Don’t you dare think—for even one minute—that I don’t know what worry is. Yes, I have an amazing life. I’m blessed, fulfilled, and overflowing with the abundance of the Lord!! Looking at me now you might be tempted to think I must have an easy life. You might think I have never had it hard since I seem to be an annoying Positive Patty. But oh how wrong you would be! The stories I could, and most likely will, tell!
And besides, I’m an ex-control freak, for goodness sake, with worry a basic requirement. So yeah, I know about worry. But did you notice I said, “ex”? Oh yes, I’ve been through the not-so-pleasant boot camp named Control Freak Reform (did you notice the “not-so-pleasant”?). And during the time I was learning to release control of my life, learning to admit and believe that I can NOT completely govern what happens in my life, everything went kaboom. Hmmm, life lesson anyone?
In the span of a few years, I had retired (after thirty-three years of teaching) to spend more time with my then six-year-olds, I lost my house to foreclosure, was then sued by the mortgage insurance company and had to file bankruptcy to protect myself, I had to leave my marriage, and had moved–lock, stock, barrel, and two kids (and a one hundred-year old solid oak upright piano)—twice. When the dust settled, I found myself the single mom of two special-needs eight-year-olds, living on a small monthly pension, at an age where most of my colleagues were grandparents. The three of us had been through many changes (difficult for typical children, but especially so for at-risk kids) and I was determined to knit us together as a family. My ex-husband was pretty much out of the picture (even the country) for most of that time. I have no other family members in Michigan, and was striving to make it–alone. My body was worn out. My mind exhausted. Yep, I was fried.
I began to battle worry about the future. I say “battle” because I’m usually very positive and able to trust the Lord quite deeply. He has proven faithful over and over, so worry doesn’t usually prevail. But, at this point, this day, I was in the battle. My brain swarmed with questions…will I have enough money? … how will I earn more?… who will take care of my kids when I die? what will happen with my son and his ability to earn income?… when my savings runs out, how will I cope—I’m too exhausted to work a nine to five! I really need to have a plan! I want my ducks in a row!
Eventually, exhausted, I threw everything down, and just sat. And prayed. My wonderfully-worded prayer went something like this, “Oh God, oh God, oh God…..” Profound, huh? Good thing God understands the yearnings of our hearts.
As the worry began to recede (because I was filling my mind with prayer instead) reassurance whispered. I knew it was my heavenly Father, and He was saying, “Live in my ‘today’. I hold your tomorrows.” And I knew my worry was only robbing the energy from the present.
So, feeling slightly guilty (because shouldn’t I be doing something?), I began to clear my mind. I don’t know about you, but for me, this is a conscious, purposeful act, and doesn’t come easily. I actually have to picture taking each thought captive and giving it up because it’s so hard for me to surrender. Only then could I begin to relax. I released my clenched teeth, uncurled my shoulders, and took a deep, cleansing breath. I did not get busier to avoid the worry. I accepted. I leaned into Him. And found it to be the most luxurious feeling!
In her wonderful book God’s Joyful Surprise, Sue Monk Kidd says, “Waiting time allows the loving call of God to sink into our marrow and become one with us.”
In other words, when we take the time to wait, God’s loving call sinks into us, permeates our being, and goes so deeply as to become one with us. His call becomes our life-giving force, as if it’s in the very marrow of our bones. Isn’t that an amazing thought? On that day, I wrote in my journal,
“While I’m sitting here, breathing in the essence of God’s spirit, surrendering my worry, I see myself resting my head on the swell of God’s thumb as He cradles me in His palm. I am supported and sheltered by the curl of His mighty fingers around me. The part that nourishes my soul is when He moves me close to His mouth and whispers…His breath—the mighty breath of God—flowing over my heart, filling the anxious, dark places“.
Such a glorious picture! Perhaps something like this:
There is a scripture I find intriguing. “I will allure her to the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:14) God knows He has to allure us, call and entice us, to come away from all that holds us. I love that He speaks to us tenderly, not condemning, not with judgment, but with a most amazing love.
Often it takes being in the wilderness, stumbling to find our way, for us to give up and listen for God’s voice. In the past, I haven’t relinquished my control easily, and still sometimes deal with that. But when I do, when I allow His breath to whisper to me? It’s then that I KNOW:
He is God.
He loves me with abandon.
He has a precious plan for me.
He will guide and instruct me.
As surely as he cradles me, he also holds my future.
And if He is all that for me, He will be all that for you!
Hugs and love, Passionista Mimi
OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!