Peace for the Day

Devotions for our daily angst.


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Let It Go

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

 The first step to overcoming A-n-g-s-t is to admit it, so here goes.

 I had a melt-down last week. A big one. In public. In front of friends. At a restaurant. Over the top, even for me, all because of a mistake at work.

I FORGOT TO DO SOMETHING, SOMETHING IMPORTANT- AGAIN.

 When the slow-grinding gears clicked into place and I remembered, I was beside myself. I am not a surgeon, pilot, police officer, soldier or in any other profession where a mistake could lead to death, mine or others, but my mental and physical reactions were at that level.

My husband and friends got to hear the inner dialog that was now pouring out of my mouth. How could I be so stupid as to forget THAT? I know I came out of the meeting ready to do it. What happened? Where did the thought go? More importantly, why didn’t I look at my notes? Where were my notes? This always happens to me. Why can’t I get it right? It’s happening again. I’m losing it. I can’t do this. Make it go away. My boss is going to be upset. (She was, rightfully so.) I’m going to hear the “I’m disappointed” talk. (I did.) I hate this. I hate this. I hate this about myself.

 DEEP BREATH.

UNCURL FROM FETAL POSITION.

Katherine Fetal Position

 I try to explain it to my husband who admits he has rarely, if ever, felt this way. It’s not this one thing. It’s a lifetime of things. All of them proof that I’m the loser my “itty bitty shi@@y committee”, as Jill G on her Anxiety Self Help blog calls negative self-talk, says I am.

I searched Google and found a title for my life – General Anxiety Disorder or GAD. Here are the symptoms:

  • Escalated heart rate
  • Obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Difficulty concentrating, or feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Indecisiveness
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry

How do you spell K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E?

  My dear spouse is a fixer, so he offers suggestions. Make lists. Put in a calendar reminder. He eventually becomes frustrated when I resist his help and yells, “Just let it go!”

I stare at him, incredulous. “Are you kidding? If only it were that easy.” But it’s not. It takes focused determination to grasp the good God says about me and to place the negative into His hands and to “let it go.”

If you’re like me and you’re reading this, let’s walk the road to freedom together. As we seek wholeness by talking to a counselor, taking medication, or eating right and exercising, let’s remember to pray. Lord, Prince of Peace – Help us to never forget who we are in You. Remind us daily that we are chosen by You and precious in Your sight. Amen. It shall be so.

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The Devil’s in the Distractions

“…but I resort to prayer” (Psalm 109:4b)

There’s an enemy afoot who would like nothing more than to distract me, but in the hard won lessons of battle, I chose to resort to prayer.

I learned this lesson years ago when my husband was laid off and could not find a steady job for an extended period of time. This led to severe financial problems which led to horrible marital problems, which led to anger, bitterness, resentment, and distrust with a fairly strong dash of hate, – on my part. That’s the cleaned-up, toned-down version of what was a very dark period.

In the middle of it, the Lord sent friends to drag me to a retreat I did not want to attend. What good could it do being around happy, faith-filled women? The thought of “up” people made me want to bang my head against the nearest wall. My friends ignored my drama. They paid my way, drove me there, deposited me in our room, and had the good sense to leave me alone long enough to allow the Lord to work.

Extend your arms straight out in front of you and make a fist. Start punching the air. That’s what I was doing. I was fighting out there – with my husband, with the bill collectors, with anybody who didn’t understand our plight and attempted to comfort me with platitudes. I battled it out, punching blindly, becoming more and more entangled in hopelessness and life-sucking bitterness.

Then, something happened right there in the middle of the retreat. The speaker taught that the enemy wants to distract us by getting us caught up with everything occurring out front, out there. He keeps us so busy scrapping and fussing that we don’t turn and run to the only One who can take care of it all.

The Lord fiddled with my vision knob and adjusted my sight. Bang! I saw the situation with clarity and light. It was a true God moment.

I left that retreat a changed woman. It made me a dangerous woman. At home, as soon as I felt myself begin to duke it out with external situations, I literally forced myself to turn, to run to a safe place, and to pour my heart out to God. It took time and every last bit of resolve I had; but with God’s grace, eventually, I learned to turn to the Lord before I was sucked into a distracting fight.

Lord, prepare me for battle. Teach me to be a warrior, not an angst-filled worrier.

“Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way. Every moment of the day, it is the right time. Let us pray without end and when we finish start again. Like breathing out and breathing in. Let us pray!” Steven Curtis Chapman, Album: Signs of Life, Song: Let Us Pray