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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fear and Anxiety



I am afraid! 

There I said it, and it is not a shameful thing to say, although my head wants to make it shameful. I am afraid that my son will die during surgery or from some complication after.  I am totally consumed by this thought at times, and I know that it is not from God. I have this need to make others feel comfortable about James' surgery. I say everything will be ok. When others tell me everything will be ok, I smile and say of course, but inside I am thinking " You don't know that" "Everything was supposed to be ok when we brought him home from the NICU too" I put on a strong face to the world because fear is weakness and weakness should be shameful...right? But that is not what God's word says about weakness. 

The apostle Paul found his strength in God, He reminds us that, “I …have …been in prison …frequently, been flogged …severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. …I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. …Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. …I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. …[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10).

I think I have read this over and over a hundred times tonight. To be able to say that my weakness is my strength, and that I delight in my fear ...Wow! I mean it complete shifts how I view my fear and anxiety. I wish I could say that I am at a place, where my fear over the dangers James having surgery aren't controlling my thoughts, but honestly I am not. I am on my way I think. I don't feel as ashamed about my fear because just like Paul I will not boast of myself and how "strong" I am because I am some "super mom" that can handle it all. Instead I will boast of my weakness of fear and how God is bringing me through this storm of anxiety.  How freeing that is. I don't have to pretend that I my fear isn't controlling me because when I give that to God his power will rest on me and calm my fears.

When I started typing this post, I was in a much darker place.  I came hear to vent about how unfair and unnatural my life as a parent is. I came here to whine. But God really has changed that just in the act of typing out my thoughts. I typed out all the negative and unfair things. As I was typing and reading back over them, I could see how selfish and boast-full of myself they were.  I realized that what I was really typing out was a list of how I thought I knew better than God, on how to handle fear. 

It brings me back to this Christmas season in a way. The fears that Mary must have had at times. To know that your child will endure pain and suffering beyond anything she could even understand. But yet she was still willing.  Why am I not that willing all the time? Why do I hold on so tight to the thought that I have to be in control of my own fear that I don't allow God to show me just how awesome He is? My answer is, I don't know. It is one of my many weaknesses and I am so thankful that God's grace covers me and redeems me fresh and new everyday so that I may boast of His goodness and grace.

Merry Christmas to you and your families! My the peace of God love and grace surround your homes :-)


3 comments:

Natalie @ Johnny In A Dress

Praying for you and sweet James ME! Call me if you need to chat... I KNOW exactly how you feel! You are so strong and God is holding James in his strong hands ALWAYS! We love yall!

sandra

How beautiful you are, as parents we are always afraid even when we desperately try to give our worry and fears up to God. I have been doing this for 35 years with my daughter who has diabetes and now is in Kidney Failure and on dialysis. We have nearly lost her many times, the last time last Dec. when she had pneumonia. It is hard but we just have to put our faith in God that he will do what is best for our child. My prayers are with you, James and family. Blessings to you all Sandra

Jocelyn

Great post, Mary Ellen! You will be in my prayers as you travel and as James undergoes surgery.

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