Yesterday Josiah had a stomach ache. And because my mom was in a meeting, Michael was working, and there was no one to talk me off the cliff, I was 100% sure his appendix was rupturing. I hastily put on my shoes while calling the doctor, telling the kids to get ready because we were probably going to take an ambulance ride.
The sweet nurse started asking rational questions that come from the minds of rational people, not giving any attention to my appendicitis rant.
Nurse – ‘Have any of your other kids been sick recently?’
Me – ‘Uhm. Oh, well, Zachary threw up all night Saturday and part of Sunday.’
Nurse – connect the dots, lah lah lah…. ‘It sounds like he has what Zachary had.’
Me – ‘um hmm.’ I say slowly removing my shoes.
Nurse – speaking in a very calculated manner ‘I would let him reeeest and drink lots of gat-or-ade’ nice and slow for me so I can make sure and geeet. it. all.
I struggle with anxiety. (I’ve told you that before). It’s a little battle I’ve had my whole life. When I was in 3rd grade, our family doctor told my mom I should avoid caffeine. I cried for days. When I was 8, coffee was everything. Also now. The past 25 years since have been a learning process. I have learned what coping mechanisms work, and which ones don’t. Prayer works. Allowing my mind to run wild with irrational thoughts….sort of aggravates it.
Generally, I reestablish equilibrium fairly quickly. I use my sane friends for talk therapy. I pray. I read. I surrender. There are times, though, when I roll around in my anxiety and just allow it to have it’s way with me. Enter > last Thursday. There are some unknowns in our life right now. And I was allowing those unknowns to wreak havoc in my mind, body and spirit. Ol’ ‘what if’ was spinning like a Tasmanian devil all through my mind and slowly creeped down through my digestive system, shredding it to ever-loving pieces. I was a mess. I was out of balance. Out of control.
And I was irritated with myself for having let it go so far. That monster died when I surrendered to Christ! How did it manage to weasel into my calm, rational spirit?
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:6-10, emphasis added)
I allowed it to, that’s how. And just as I allowed it to creep inward, I had to spend some time casting it upward. After some quiet prayer time and allowing every thought to surrender to the authority of Christ, I was restored. As He promised.
Josiah shares my tendency to worry. When he got home yesterday, I had to convince him he wasn’t dying.
‘Are you sure it’s not a heart attack, Mom? It hurts right here’ (pointing to his stomach).
‘I’m sure Josiah.’ but OMG what if? Didn’t I read an article about children as young as 6 suffering from heart disease??….
Talk about the blind leading the blind.
Stop. Josiah does not have heart disease. He loves cabbage, for crying out loud and the American Heart Association.
Cast. Lord, you know the drill. My ‘sober of mind’ catapulted itself headfirst into a sea of ridiculousness. I need you to take this worry, and replace it with trust, as I am struggling in this moment.
Restored. ‘Josiah, here’s the TV remote, a gatorade, and a cold washcloth. Rest, buddy.’
Praise the sweet Lord Jesus my husband worries about nothing. Never has he told me to be careful, called when I was late, or stressed a deadline. Hopefully our children will be somewhat balanced creatures.
But if they aren’t, my prayer is that they would learn to cast their cares upon Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Even tame the cruel monster of anxiety.