Be Anxious for Nothing

Every year I prayerfully choose a word to frame my life around. For 2 years I have chosen “confidence”. Due to many issues in my past it has been hard for me to have confidence. Last year was progress. Then, as I began this year I realized that I was to use the same word with a different focus. I had focused on what I DO. Performance! This was a natural move since I have had issues of performance-based-acceptance. That’s when I realized I need to focus on confidence in who I AM. It has been a good journey.

I am a child of God, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, cousin, aunt, an employee, friend, neighbor and assist in a ministry. All these things are descriptions or titles of who I am. They are not dependent upon what I do.

This morning I had some quite time and was sitting in the garden. My mind was racing as I took in the beauty of the day in the quiet solitude. I finally closed my eyes and became quiet. I wanted to hear what God might have for me today. Especially since I have felt some anxiety over the last few weeks. I was hoping to hear what might be a spiritual insight.

I was reminded of words I had heard over the last 10 years. “You are so strong!”, “I don’t know how you do it”, and several other similar phrases. Those words have been pronounced many times over me starting a little over 10 years ago. It started with the death of my first husband and then a move home to care for my parents for a season. A new job, the addition of a new daughter-in-law, a new grandson and then my older son’s illness. Then came the reconnection with my first love and we were married a year and a half later. I moved away leaving my parents, both sons and 2 grandsons. That brought new surroundings and a new job. A new church family and all that goes with relocation along with a new marriage. My father passed away and a little more than a year later my mother followed.  Most recently the death of my oldest son, as well as my younger son moving further way with his family, has been a major impact on my life.

I confess, I have had many days and weeks of anxiety and mostly not recognizing why. Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. That’s when I realized those words spoken to me about being so strong was a wake-up call. I wasn’t strong! I just kept moving. Just kept busy so they didn’t overwhelm me and allow me to think about them. Using life as a diversion and not coming to terms with my own needs. Being a martyr in a sense. Why me, how could this happen. Being strong is facing reality, hearing from God and allowing him to not only heal but speak into those areas of my life. I leaned on HIM heavily in the hours of grief and he has walked me though that process

I have wondered this year, as I have had great cycles of confidence and then times of anxiety, how could this happen! This morning I realized that anxiety and confidence cannot coexist. My challenge is to identify the anxiety and allow God to speak into that fear.  Easier said than done! But having confidence in WHO I AM can dispel the anxiety. Knowing I am a child of God and HE has my best interest at heart, even though I may not know the outcome, I need to rest in HIM, knowing he’s got me covered. I need to spend more time with HIM than with my anxious thoughts. This is a work in progress.

Philippians 4:67 – “6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].