addiction, mental illness, Prayers

Unwelcome Companions

A jaw so clenched in sleep that I woke with an aching mouth. Racing heart and scattered thoughts of worry waiting for me to stir, my unwelcome companions for the day.  Tools of the enemy. They are uninvited. Who opened the door and let them in?

How often have I been lacking empathy for a loved one who suffers from anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere? It doesn’t make sense if it cannot be assigned a reason for occurring, right? And yet, am I not experiencing the same right now? As I cry out to God to bring peace and erase my fear and worry, I can’t help but wonder what hopelessness I would feel if I did not have the comfort of my Heavenly Father to turn to. How in the world could I  walk through the pain of wayward children, addiction, mental illness or any other trouble in this earthly life without  knowing that His love and compassion transcend my earthy pain and fear? A mother’s broken heart is no joke. It’s hard to imagine the despair of believing this earthly journey is all there is. Oh how I long for the day that He comes to take us to our Heavenly home!  This Earth is temporary. It is not my permanent home. I pray for guidance to fulfill my duties and purpose here as I long for the day to be taken home to my Savior.

Father God, you are greater, stronger, bigger, more powerful than my problems, struggles and fears. Today my problems and fears feel too big for me to face. I give them to you. Please help me not to believe or be seduced by feelings, but to believe and speak your truth. Pour your truth into me today. Fix my eyes and thoughts on you. I long for peace that only you can give. Peace no matter the storm, no matter the worry, no matter the uncertainty of this life. Peace that is deep and abiding.

I know that you have allowed these situations, this pain, these specific struggles into my life for a reason. I may not yet (or ever) understand the reason, but I acknowledge that you have purpose for this season of pain and heartache and that you can redeem this story and create something beautiful from the mess. Take my worries and my sorrow. Craft my pain and heartache into something that will bring glory to you. Release me from anxiety, fear and worry. Give me rest in you today.

 ~Amen

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure.

My Story, Prayers, Uncategorized

Finding peace through prayer

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Elevated heart rate.

Tight chest.

Constricted throat.  

Dread of what new problem or heartache the day would bring.

All this and I had yet to open my eyes.  Another day of anxiety waking me before the sound of the alarm. Day after day of waking like this caused me to dread morning while I was yet asleep.   This terrible cycle eventually birthed a beautiful new habit that has changed me.

I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him and he answered my prayer. ~Psalms 120:1 (NLT)

Somewhere in the mess, I gave up what I knew I had no control over and began praying before my eyes even opened.

Please Jesus, give me the strength to get through this day.

Protect my child from the attacks of the enemy.

Calm my anxious heart and racing mind.

Let me see your work in this day.

My desperate pleas would continue until the anxiety lifted or the alarm began to signal that it was time to face the day, anxiety or not.  There were many days my feet hit the ground and the anxiety and heavy heartedness lingered.  I continued my pleas throughout the day. Lift the anxiety and heaviness and turn my gaze toward You.  He did. Every single time.  It didn’t mean that those days were less problem filled, BUT there was peace in knowing that He already knew what the day held and I was not alone.

I know the Lord is always with me.  I will not be shaken for he is right beside me. ~Psalms 16:8 (NLT)

Cultivating the habit of going to the Lord in the face of the turmoil I was feeling before entering into the day set me free from the bondage of anger and dismay that I had experienced a little over a year prior.  The circumstances of the trial the previous year were different, but the anxiety and stress they evoked were the same.  Fear. Worry. Disappointment. Anger. A sense of losing all control. Dread of what was to come.  Throughout that experience, rather than giving it over to the Lord and asking Him to walk me through it, draw me closer, I let anger and panic take over instead. I woke every morning before the alarm with a knot in my stomach, heart racing, and  mind reeling with every possible way this disaster could become even more of a disaster.  I spent the better part of each day consumed by grief and anger, feeling frantic, sad, and sick to my stomach.  And guess what.  Every single worst case scenario that I could come up with came true and then some. It was all as bad or worse than I feared and I was facing it in a way that only caused more damage.  While my bitterness and anger did nothing to help fix the situation, it was destroying me.  The only control I had in the face of that trial was how I reacted to it, faced it, handled it. I couldn’t stop it or change it; however, I could have stopped to pray and changed the way I entered into those challenging, heartbreaking days.

I’m sure I prayed throughout that time for the situation to change, but I should have been praying for God to change me and how I was handling it. Giving it over to Him to handle and asking Him to walk me through it might have saved months of heartache and misery that I wallowed in.

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.~Exodus 14:14 (NLT)

Fast forward to the more recent place of trouble I find myself in and the experience is so different. The problems are certainly not less significant.  In some ways they are bigger, more overwhelming.  I am so very thankful that I am different this time around. Because of Him.

Be still and  know that I am God.~Psalms 46:10a (NLT)

What a relief that HE IS GOD and I AM NOT!

What have I learned through this?  When I give my problems to Him, He shows up.  He gives peace.  He will supply what I need each day if I just ask for it.  The key is to ask for it.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Notice these verses do not promise that your problems will go away.  They promise something far greater-PEACE that only He can give.  Experiencing peace in the midst of trouble is an amazing gift.  We live in a fallen, sinful world.  We all experience trying times.  We all struggle at times.  Periods of hardship in life are guaranteed.  BUT, we do not have to face them alone!  We CAN find blessing in the midst of the storm.  Expect to see God’s hand in your day and you will begin to see Him everywhere, making even the most difficult path bearable and even beautiful in Him.

The Lord himself will fight for you.  JUST STAY CALM~Exodus 14:14