. I wanted to be in control.

When one of the twins developed leukemia I continued to pursue nutrition and supplements to support him through chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. My husband and I studied research. We prayed, and I was sure that Steven would be healed. We saw God’s love for Steven and our family, but Steven wasn’t healed.

Although we have tools for health we are not in complete control. Medical science is not perfect and does not have all the answers. God was teaching me to trust him. Could I let go of my fears? 

I have learned lessons (and I am still learning). God does not want me to be motivated by fear.

Nutrition and medical interventions are tools. It is important to learn about an illness that we encounter and possible treatments. It is important to ask questions and prayerfully make decisions.

God will guide us as we seek him and pray for appropriate care. He will stay with us during times of suffering.

As a grandmother I see the importance of supporting the immune system with a healthy life style—nutrition, adequate rest, physical activity. God has designed the human body with an amazing immune system. It is good to pursue a balance of prayer, healthy lifestyle and medical intervention when necessary. 

Although I started out with fear and a desire to control our health, God has blessed my study of nutrition and support for the immune system. My daughters have learned and their children have been healthier as infants and young children than they were.

One of my daughters is now a pediatric nurse practitioner helping families reach a better level of health.

This post is part of #Write28Days. You can find links to all the posts in the series on my landing page.

By Carol

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.


  1. Oh, Carol, it saddened me to hear Steven passed away. But thank you so much for sharing your heart and reminding me of balance. I can easily turn to fear in this season of my life, faced with a major career decision. Thank you for Reminding me that I don’t control everything. God does. And I can trust Him.

  2. Love that you are still learning, Carol. I’m in the same boat. Things I thought I should have or thought I had learned long ago keep coming up and I realize I need to learn again. And one of them is control — of fully letting go and trusting God. Thanks for sharing your story here.

  3. I am convinced there are just something only God can heal and that He does want too, we just have to step back. We like to think we have it under control, but He knows better. Visiting from # Write28Days.

    1. Yes, Rebecca, that is true. This past summer our grandson had an aneurysm that burst–just two and one-half hours of symptoms and he was getting brain surgery. God answered the prayers of a youth group and many others. God worked through the hands of skilled surgeons. He was in the hospital for a month, spent the summer going to rehab and went back to school in the fall. He is doing well as a high school freshman. Praise God!

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