This weekend I had what I would call a mild anxiety attack. It was over nothing major. But there were several difficult conversations that I needed to have, but really didn't want to. I was in an awkward place, feeling called to speak the truth in love, but knowing it could be received poorly. Ugh. I hate conflict. I hate tension. But God keeps sending it my way.
At the time of my "panic attack" if that's even what it was (who knows, maybe it was just pregnancy hormones!), despite the fact that I was in my green and white polka dotted pajamas and it was almost midnight, I decided go for a walk. I'm sure that was quite a sight, being 5 months pregnant. My poor neighbors!
As I stormed around the block, I vented to God, angrily pouring out my stress and frustration. Why are you letting these things happen, God? Why do I have to deal with all of this right now? I feel overwhelemed! I can't handle all of this!
After a few minutes of venting this way and a few more loops around the block, I heard Him whisper ever so quietly to my heart: "YOU aren't supposed to handle this. I am." Then the well-known Proverb came to mind: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
I stopped. I knew what was wrong. I was leaning on my own understanding and not acknowleding Him. I wasn't trusting Him at all.
As often as we say "I just need to trust God more"...do we really understand how to do it? Do we recognize why we aren't? If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we are really saying that WE know better. WE are really in control. WE are going to handle this issue and take it upon ourselves to fix. WE don't believe God can do it. WE don't believe God is sovereign or good or has a plan for our lives.
And do we really call our anxiety, stress and frustration what it is: SIN.
I don't say that to make us beat ourselves up. But we've got to repent and turn from wrong behavior before we can keep going forward. Ultimately, it's PRIDE. We believe we know best, not God.
So what I realized that night was, instead of holding onto this anxiety and pressure and worry of the outcome, I needed to repent of my pride in trying to control the outcome, then lay it down at the foot of the cross. He knew my fears and concerns. I had already told him all of the details. He knew my heart. Now it was up to me. Was I going to hold on to it, cling to it, and keep trying to control it? Or would I give it to Him?
Everyday we make a choice. When we start to feel that worry, anger, frustration or stress welling up in us, we make a choice. Will we hold on to it? Or will we talk to God about it, then lay it down and fully trust Him with the outcome?
As hard as it is to lay it down...Jesus promises that when we come to Him, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I'm far from getting there completely, but that night, I believe God showed me how to recognize this pattern in my life and deal with it when it comes up again. I want to call sin what it is, give it to God and move on.