February 24, 2021
This monthly article is way over-due. I had an excuse for a while, but the vulnerability of its content made me procrastinate way too long. It was only after the third subscriber called and asked, “How is the book going and when is the next article coming out,” that I felt affirmed enough and strengthened to write it. Like I explain in the book: The brain operates best when it feels connected to another brain; and it’s that satisfying and co-regulating connection with our community that encourages and affirms us in who we are and what we’re meant to do.
My struggle with Covid flattened and rendered me desperately helpless!
Twice, I came close to calling 911 but couldn’t because my wife would have been left alone and without the care she needed. She had Covid, too. Calling the kids would have been out of the question because that would have exposed them.
The headache and nausea were the worst I had experienced. There was nothing I could do to make it stop; and I was afraid it wouldn’t. It relieved a bit when I tried to relax, so each day and night I’d lie there, tap the vagus nerve in my chest, draw slow soothing circles on the skin of my stomach, whisper the name of Jesus, and recite the verse, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You oh Lord!” Psalm 56:3. Eventually I’d doze off, but then would awake again to the terrifying nightmare and the cycle would start all over again.
In all of that, what was meant for evil, did kill something in me—my own resistance. It wasn’t death that I was fighting, it was the fear of letting go of my own control to prevent it—that same old churning and flailing to survive in my own strength that prevented me from resting my head on Jesus’ chest (in the last article).
I had to surrender to and be reassured by someone and something outside of myself. Deliverance came only from the intervention of God and the strength I drew from my wife’s words when she said, “Yes you are going to make it.”
The dying process to my old churning and flailing still continues, but the calming and surrendered peace is slowly growing, as long as I vulnerably connect with myself, others, and God.
In a recent incident I found myself lying on the bathroom floor crying out, again, “Jesus I can’t do this anymore”; and realizing I really couldn’t. I needed something outside of my own effort to give me the love, delight, and affirmation that my infant attachment pain needed and couldn’t conjure up himself. So, I laid there again admitting my inability and waiting for the reception of the calming that could only come from a connection outside of my own churning and flailing.
The good news is, in all this development I no longer groveled in how bad I had done in the past. I just received what God’s good intentions are—how He knows, even before hand, every good and bad thing about us; how His thoughts toward us are always precious; how He protects us in the front and back; and puts His hand upon us to bless us even while he answers our request of Him to reveal what’s wicked or disquieting about us. I appreciated all that and got back up letting Him guide me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139)
One of the ladies in my on-line Journey Group saw a picture of Jesus sitting with me and combing my hair. She explained that He was combing it from front to back and was telling me, “Put your hands down Doug, and let me do this.”
Giving up our effort can be terrifying—like admitting defeat and consenting to being a failure. But what if our surrender was the gateway to downloading an upgraded experience that would be something better?
I’m still letting go of that isolating churning and flailing in my own strength to receive what Jesus wants to bring and the accepting validation my community wants to give.
The letting go of my resistance is the good part that Covid killed.