Lately, my heart has been racing in my chest. It seems to beat harder than usual, even when I am not doing anything that would cause an increased heart rate. The last few weeks, I just seem to be “aware” of my heartbeat all the time.
We want life to be simple and carefree, but it never is. And if you arent already stressed, we always know that life could change in an instant and new opportunities for stress are around every corner!.
We have a lot going on this week, for example.
My 15 year old daughter is trying out for cheerleading this week. Im stressing, not because cheerleading is all that important, but just because it is important to her. Because I worry about how self-esteem and happiness, and dont want her to feel sad or discouraged.
My 12 year old daughter got her braces on today. Aside from the sticker shock of having to write the check to the orthodontist , I worry about her accepting her new look. I worry that other kids might poke fun at her and hurt her feelings. I worry about her confidence and happiness.
In addition to my sisters every day struggle with Multiple Schlerosis, she is now also facing a serious kidney problem. We are unsure whether or not she will lose her inactive kidney, and worried about how the other kidney is doing.
My step-mother is fighting a terrible battle with lung cancer, and so far the cancer is winning the fight. My dad is her full time caregiver, three hours away from the rest of our family, so there is little help for him, and I worry about his health.
My mother is facing financial issues due to a loss of a job nearly one year ago. She also spends each day in emotional turmoil over worrying about my sister, causing me to worry about her health too.
Two recent deaths in our family.
Several of my friends are dealing with difficult health diagnoses with their children and parents, and my heart breaks for them.
The economy. Culture and society. Our family business. Bills to pay. Groceries to buy. Sports practices & busy schedules. Homework. Tests. Mean girls. Bullying. Teen fashion. Marriage. Family. The future.
Life, in itself, is stressful! Can you relate?
I came across a statement today that stress comes from trying to do something about something that we cant do anything about. How true! It made me realize that all the things above that I am stressed about, I have absolutely no control over.
We cannot change certain circumstances. We cannot heal people. We cannot influence other people to do what we want them to do. We cannot make things happen, just because we want them to happen. We cannot always avoid situations that are unpleasant. We cannot protect our kids from all harm.
When we cant control things, we feel helpless, which only increases our stress more. So what can we do?
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (NLT)
Aaaahhhhh, there is the answer. Trust in God!
Simple enough, right? Wrong.
For most of us, myself included, trusting God during difficult circumstances can be incredibly hard, regardless of how strong our faith is. I know with all my heart that my God is THE God, the creator of all things, all powerful, all mighty, sovereign, the ultimate physician, and the only way to heaven. I believe that He holds the world in His hands, that He sees/ordains/allows all things, and that all things have a purpose for those who serve Him.
But yet, my human fears and concerns often cause my heartbeat to race, my mind to imagine the worst case scenario, and my peace to vanish.
Lets face it, FULLY trusting God with our fears is hard – it goes against what our human heart wants to feel, and forces us to think with our spiritual heart. Normally we half heartedly put our trust in God, and half heartedly try to hold on to the most painful issues, and stress about it.
However, when we entrust our problems to God, and leave them in His hands, then we release ourselves from the burden of feeling like we need to continue stressing. Easier said than done, but true nonetheless.
Reality is, that I can stress myself into a heart-attack, but I will never have control over all the difficult situations in my life.
So I am challenging myself today to trust God more fully, not with some issues, but all issues. Not with half my heart, but with my whole heart.
Also, I realize that I cant change overnight. I cant erase my tendancy to worry. But I believe in who God is. I believe He is the Great I Am. And I know that unshakable faith is a process. A process of praying, believing, hoping and waiting for God to work in His perfect timing. If I ask for it, I will receive, according to Gods Word. Today I ask for peace of mind.
What about you? Are you stressed today? Do you desire to lay your worries and greatest fears at His feet? Do you yearn for that peace that seems unattainable as you stare the unknown right in the eye? I invite you to join me today, in my quest to be stress free, and faith-full.
Dear heavenly Father, my heart is hurting. My spirit is waning. I am fearful about things. I am carrying worry around in my heart. Lord, will you replace my fears with your comfort? Will you replace my worries with your reassurance? Will you replace my heartache with your peace? Help me to see you at work in the circumstances in my life. Allow me to see a piece of the plan that you have set forth, and help me to know how to minister to these people in my life. Help me to have the right words to share your love, and the strength I need to be strong for them. Help me to trust you God, fully, reverently, and immediately. Fill me with a peace that surpasses all understanding, and wrap Your hands around my heart and mind so that I will not try to pick up my burdens again. Impress upon my heart to remember to praise you during the storms of life. In Jesus name, Amen