stressmare

I’m fast asleep in minutes. Ben wonders how I go to sleep the minute my head settles in on my pillow. The answer so very obvious to me. I’m absolutely exhausted from trying to control my day. My children’s activities. Our family calendar. The adoption process we are in. Pure exhaustion wipes me out.

But in the wee hours of the morning, I wake to my body tightening. My legs stretch with toes pointed and my eyes pop open.
“What on earth?” my mind is confused. “What just caused my body to tense?”

I close my eyes, but it becomes clear that my mind is back at work trying to control what didn’t get done the day before or already fretting about the coming day.

I tell myself that I’m being ridiculous.

“Why am I awake thinking about what Jen might have thought about my kid’s summer plans versus her kid’s summer plans?”

I try to will myself back to sleep.

“Did I move the clothes over to the dryer?”

“I don’t think I did.”

“Ugh.”

Ben sleeps soundly beside me.

“It’s morning in India. What’s taking so long with our adoption? If I were there...”

My mind races. My body tenses. Cycle repeats itself until exhaustion wipes me out again. Or until, I cry out, “Jesus.”

I need You. I shouldn’t be like this in the middle of the night. Why can’t I simply trust You? I let the simple details of my day drive me insane rather than be a joy as they come. I stress about matters completely out of my control and I let my mind worry about my family when I know what I can do to be of help and of encouragement. I need rest now and know it can only be found in You. Please, Lord Jesus, calm my heart. Speak peace over my body. Thank You, Jesus.

I have resisted sharing my “stress-mare” as I know it exposes me as a control freak and then those around me find out and avoid asking anything of me, knowing I’ll lose my mind again tonight!

The truth is that I like control, but control leads to stress and stress leads to insanity! And I don’t even want to envision where insanity can lead me. In my flesh it goes two ways:

Either circumstances are not going the way I want them to, so I step in and take charge OR circumstances are out of my control, so I’ll worry away my minutes being all consumed with ‘what if’ scenarios.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down....”

Oh, Solomon was a wise man. I couldn’t agree more. The weight of it all intensifies in my soul until my soul can’t bare it. The only remedy is release and responsibility.

I must release that which only God controls. It was never mine to take. I greedily snatched it and drew up a “better” plan. God lovingly, being all-knowing, wants us to enjoy the life He puts before us as He deems it.

I must be responsible with what God has placed in my hands. For He asks that I walk in obedience

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and there peace abounds. You and I cannot do it better than Him. However, He invites us to do His work of church planting, ministry, parenting, marriage, occupations the way He wants it done and in His timeframe. We are freed from the lie that our job is to get it done, but rather to be responsible with what He has given us and how He has called us to do so.

Proverbs 19:23 tells us, “the fear of the Lord leads to life and whoever has it rests satisfied.”

I pray that you and I rest well tonight.

Now You lay me down to sleep,

I pray the fear of the Lord I keep.

I release to You my days I hold so tight

and invite Your peace to conquer worry through the night.