Thursday, May 31, 2012

On fear and control (or lack of it)...

When we were in Ukraine adopting Sergei, we felt like we had very little control over our lives. We were in a foreign country, didn't speak the language, didn't really know anything about our surroundings, especially as we arrived at each new place. 

When your two younger children are on another continent many miles and hours away from you, you just have to trust. When you find out the banks are closed because it's a holiday and your facilitator forgot to tell you and you have no exchanged money for dinner, you just have to trust. When you're really sick and the antibiotics that were sent with you from the States aren't working, you have no other option than to trust.

And feeling like you have very little control over your life really leads naturally to fully trusting God for everything. When you're in those situations where it is evident that there are very few threads for you to hold on to, you have no other choice but to trust and hold on tight to God.

Maybe I can clarify what I'm talking about with another fresh example my friend shared at Bible study last night...

She and her one-year-old daughter were flying back from Georgia after visiting her parents for a week. On the way home, there were severe storms up the coast. She said it was the worst turbulence she had ever been in. In fact, it wasn't even the normal up and down turbulence. It was rocking the plane back and forth, side to side kind of turbulence. And she said that she thought it might be the end. But she prayed and prayed and prayed and God gave her a peace. She had no choice but to trust God's Providence at that moment. She had no control over the plane or the storms, but she knew the One who did and she had chose to trust Him in whatever may happen.

For someone who struggles with anxiety disorder, handling and dealing with irrational fears and anxieties is a daily task for me. God is healing me. Oh, is He healing me. And He has healed me so much in these past three years. He has brought me so far. And He has grown my faith by leaps and bounds. But the process of healing is ongoing. And it has to do with so much more than Zoloft. It has much more to do with bringing my mind into obedience to God. Filtering my thoughts through His grid of Truth.

Last week, God impressed upon my heart my struggle with control. His Holy Spirit spoke to my heart ~ "It was easy for you to trust when you knew you had little control. Now, I want you to trust right here and now, right where you are, right in that place where you feel like you have the most control."

Because when you're in the comforts of your home, the familiarity of your surroundings, it's much easier to believe that you have control over the happenings in your life. The control is more tangible through the familiarity of your daily routine. You rise in the morning and go about your day, completing your tasks, checking them off one by one.

And, in my case anyway, I begin to depend more on myself than on God. And I begin to think that I am the one responsible for providing everything for my family. It's all on me. This is my territory and I must perform. And then those sneaky fears creep into my mind.

What if?

What if something happens that I can't control?

What if something tragic happens?

What if I lose someone I love? What if I lose a child? Or my husband?

What if I die and leave my loved ones behind?

All these crazy what-ifs and plenty more easily overwhelm the mind of someone who is sensitive to fear and anxiety.

And God is showing me that He wants me to trust Him just as much here in my "safe" place as much as I did when I was overseas and feeling very little control over my life. Because there really isn't any such thing as total control. Total control only belongs to the Creator of this world.

But I can be sure that all the anxiety-drenched worrying that I may do isn't going to prevent something tragic from happening. But what it will prevent is me living in God's peace and joy.

So Father in Heaven, I thank you for speaking to my heart once again. You always do when I seek You. And I pray for the discipline to turn to You when vain imaginations and fears and worries begin to cloud my mind. God I ask You to help me give complete control of my life to You. I want to rest in You. You are always good and You have hope and a future for me. And I can trust You. I know that God. Now help me to believe it.

Ladies, we serve a true, living God. He is Sovereign and always good. And so we can rest in Him. We can leave our fears and worries at His feet. In fact, that's His will for us.

We must never forget His goodness. We must never forget His desire to have an open relationship with us. He loves us immeasurably. He created us. We are daughters of the King Most High.

Be blessed in knowing that!

1 comment:

Tasha said...

I, too, have issues with anxiety and have since I was a young kid. It has gotten remarkably better over the last several years (specifically since I made God my center). I've reached the point now where I'm trying to learn to turn to God as soon as I start to freak out about something instead of when I'm so far into my freak out that I'm lost in it.
And I also have the same set of fears rolling around in my head that you have; especially when my husband travels for work, which is more often than not. I'm "preparing" myself for the worst case scenarios. Very unhealthy, and usually spirals into a time of total stress and anxiety.
I'll keep you in my prayers, and thanks for posting this. We are in a time of potential BIG changes for our family, which are always a little challenging for me, so reading this has been perfectly timed for me!