The Power Of Prayer When Things Are Beyond Your Control

The Power Of Prayer When Things Are Beyond Your Control

When things are beyond your control, let go and let God handle it.
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Recently, my faith has been tested while watching both of my amazing grandparents struggle with very scary and serious health issues that just seemed to be getting worse as time dragged on. While my family was dealing with assisted living situations at home, I was five-and-a-half hours away from everything in my college dorm just trying to process it all. In my 19 years of life, I had never known more Christian people and I didn't understand why they had to live in these terrible conditions. Being so far away from everything didn't help either, I had a very hard time focusing on my schoolwork and I had an even worse time going to sleep at night. Some nights, I wouldn't be able to sleep until nearly 6 in the morning because I just couldn't stop wondering why they were being put through this. There was a very real possibility that my grandfather wouldn't make it until I could come home for break. Every night, I prayed, begging God to just let me see him one more time.

When I arrived home for Christmas break, I was able to go and visit both of my grandparents. Seeing the struggle in real life just pushed me even farther into sadness. It was one thing to imagine it from a far away distance, but completely another to be there in real life. My heart ached for my family who had been home dealing with it while I was away at school. My grandfather was in the worst shape, stuck in the Surgical Trauma ICU with a grim outlook and completely relying on the ventilator to breathe.

One afternoon, my mom received a call from the hospital saying that he had taken a turn for the worst and to start preparing ourselves. So, we piled into the car with blankets and decided to stay at the ICU as long as possible. When I got there, I was very distraught. My grandfather who once stood so tall and strong was weak and swollen, and connected to so many machines. I knew that it was a very real possibility that this was the last time I would ever see him. I knew that he could hear, but he couldn't talk because of the ventilator. My mom asked me if there was anything I wanted to tell him. In my head, I came up with a few things I could say, like "I love you" or "I have missed you so much" or "Thank you for being the best grandfather in the world". After a few seconds of struggling to find my words, I told my grandpa that I finished my English class with an A. I felt pathetic, but I just couldn't find the words to tell him what I wanted him to. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I prayed that God would tell my grandpa what I had really wanted to tell him, or give me the strength to tell him myself.

My younger sister had school the next day, so we left the hospital around midnight. I walked back into his room in the ICU where my mom and my aunt were sleeping in chairs, and walked up to the side of his bed and told him that I loved him and that I knew he would pull through. I walked out of the room, however, believing that the time was drawing near. I prayed that God would give my family clarity in all of this horrible sadness. Christmas, our most favorite time of the year, was just a few days away, and all of us were preparing to say goodbye to my grandfather. This was not the time. I begged God to just get him through Christmas.

The next day, my mom was visiting the hospital, and my grandpa had made it through the night. The male nurse who was attending to his care was someone we had never met before, and we knew most of the nurses on the staff. She asked his nurse if there was any chance that he would come out of this and be able to get out of the hospital. The nurse replied "Well, miracles happen, I guess." My mom prayed for my grandpa to be able to see my grandma again and to be able to talk. I was convinced that the nurse was an angel, and that something good would happen soon.

One day later, my mom, sister, and I were on our way to the mall to try to clear our heads for a few minutes. When the phone rang from the hospital, we all got very nervous about what we were about to hear. The nurse, Chantelle, told my mom that my grandpa was off of the ventilator and was able to breathe completely on his own. We were amazed, and rushed to the hospital. He was awake, with his eyes opened and we were able to wave at him and just see his sweet face. It was seriously one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

I prayed that night, that we would be able to have a conversation again. The next day, I was at the dentist and my mom got a call from her good friend who had spent the morning with my grandpa and told her that he was talking. I rushed right over there after my dentist appointment. His words were very quiet and shaky, but he was able to say hello and I could talk and he could listen.

Christmas eve came, and he was beginning to look unfortunately worse. Nurses were beginning to ask my mom if her mind had changed in regards to resuscitating my grandpa if he were to go downhill. We prepared for a very sad Christmas and I braced myself for him to go back on the ventilator. During communion at our Christmas Eve church service, I asked God to give our family something to smile about on Christmas day, even if it was small.

The next day, our family got together at a Chinese restaurant, since the meal was always held at my grandparent's house and we just couldn't handle being there without them both. On our way to the restaurant, my mom got a call from my grandpa's nurse, he was alert, talking, and asked if he could watch a Christmas movie. He was also breathing completely on his own, and was receiving less oxygen than ever before. It was a Christmas miracle. We all arrived at the hospital and he was able to talk quite a bit.

Since Christmas, he has begun to get even better. He also has come out of the Intensive Care Unit and has been moved to a regular room. What happened to him was unfortunate, but he is making a slow and steady comeback and we are praying that he will be out of the hospital as soon as possible. On New Years Day, I walked into his new room for the very first time and he looked more like himself than he has since he has been in the hospital. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face.

This roller coaster experience with my grandparents has taught me a lot. I have learned to never underestimate God, and that prayer truly does work. Five or six days before Christmas, no one thought that my grandpa would even make it to see the holiday he once loved so much. Instead, he woke up on Christmas morning breathing on his own, completely aware of the day, excited to see his family. He made it out of the ICU just a few days later, something we never thought would happen. My faith in God has been one of the few things that has gotten me through this.

Your faith will be tested at some points, but you have to put your worries in God's hands and trust that He will keep everything under control. I truly believe that His plan is mysterious, and that faith is the only thing that can help people through situations like these. Regardless of what happened to put my grandpa in the hospital, I now completely believe that he will be out soon and make a recovery. There is truly nothing more amazing than the power of prayer.


Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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If God Didn’t Intend For Women To Be Equals, Why Did She Make Us So Incredible?

Yeah, I said She.

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An article that absolutely infuriates me has gone viral. As a feminist, as a writer, and simply as a woman, it drives me up a wall to see another woman proclaiming that God's plan for women was to "submit to their husbands."

I don't know where to start with all the issues I found in reading the piece, so I'll start with what a feminist is. It's a subjective term and its connotation varies from person to person.

But to me, feminism is being empowered and expressive individuals with open minds and open hearts. They are activists for change and equality. They have concerns about the environment and global warming. They acknowledge issues within sexism and racism and then try to figure out how to solve them. They see that the world isn't perfect.

Feminists are the reason we can vote. They're the reason birth control is an option for us. They're why we're allowed to wear pants. They're why we have careers. The female pioneers paved the way for anything we're allowed to do, and they are why we celebrate the power of women every March.

But instead, the woman who wrote "I'm A Christian And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals," used our month of pride for clout. And took justification from The Bible to do it.

The Bible is not an instruction manual. It was written over many, many years by hordes of sexist men whose existence we have minimal proof of. And over the last thousand years, it's been translated and reinterpreted more times than anyone could ever keep track of. That's not to say it doesn't have some good lessons, but lessons are all they are.

Thinking your worth and capabilities were planned for you thousands of years in advance is ignorant. Religion and The Bible and God are as subjective as feminism. Everything is open-ended. One person's view of who or what God is not going to be the same as the last.

Commonly, God is seen as a man at the center of the universe who holds all existence in his hands. He is the reason why anyone does anything. He is the rule maker. And He is judging us and waiting for our every mistake.

But as a proud feminist, I've chosen to have my own idea of this holy being. I wasn't brought up in church, but I decided to believe in something much greater than myself or anything I've ever seen just because I wanted to. I want to believe that faith has to come from somewhere, and I didn't want a book making the rules for me.

Just by watching life move through time, I happen to believe God is the good in all of us. Not one being, but he beginning and the end of everything. The push and the pull. The conscious and subconscious. And considering that God is the creator, I've concluded God must be a woman because women are the creators.

And in my experience, women have proved themselves to be much stronger and more capable than any man.

As for what She creates, I think She makes no mistakes. I think She tests our patience and beliefs by giving us what we don't expect. There's intent and love in everything She gives us. I think every woman was made to be relentless, imperfect, fearless, and even a little rebellious.

And if we're saying Adam and Eve were the start of it all, then God proved that right off the bat. God saved the best for last, and then made her a badass. Yes, the first woman came into this world as a rule breaker. She questioned authority. And since the beginning of time, authority has been a snake. The world is our forbidden fruit to bite.

The sole purpose of a woman isn't to submit to anyone. A woman can do whatever she damn well pleases, just as any man. A woman's worth isn't tied to what kind of wife or mother she is and how closely she follows the rules. I was raised by the most incredible mom and wife. She did happen to stay at home with me and be the traditional woman. But while she was home, she taught me how great it is to be a woman. She made sure I knew I could be whoever I wanted and would pay no consequences for that.

My parents didn't raise me in a church. And I never saw that as a flaw or lack of judgment. My southern home was like a church; full of faith and love. But on Sundays, we would sleep in and have a big breakfast at noon because we had too much fun staying up late Saturday night dancing around our living room to music. Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Madonna led the choir — singing about independence and the power of being empowered as women.

As a feminist, I will not judge those who haven't accepted all the honors of being female. I can just tell everyone how wonderful it is to stand for something. I can set an example so that more women will go forward.

And despite what anyone thinks of feminism, there's nothing exclusive about it. Feminists don't think they're any better than men, they just want the chance to prove their capabilities. It's so much bigger than thinking men suck. The truth is, we should have men at our side, not in front of or behind us. And not for romantic partnerships, but as allies. The best men are feminists too. We can make this walk alone, but there's power in numbers and in diversity.

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