FEAR ANXIETY WORRY
Last week, I attended my church’s MOPS night. My friend, Dr. Zach Sikora spoke on anxiety, fear, and worry. I like to think that I don’t worry very much. I don’t deal with anxiety or fear. But as he spoke, I took my notes. I thought about how I have seen worry and anxiety in others and even in my life…before. Not now. As our table discussed how fear impacts our lives, I continued to think that I have this area covered. Perhaps not perfectly casting aside worry and fear, but it is not a habit.
Still, I decided to reflect. I got quiet. I knew God had something for me in this. I knew because, one of Zach’s points was on remembering God’s past faithfulness as a way of combating worry. Whenever I hear something repeatedly, I know God is asking me to keep listening, He’s telling me there’s still more. I just wrote about thankfulness and the act of remembering on my last post
, I read about it in a book, and heard a sermon discussing this. So I knew I needed to stop and reflect. To really listen. To be still.
I slowly started to realized that there is something in my life. I fight the tension of being a ‘good enough mom.’ I fear that my ‘not enough,’ my humanness is the cause
of my sweet boy-child’s delays. I wrote about this a few weeks ago, here
. I honestly thought I had moved past this, onto a new lesson. I understand it. I KNOW the truth. I KNOW I am chosen to be Sweet Boy-Child’s mom. I KNOW that I did not cause his delays. I KNOW that he is perfectly and wonderfully made. I do. Truly, I do.
But somewhere, I don’t. Somewhere, in the dark corners, truth gets lost. Lies seep in. They whisper to me. And somewhere the truth gets crowded out. And I forget. And I wonder. I give the lies time and space. I give them life. I have to choose to confront those lies. To speak truth back to them. To remember the truth that I have learned. And instead of pushing them back to a dark corner, I need to actually confront them, fight them, and win.
This isn’t what I did though. Instead, I gave into those lies. I sat through the rest of the MOPS discussion time. I cried on my drive home. I ate some pie. Or half a pie. I decided to share a piece of my story on Instagram
. I needed to let you all know what was happening in my heart. I needed my community. And I needed to be held accountable. I didn’t want to just repeat my easy cycle of pushing my fear, the lies aside and then continuing on with life until they made their appearance once more. I knew if I shared, even just a piece, I would need (even if only for myself), to share my heart. And if I were to share my heart, fully, I would need to really confront the ugliness. The lies.
Of course, I decided to continue to wait on seeking out God’s word. I decided to wallow for a little bit. I procrastinated, checked Facebook and Instagram. Read some blogs I follow. And at all costs, I avoided my kitchen counter, the spot my Bible and journal were waiting for me.
I did finally come back to the Bible on Saturday. But I still didn’t get it. I read, but there was a disconnect somewhere between my head and my heart. I just wasn’t ready to give up on the lies. I don’t know why but sometimes, you need time to completely walk away from untruths that you hold. For me, this one is hard to let go of because we may never have a diagnosis for Boy-Child. And that might be great, maybe one day he will be “typical” and this time in our life will be just a distant memory. But maybe it won’t. And one thing I know about myself is that I like answers. I like knowing why something happened, what we can do about it, and what we can do in the future. I like clean and neat life. And if life is anything, it most certainly is not clean or neat. It doesn’t always have answers. It usually doesn’t proceed according to your plan. And when it gets messy, because it will get messy, it doesn’t always get resolved fully, or the way you thought it would.
Today, with a fresh mind and a fresh heart, I sad down. I was quiet. I had let go of my preconceived ideas. And I just read. I let God’s words wash over me. Ready to let them speak to my heart, my soul. And they did. As soon as I began reading Psalm 77, I knew these words were written for me. And maybe they were written for you too.
Psalm 77 begins with the writer crying out to God. He began crying out in the DAY of his troubles and continued through the night. Finally, to combat his growing fear and depression, he stopped to REMEMBER who God is. He remembered the ways that God had strengthened and protected him in the past. Then the writer gets it. He realizes that God’s ways are not his ways.
And there it was. It was my story. I was crying out. But instead of coming to God with it the DAY of my trouble, I waited. I moped. I ate pie (which really, I am not against, I LOVE pie). But instead of doing all of that, I should have read my Bible. I should have heard what God wanted to tell me. I should have turned to truth. (And I could have done that while eating my pie!) Instead of moping, I needed to REMEMBER who God is, and how He has already worked in my life. And then, I needed to remember that God has a plan for me, for my family. His ways are most definitely not my ways. But oh how much grander His ways are. Even if I can’t see it or understand. I can trust in it.
Psalm 77 ends:
Your way was through the sea, Your path through the great waters, yet Your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock…
I LOVE these verses. They paint the perfect picture of God and His way.
God’s way is not easy. It isn’t a way I would choose to go. It seems impossible, impassable. Yet. Still. It is the best path. It is not only possible, but it is MARVELOUS! Though I cannot see the path, He leads me, like a precious lamb in His flock. He leads me through the impossible, the scary. To the other side. To beauty. With great care and greater love.
Today, I just want to leave you with one thought. Are you trying to sweep away a fear? If you are, can I challenge you to go to your community. Ask for prayer, encouragement, and accountability. And then go to God. Read His word, be still and quiet. And wait on Him. Let Him fight the lies with His truth. Let Him write your story. It’s hard, and sometimes it isn’t what you expected, but with God, we can be assured that He will make something beautiful from it all. What amazing GRACE.
Photo Credit: Rob Bergman