So, two days ago, I posted about Jesus’ command not to be anxious, not to worry.
And last night, I flipped out because I was anxious. It’s a long story, but some rather minor incidents got under my skin and I really overreacted. I mean REALLY. So much so that both my daughter and I wound up in tears.
I’ve not slept in my own bed for six nights – 4 in Dallas, 2 in Oklahoma (work followed by a soccer tournament). And April 3 was the 3rd anniversary of my husband’s death. And there’s this thing in the back of my mind that keeps surfacing, won’t go away, an unresolved issue. Lots of stress piling up.
Last night, this anxiety led to a rather heated discussion with God about how tough and lonely my life is as a single working mom. Yes, I have a FABULOUS job and two wonderful daughters, but I lost my best friend and cheerleader and stabilizer (my husband), moved to a new area four years ago and don’t have any family here nor a posse of friends (no Easter invites, for example), lost my house cleaner, lost my handyman, have a sensitive14 year old who I don’t love well enough, etc. etc.
At one point as I ranted last night, I just prayed, “Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help me treat my daughter better. Help me take control of my life. I am tired of bearing it all. Help. Help. Send me help. Why HAVEN’T You sent me help?! HELP!”
I realized in the midst of this anxiety that I feel sort of cheated by God. And I realized that I have been living like a victim: “Oh, woe is me.” I tried to repent. I hope I did.
I want to live like a victor. God is my HELPER. If I needed a husband, I’d have one. If I needed more friends where I live, I’d have them. God can help me manage my life just as it is. He gave me my daughters, so despite my flaws, I am the mother they need. The church stepped in to help me when I lost my handy man. And if I need more help, my Helper knows what I need and can provide it. And if He doesn’t, he’s doing what’s best.
But, still, even tonight, I wept out of sheer loneliness. Out of anxiety. Wondering exactly where God was last night when I pitched a fit, hurt my daughter, couldn’t stop this free-floating issue that lingers in my mind, and didn’t feel His presence.
Well, one verse from today helped me in the complex, confusing circumstance of my life:
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12: 35
Paul’s antidote to anxiety is to tell God my requests and thank Him (Phil. 4: 6). Jesus tells me He’ll take care of the basics, so stop worrying (Luke 12) – and NOT to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6: 34 – that actually helps, only to focus on today). He says He’ll bear my burdens, too (Matthew 11:30).
But this Proverb says “a good word” will make me glad.
I’ve experienced that – in the middle of anxiety, someone calms me with a good word, perhaps helping get my head back into reality.
So, Lord: Could you help me with this anxiety by sending a good word my way? Meantime, forgive me for yelling at you and being a victim. Help me act as I should toward my daughter especially (and protect her from me when I lose it). Help me get perspective. And to realize you are loving me in all these circumstances. Thanks. Amen.