Our dreams for my eldest son and his planned future seemed to be evaporating in front of our eyes, despite his diligence and hard work, because of the carelessness and lack of urgency on the part of another.
As a family, we discussed, made game-plans and back-up contingency plans, and prayed together, yet the closer we got to deadlines, the less certain we felt that the plans would work out in his favor.
“Mom, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I’ve never given something my all and not succeeded, and had it come to a significant cost to my loved ones. I’m not sure what to do.”
His words were true: He and I had that in common—just about anything we set our mind to, with enough hard work and tenacity, we achieved. But this time, someone else stood as a gate-keeper.
My husband and I problem solved and posed alternative solutions, but each one was shot down. I asked several close friends to keep our situation in prayer before the Lord, for there was nothing else we could do. One morning, as I poured out my frustration before the Lord, I sensed Him whisper to my heart, “What part of be anxious for nothing are you struggling with?”
“Pretty much all of it, if I’m being honest. Basically, you tell us to be anxious for NO thing, yet it seems like EVERY thing is causing me to worry and fret right now. But then, you already knew that.”
God always has a way of directly pointing to the heart of matters, at least for me.
In His question, He was reminding me that not only had I given in to a spirit of worry, fear and anxiety about my son’s future, but it had unknowingly crept in in other areas recently too:
“How will I get all my work done in time to leave for my trip, and not be behind when I return?”
“What if my younger son has trouble making friends and doesn’t adjust well to life as a high schooler?”
“How will I ever meet my writing deadlines with my upcoming speaking schedule, and a full patient load at my private practice?”
“What will the tests show when we meet with the oncologist about my husband’s recent CT and PET scan?”
“How can I best communicate my patient’s test results in a way that they can receive them, benefit from them, and not become defensive?”
The longer I sat in the morning stillness, the more I realized that if I didn’t intentionally share my concerns with God in prayer, then I sacrificed any semblance of peace and anxiety began to ran amuck from one area of my life to another and another. Yet, when I leave my requests with Him, trust and thank Him in advance that He would answer in His perfect time and perfect way, my heart and mind are free to rest in His perfect peace.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Anxiety over my son’s future accomplished nothing, but robbed us of peace during time together. We had done all we knew to do, all he was responsible for doing. At that point, instead of fretting and worrying, our best course of action was to trust that God had a plan, and that He would make a way where there seemed to be no way. And if He didn’t, we could still trust His promises that He works all things together for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Either way, we win and we do so in peace.
What thing are you struggling not to worry or be anxious about today? Will you pray about it, thankfully share your concerns with God, and trust Him with the outcome? He wants you to have His peace.
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
Resource to Break Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip.
It seems I can exercise great faith when it comes to others, yet struggle with anxiety in my own circumstances. Hurricane Irma heading our way, Figuring out an evacuation plan and what to take with us. My daughter’s physical and emotional health as she leaves us to move back to Atlanta. Financial strain, etc. BUT GOD! BUT GOD! BUT GOD! He’s got all this so I don’t have to. Love you my friend. Continued prayers for your dear son!
You aren’t alone dear friend! I’m right there with you. For me, so much of it comes back to who am I choosing to believe? The whispered lies (or even deafening shouts) of the enemy, or the ironclad promises of an unchanging God? I am finding that even with Irma approaching, and having a son who is now under mandatory evacuation without a plan or a vehicle, I am having to consciously CHOOSE to say “I trust you, God. This does not take you by surprise.” Praying for you in Irma’s path and in the daily struggles as well! #PeacePrevails
Preach it, Sister! And lifting up your sin as well!
OMGoodness! Son..not sin! ?
For me, it’s less an issue of praying and praising about a situation to begin with, but rather handling it when the enemy reminds me of the issue. It’s easy to say that when the enemy brings it back up, I should just say, “It’s not my problem anymore; God’s got this.” but it’s another thing to even think to do that rather than let the anxiety about the matter start all over again.
JoJo, I can understand that. For me, when I encounter that, it helps me to remind myself of God’s faithfulness in the past. It also helps to remind myself of the scripture such as “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind,” and then to tell that spirit of fear it has to bow and GO in Jesus’ name!
I think you just typed the title of your next book. I have been writing about resting in the Lord and His peace, that He left us for quite a while and it’s still a decision I have to make everyday, especially seeing my family in a sort of tug of war over faith, grace and peace go against the suffering and struggling mentality we were used to being taught.
I did in fact 😉 You’re very perceptive. When He has me write about something, He makes me go through the pruning process first! Ouch!!
I can’t wait to read it. maybe you can give us little notes or snippets along the way.
Oh, I have anxiety about some health issues (and paying for tests,) whether we will be able to foster, publishing a devotional I just wrote, and my Dad and his wife are on their way to us from hurricane Irma. Trying to not let those what ifs take over!
I struggle with a certain type of anxiety, so I completely understand this! I’ve landed in the same place you have–I take my anxieties to God intentionally every morning. Love your thoughts and the scriptures you’re sharing here. Thanks for passing along the peace God has for us!