This morning I read on Facebook that my third grade niece’s anxiety was kicking up and she was having a hard morning. I wanted to call her and tell her, “I totally get it. Let’s hide from the world and watch Cake Boss all day today.” But of course, we can’t do that. I have little ones that need me, a messy house to clean, food to cook, buses to catch, blogs to write and a life to live. I have a faith to walk out too and some days that is harder than others.
I woke up and my heart was as messy as my bedroom. Anxiety, stress, worry…all lurking in corners like the laundry piled up. I had prayed the night before and went to bed peaceful…I don’t know what happened in my sleep to cause that peace to flee.
I worry, I worry about so many things.
I worry about funding for the Good Samaritan orphanage.
I worry about funding our family and our household. Seems like expenses grow but income doesn’t.
I worry about Julia’s safety when she’s not at home.
I worry about the big girls learning to drive- alternating between concerns for their safety and fear that they may never drive.
I worry about how Chase is faring in 10th grade and how his heart is and if he’s sleeping enough. (Mom stuff. I don’t see him everyday so while I know he is well cared for, I still worry.)
I worry about Lila at kindergarten because she’s there all day and I don’t know what’s going on.
I worry about Claire. Will she have tantrums every day for the rest of her life?
I worry about Nora. Will she be born at all? Will she be early? Will she be healthy and whole?
I worry about this pregnancy and hemorrhages and placenta previa and vasa previa and all that those things mean. Will I have to be hospitalized? Will my history of preterm labor become a present day concern?
And I don’t want to worry. I know what the Lord says about worry. Who, by worrying can add one hour to her life? Consider the lilies…the birds of the air…has not your heavenly Father cared for them? How much more will He care for me?
But sometimes I feel powerless to stop. And that’s when I relate most to my little niece. Because it’s like my heart goes back to eight years old and I feel afraid and out of control and even sometimes a little hopeless. It’s the truth.
When I was in counseling, I told the doctor how I would help my niece. I told her that I encouraged my niece to ask the Lord for help. That I encouraged her to keep her gratitude journal. That I encouraged her to do deep breathing until her stomach would settle and she felt more grounded. And there have been times when my niece has said those things back to me.
So, today, I will take my own advice. Even now, while Claire has a tantrum because I won’t let her eat the whole box of doughnuts that Meema brought over yesterday. Even now, when my heart isn’t in it because it’s all just too much. Even now, when the words feel hollow as I say them…they are just acts of obedience and my heart will catch up.
Help me Lord.
Thank you, Lord.
Steady my heart, Lord.