There has been a lot of struggle recently in my life.
I’d like to hold on to every aspect, as though my hand is powerful enough to control the world.
But it’s not. My control is a lie.
Last week, at my wits end, I posted a personal reminder on Facebook.
I have to keep reminding myself that if I obsess about the future I’m going to miss the now.
This was written after talking to my brother about funeral options for my Mother. Who hasn’t passed. But who’s cancer refuses to give an inch.
It was a bad day to be sure. Made worse by my Adorable children who felt that a phone call meant it was time to start hitting each other and running around the house with scissors and all the other things that they know (I mean, they KNOW better) not to do. So here I am talking to my brother about the sad future- while trying to scream at my kids to sit down please for the love of all things just stop.
And Satan began to whisper lies.
I was failing my kids by weak.
Some how I need to fix this for my Mom.
Like I have the power to do that.
That I would fail my Mom if I didn’t pack us all up IMMEDIATELY and fly home for an extended vacation.
That I can’t cry about this, because wallowing isn’t allowed.
That last one started with my Grandmother. Who told me during my parents divorce to suck it up, my mom had enough to do without dealing with me. And again with my Grandfather passing. Other people were mourning harder than I had a right to, so stuff it down inside so I wasn’t making it worse on those who had it worse.
I know those are all lies. But I still struggle to not embrace them as truths. They are available, and nearby, and make for good things to wrap yourself in.
Until they begin to drag you down.
Satan’s lies have an amazing way of wrapping you up like a scarf in winter. You feel they must be good and true- because they are there and fit so nicely. But what starts out as fitting turns into something constricting, slowing exhausting you as it destroys you.
It’s so hard to find the truth while you are choking on the lies.
Not Missing the Now
So I posted my reminder. I want to focus on now, not borrowing worries that belong to tomorrow. I want to take today and pray and praise- and cast the stress of tomorrow on to God and leave it there. I wanted a reminder, next year and the year after on my Facebook that I need to let the future rest some where else.
My post was seen through by a dear sweet friend.
Whose mother has incurable cancer.
She read my post, and instantly wrote me. Because she knows where she is, and has been, and could guess where I am.
Her message moved me to tears-and reminded me that I may be wallowing in Satan’s lies. And Satan loves a foothold.
“I suffer from anxiety and a lot of it has to do with my mom.” She writes to me. And it reminds me of a conversation of realness with another friend. I got a facebook message at 2 am, and when I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night- I saw my phone flashing.
I checked, replied and went back to bed. The friend laughed at me later, “I was up feeding the baby, but why were you writing in the middle of the night?” and I explained that the little flashing light on my phone gives me anxiety.
It stresses me out.
It makes me sick.
Because so much of the time when we lived in Japan I was only reachable through messages. So I got bad news via my little blinking light more times than I can count.
And even now, when I see that light flashing the first thoughts I have are fearful ones, ones that rush straight to my mother.
She (being an amazing family psychologist) nodded and said “It’s a trigger.”
A small flashing light bulb is a trigger for anxiety and fear.
Does that make me weak?
maybe. But that’s okay. Because that weakness fits nicely into God’s hands too. Which was the next point my wonderful friend made.
Significance is found in Surrender.
So frequently I look at my Mothers health and I try to fix it or hold on to it or be in control of it. But honestly- what power do I have over my mothers cancer? None. Because my power is a Lie.
God has the power. There’s a song currently that is my favorite right now. It’s Mercy Me Even If. One of my favorite lines says the following:
“But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul”
For a while it was tempting to get stuck in the “but faith can move mountains, and this isn’t moving” rut. Where is my faith? I have tons. But it’s not budging so maybe I don’t? Lies.
Then driving to a church worship team practice, this song comes on the radio that hit’s my grief head on and I find myself Ugly Crying in the turn lane.
Some times Mountains Don’t Move
And that’s Gods truth, not Satan’s hissed lies that says it should’ve if you only truly were a better believer that mountain would move.
Do you know the song “It is well”? Most people do, as it is been around since the 1870s but do you know why Spafford penned the words “It is well, with my soul”?
I can assure you, it wasn’t because life was handing him roses. He was broke, he had lost his son, and he was sending his family ahead to travel to Europe when tragedy struck. The ship his fours daughters and wife were on was in a collision- and all four of his daughters died. As he was sailing to meet his Wife in Europe, the ship he was on traveled near where his daughters would have died- and in that place, and in that moment he penned those words.
In the Middle of the Ocean
When peace like a river, attendeth my soul,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My sorrows are rolling. Some days they feel like nothing more than a small wave, that brushes your ankles from the shore.
Other days they are tidal waves that hit me unexpected and knock me to my knees.
From that place I have two options. I can examine my messy floor, or hand all my grief over in prayer.
I’d love to say that I always hand it over to God.
But then I’d be hissing lies to you.
Frequently you can find me clutching onto my sorrows refusing to allow peace to attend me. I wallow- frequently alone.
But as my dear friend reminded me, “Total surrender means embracing the pain” and allowing Jesus to comfort us.