I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find that when I attempt to save this blog post I am prompted to change the title due to the fact that I have already written one named this. It seems like it’s something I have struggled with, constantly. Feeling the need to control or be in control or….well, worry.
Let me back up really fast before I dive in. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in my life and I deal with both quite regularly. It doesn’t mean I am never happy or always fidgety or ever crazy…it just means that is my reality and just as you’d take medicine for cholesterol or diabetes, I take medication for that. End of story, not up for debate and save the judging for Jesus, okurrrr? 🙂
So….when I go to a retreat or am in a period of deep thought or reading a devotion I am consistently looking for what the Lord is showing me through His Word, praise and worship music and through other people. I was blessed to be able to attend You Are last weekend. If you are local…or not…you need to just start planning on being there next year. It is indescribable. Such a gift that I live just a few miles from where it is held but honestly, after going the last two years…if they moved it to the moon I’d be there! It is so well thought out…with times of praise, worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship and even shopping! One of the greatest moments I experienced there this year was in the prayer room…. Again, I can’t even describe the feeling of being one of HUNDREDS of women literally waiting in a line for prayer (by over twenty other women that were pouring out prayers over others!!)…it was a surreal moment to see the huge calling for prayer set before me so visually….and to be honest that was the first thing I thought of in reflection. It gave me a new focus and new thirst to be in prayer for those that are hurting, doubting, stressing, searching…..just all the things. Whew.
As I prepared my heart for even getting out of my seat to go to that place, I found myself wrestling with the question of what exactly I was going to ask for prayer about. My health? My family? Our country? My parents or inlaws? Friends that are in need of healing? Friends that are hurting? These are things I pray for every single day, mind you…but would I use this time to really focus on any of those things? I literally started making a list in my notes of the things that I found myself worrying about….x, y, z….1, 2, 3….and I had quite a list, y’all. I was saying to myself…”hmm, I worry about this and that and them and those”…..and then, I am just going to tell you exactly how it happened…..I prayed one more time for the Lord to just fix my eyes on the thing that He would have me pray for. My eyes searched up and down the list I had made…..and then as clear as the sun, a word jumped off of the page…..as I realized it was listed over and over and over (honestly more than I even remember writing it!!) – WORRY.
Y’all this was NOT breaking news for me. This was not some revelation that I never realized I had a problem with. This was the same old thing creeping back up and making me realize I push it back down and don’t deal with it. SO many times I pray about trusting more, I push it down and then it pops up again….within MOMENTS. Not this time. I am telling you that had the devil himself stood between me and that prayer room I truly believe I could have fought him with my own little hands. This was an urgent kind of need to pray….but I am not going to paint the picture that I went in there and never “worried” once I stepped foot in there…because I did just that. Once I wrote my name on a tag and sort of came out of the “moment” a bit…I started to (over)think about who I might be praying with. Would I have to tell them my life story? How could I work in the depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, move from NC to TX, the fact that I’ve had five surgeries in as many years (four of those pretty major)…in a short period of time and still get across ALL THE THINGS? My heart raced.
When the sweet lady led me to the face of the woman that would be praying over me, I saw a friend. As a matter of fact, I had sat beside her the night before at the conference. We had held hands in prayer for the conference. We have had coffee dates and she was even my Bible study leader my first year here in Texas. She gave me a look of, “are you ok with me praying for you?” and I laughed and said “YES!! I don’t have to tell you my life story – you already know it!!”
So, with all of that behind me, and as another reminder that He has little ole ME in the palm of His pierced hands….I admitted that I have a problem with WORRYING. That sometimes it consumes me and I know it’s not healthy. I know it’s not something He rejoices in. I know it is not from Him and I know without a shadow of a doubt, that He wants more for me. He wants me to trust Him completely. With the huge things – which I seem to have less of a problem with….but also, with the silly things that seem to “worry” me all day long! I received such a blessing in that prayer room…a prayer so sweet, so freeing, so intentional and so perfect JUST FOR ME. I truly believe the Holy Spirit got me to that room and interceded where I was absolutely DREADING to go and admit my failures. When I think of the BIG things in life, I truly feel like I trust Jesus….totally. But, y’all, with the mundane little things? The things that likely most of you don’t even bat an eyelash at???? Ummmmmmmmm…….
Seriously, that was my life!!! All the doctor appointments, the waiting for test results, the day to day things that were not 100% clear or answered – WORRY. The feeling that I might not be doing enough, or doing too much, or being unsure about directions to a place…the worry that I might feel *gasp* embarrassed.
Well. Not. Any. Longer.
I cannot tell you the peace or difference that I feel today versus even Friday. Only hours have passed but I feel like a lifetime has. I cannot imagine the hours I have wasted in my life of trying to retain control over a situation that was absolutely not mine. That was not my circus, my monkeys, my family or even my friends…. I have always excused my worrying ways with statements like “I just worry for everyone” or “that’s just me” or by calling it something that it is not – like anxiety. They are two different things. Yes, both can lead to physical FEELINGS but my worry was out of control and Jesus is healing it. He is helping me remove that from my life and I cannot tell you the weight that is off of my shoulders today.
I have not shared this with anyone, becuase I felt like I needed to tell the WHOLE story – all at once – and not pieces of it…so that it’s clear that I am not judging people who have a tendency to worry. You do you, boo. I had to deal with the root cause of a lot of the issues I was facing – the things that were keeping me up at night – the things I felt so deeply were affecting my daily life (besides my fatigue) in such a large way. This was a HUGE thing…and does it likely feed into the depression and anxiety that I face? I have a hard time thinking it does not. So, who knows how this whole thing will effectively change my life in more ways than one? God does. He’s already worked this all out and tied it up in a bow….and I’m just here with a smile on my face, a song in my heart and a considerably stuffy nose from the crazy amounts of crying I did this weekend. It was amazing, to say the least. To know that there was a purpose for my attendance there, totally just makes me so grateful that I answered His call to go.
I am already so very excited for next year’s conference. Instead of worrying about who I’ll go with, what I’ll wear, the perfect time to arrive….my thoughts are full of promise and wonder about what answers He will reveal to me next year. What will this year in between look like for my spiritual walk? How is He going to use me to show and tell others about His love and His provision? Ohhh the possibilities are endless and so is His love. For that, I am SO grateful. Without a worry in the world.