Staying The Course

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

So this week didn’t start out so great. Me and the kids were all sick so stuck at home for the entire week before which makes me and my two year old son go STIR CRAAAZAY!! Things get intense..and a little stressful. And then my husband was due to travel with work the following week so I had another one of my little anxiety episodes on the Sunday which bled into the Monday. So very thankful for my in-laws who had my son stay with them for a couple of nights while my husband was away which gave me and baby girl a couple of quiet days to chill. I’m so thankful for those times and am beginning to realize more and more how essential they are in life, especially when everything is roaring loudly about you and moving at what feels like a million miles an hour. It’s so good to just STOP. Even if it’s just for an hour or two in the week. Take the space wherever and whenever you can find it.

In this scenario I am so glad that the space came in the form of two days as apparently I really needed it. The first day my head was still whirring and running on overdrive thinking of all the ways I could ‘fix’ my anxiety. I literally wrote a list in my journal of all the practical things I could do. The list was entitled ‘Ways to battle depression/anxiety’ and top of the list was ‘move to the UK’. That seems like a perfectly logical solution, right? You know, just pick up and move my entire family across the globe in a week or so. Yep, I think you would agree that my mind was in a pretty logical and rational place that day. As great as my list was it wasn’t really having the desired effect, I was still feeling pretty wired.

That was where day two made such a big difference.

So on day two I finally gotaround to doing what I knew I should have probably done in the first place. I would think by now I would have learned that this should always be my first resort rather than second or third…or even last. I finally sat outside on the little table on our balcony with a cup of tea and opened my bible. Now I’m not saying this happens every time I open my bible, I’ve definitely started reading my bible during challenging times in the past and read some random scripture that has absolutely nothing to with what I’m going through, usually one of those geneology chapters where there’s just a whole list of unpronounceable names and lot of the use of ‘begot’. But this time God really spoke to me. I’m currently reading the Joyce Meyer Every Day Life Bible (which is awesome BTW) and as I was readig a chapter in Job I read one of the side notes by Joyce which went a little something like this…

When I get frustrated, it is almost always because I am trying to make something happen instead of waiting on the Lord to bring it to pass. My frustration is a sign that I am acting independently. In order to pass the frustration test, we have to let go and trust God to do what only He can do. We have to let God be God.

In that moment I realized that in all the craziness I was still trying to find ways out of the refining fire. I always remember my old pastor would say ‘the problem with a living sacrifice is that it’s always trying to crawl off the alter.’ I most definitely don’t want to come out of the fire half-baked. I remembered that it was maybe only a few weeks ago that God had spoken to me about staying the course and walking through this season without trying to look for a quick or easy way out, to look to Him rather than my own solution. But just like that I had forgotten what He had told me and had once again taken matters into my own hands — to no avail. It made me think how as a society we are always looking for immediate solutions to problems or inconveniences. When we get sick we want to take as much medication as we can to make the bug pass as quickly as possible while still continuing on with our usual level of work when it may be our body’s way of telling us to stop or slow down. This is definitely true for myself. The idea of actually walking through something, embracing it as it were, seems crazy. But is it such a bad thing? It reminds me of Lieutenant Dan in the storm scene of the movie Forrest Gump. He stays up and looks that storm in the eye the whole time and by the time it passes, he has found his peace. Also, it wasn’t until Shadrach, Meschace and Abednego got tossed into the fire that they got to stand face to face with Jesus (the Angel). They were in the midst of one of the most horrific situations that someone could ever be in but yet there they were standing in the presence of the Lord. I wonder if they wanted to ever come out!

When I think of myself in this season I almost see myself as the screaming/writhing baby or toddler in it’s parents arms that is so overtired and in desperate need of sleep but it just can’t calm itself down and if anything is escalating it’s own situation. But when the parent holds that bay really tight so it can no longer flail its limbs it eventually gives up and just drops off into deep, beautiful sleep. I am that baby, and I have decided to just give up and give in to that sweet surrender. I am going to rest in my heavenly Father’s arms. I am trusting in Him, and I know that He knows exactly what I need and what he needs to work in my heart.

I’m not saying this is the solution for everyone going through anxiety but man has it turned a corner for me. I feel a calm and a peace and I’m not afraid or trying to escape. I’m going to look that damn storm straight in the eye and stay the course, no matter how long it takes.

We can go through something and be a little changed or we can walk in it with the desire to be transformed. Choose a powerful response! (Graham Cooke)