For several months I’ve been struggling with my faith in God and my ability to trust Him no matter what the circumstances around me may portend. As a result, it seems as though there’s a constant flutter in my chest — an absence of peace and an almost paralyzing anxiety. It might not be so paralyzing except that my worries are not simple matters like trusting God for fair weather on a day when we need to install thirty blinds or for provision to pay off a bill or take care of a house repair.
My weak faith, my difficulty in trusting God are my own fault because I’ve not been diligent in reading His word — getting it really locked into my mind and heart. And so recent worries threaten to overwhelm because I struggle so much to believe that He cares about me or that He’ll take care of my worries.
I am almost fifty-one years old and I’m not in the greatest shape. I’m not talking about the vanity of fitting into the same clothes I wore thirty years ago. Aching hips and creaking knees, pains that shouldn’t be showing up for another twenty years or more are slowing me down. I’m talking about not knowing if that anxious feeling in my chest is just an anxious feeling or something that requires a trip to the ER, and being OCD about keeping aspirin in my purse since that supposedly can lessen the effects of a heart attack if taken quickly enough. And while I hope to spend eternity with the Lord, I am terrified of dying any time soon. I want to see my daughter achieve her personal goals (whether that be children’s librarian, music teacher, wild chorkie wrangler, etc.), see her marry a good man who will cherish her the way God intended, to hold my grand-babies if that is in His plan for our family, to enjoy the “twilight years” of my life with my husband, whom I love more than anything in this world. I have friends who say, “Take me now, Lord! I’m ready to leave this world behind and be with You in glory!” And I feel guilty for not feeling the same way, because it seems as though I am putting my husband and daughter above God in importance. But surely He would not give them to me if He didn’t want me to love them with all my heart? Would He?
Then there’s that. How to transition from the parent who makes decisions, guides, and protects a beloved child, to the parent who gives advice, guides and tries to protect the not-still-child, but not-quite-adult… How to be there and offer counsel and accept that the counsel may or may not be heeded. I have cried and prayed over how to let go and accept that in this fallen world, heartache and pain are a given and I have not been, and may not always be able to protect my girl from either, because she is growing up. While I struggle to trust God, my struggle to trust humans with regards to my girl is even greater — I’ve loved her for well over nineteen years (if you count the time I carried her) and it’s difficult to not view the intentions of some of the people entering her life with suspicion. Do they see her for the wonderful young woman she is, or do they see her as a source for something they want – a commodity to be take advantage of? She’s so amazing and she loves so hard and she wants to believe the very best about people — until they hurt her and then she’s devastated. It’s the kind of hurt, the kind of devastation that makes a gentle heart hard and less likely to love in the future, in hopes of not being hurt again.
I’ve loved like that and been devastated when the love I gave was cast aside like yesterday’s trash. It’s a huge part of the anxiety I feel — wanting to spare her that heartache because I know how it feels and how it scars and how it never goes away completely. Then I am forced to remember that as much as I love her, God loves her even more than I do. Whatever happens, if I put my faith and trust in Him, He can redeem any situation for His glory. So I need to spend more time praying, reading my Bible, strengthening my faith and building my trust in Him. Then His peace will come.