Monday, August 26, 2013

From Overwhelmed To Anxiety...What's A Mom To Do?

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine)

At the beginning of the school year last year, my baby was two months old.  Therefore, I knew that I would be schooling my kids on a flexible schedule.  I knew there would be interruptions, delays, and I knew that there would be some days with no school.  I knew that schedules would change…often; and that I needed to take advantage of schooling the children when things were going well.  This made our schooling more “spur of the moment” than I’d like.

Being the scheduled, structure-needy person that I am, this frightened me.  Just the thought of all that could happen in the day overwhelmed me.  As I was sharing this with my husband, he quoted Philippians 4:6-7 to me.  At first this annoyed me.  But as I thought about it, I discovered how much I needed that scripture.  What I thought was a feeling of being overwhelmed, was really anxiety.  So, let me tell you how God used this verse to transform the anxiety I faced when the events of the day unraveled. 

I posted this verse in the kitchen, and when the anxiety started, I spoke the verse…aloud.  At first, I could only make it out in a whisper.  With my heart pounding, sweat beading up, noises spinning, tears chocking in my throat, I whispered, “I renounce all anxiety and take hold of the peace of Jesus Christ to guard my heart and my mind.”  And then I gave thanks, as the verse leads us to do, and specifically stated what I wanted (present your requests.)  I wanted my baby to stop crying and go to sleep, I wanted my son to understand his math lesson, I wanted my daughter to stop asking the same question for the fiftieth time, and I wanted wisdom to know what to do.

I can’t tell you if the baby went to sleep, or if the lesson got done, because I don’t remember that.  But what I can tell you is that God provided.  He gave me the peace I so desperately needed for that moment.  I shed my tears to the Lord, made some decisions, and no one got yelled at.  Mommy was able to keep her cool, not because the circumstances had changed, but because God showed up.

I’m guessing there are Christians out there who can relate to me when I say that I know scripture and understand it to be a good thing; but often times I overlook the power of God’s word in my daily life.  Scripture gives examples of the spiritual influences around us that we can’t see with our eyes.  And it’s God’s word that has power over them.  Not my words, not my pastors’ words, God’s word.  I am doing myself a disservice when I don’t speak his word when I need it.

It’s so easy to be overwhelmed and succumb to the anxiety of a day gone wild.  Between family needs, schedules, activities, school, serving others, and don’t forget to cook dinner tonight!  Life gets chaotic.  I still have to use this verse on a daily basis.  Try it out yourself; speak this verse the next time anxiety rears its ugly head in your direction.  And if you don’t receive the peace soon after verbally claiming the scripture, do it again.  And again if necessary!  If the children are around, tell them why you’re reciting scripture, and invite them to pray with and for you.  Won’t it be wonderful if they get to see God moving in your life?  Life may be overwhelming for you, but you are not without hope.  We find our hope in Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and death when he died on the cross and rose from death on the third day.  If he has the power to conquer sin and death, he has the power to conquer anxiety.  Go to him, keep going to him, and watch him show up and take over.

Please note that Anchored In His Grace has moved to a new web address.

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