Friday, April 10, 2009

Obedience

I was speaking with a close friend yesterday about some of my concerns and worries in life, as well as some things I struggle with. Lately, I have been battling anxiety. I get frustrated with myself b/c it's pointless and not what God wants me to struggle with. My friend said something that cut to the core of it. "Well Sarah, you've had more heartache and stress in the past 12 months than many people have in a lifetime. I would be surprised if you didn't have some anxiety."

Hmmm, possible. I have observed that conscientious people, like myself, tend to be worriers. Even as a child, I would worry. Some of it was pointless, (it was getting late at night and I still couldn't fall asleep) some of it was legitimate. (I would tearfully pray that God would not send Jesus back yet b/c my father wasn't saved--YET!) Most of the time, worrying didn't bother me, it was part of who I was, and for a long time I grew out of it. In fact, I can strongly remember my mom wishing I cared more about certain things!

The night before my grandfather's funeral (back in Jan) I had a full-blown panic attack. It is an indescribable, overwhelming sense of fear. What brought it on? Who knows. Things were slowing going downhill since the 3rd miscarriage, 4 days before Christmas. Then when Grandpa died, I think something inside of me just couldn't take anymore. I started to become afraid. When we came home, things got progressively worse for a week. I'll spare you the details, but it wasn't pretty, and I wasn't functioning. At all. Fear controlled me, and stripped me of who I was to this lump that sat on the sofa that couldn't move. I lost 12 lbs in 5 days. I didn't understand what was going on and the fear got worse. I have a picture of myself during this time and I look scary.

To try and shorten this story: I was medicated and came out of my anxious state. It was WONDERFUL, and I know my family was very relieved. They were all very understanding b/c we had been through so much. I started a program to help me overcome this anxiety myself, the goal was to be medicine-free so we could get pregnant whenever this "recurrent pregnancy loss" testing was completed. It was a great motivator for me.

I did very well coming off the medicines, and only had a few withdrawal symptoms. Then we had an attempted burglary at our home. All kinds of new fears resurfaced, and this time it was much more difficult to push them aside. I was struggling again, and something dawned on me...when was the last time I placed my worries at God's feet? When was the last time I let Him carry my burdens, my heartache, and my worries? Why is it so hard for me to give it to God? I know parts of that answer, but still haven't figured it all out yet myself. I know that I feel guilt for Christ dying for me...then to ask for more help...it's hard to not feel ashamed. I know that to let go of my heartache makes me worry that it means I'll forget my babies. To give my fear to God, is acknowledging that I can't control anything besides my own actions.

I have learned a very hard lesson as a Christian: it takes great discipline and obedience (especially for a worry-wart like myself) to place my fears at the throne of God. I am learning, and He is helping me. There is a bible verse I read over and over.

"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." Philippians 4:6-7

Wow.

There is also a worship song I play over and over. These are the lyrics,

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great high Priest whose Name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself, I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God!

One with Himself, I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God

This song touches me. A beautiful reminder of what we mean to God, and what's really important.

As of now, my fears come and go, but I am well. I am blessed, and thankful for this lesson of obedience.

3 comments:

Tate Family said...

Dearest Sarah, thank you for your transparency. I admire Christians who are honest and open about their shortcomings. We all have them. Mine is food/overeating. Yours happens to be anxiety. Both sins. Both forgiven. Laying my burdens at the feet of Christ every day, every hour, every minute is something I am finally learning to do, and boy is it HARD. But not impossible - and leaves so much room for spiritual growth. Praise be to GOD for the resurrection and ability to live life MORE ABUNDANTLY. You are loved!!! Praying for you, sweet friend.

Tate Family said...

And PS: Shane & Shane - FAVORITE singing duo EVER! Love them!! Got their albums?

Erin and Roger Bell said...

Thank you for sharing that Sarah. It is so hard to overcome worry, fear, anxiety on what is to come, what has already happened. Surrenduring, giving it all to Him, is so hard to do sometimes. It is a very real thing, and as I go through some of the same types of things in dealing with our loss, my worries and fears, it is refreshing to hear your encouraging words. You are in my prayers always. Lots of Love,
Erin