I just finished a wonderful Bible study meeting I began a few weeks ago as something to help me in my spiritual growth. I figure since I’ve been working very hard on my physical being, I should also make sure to work on my mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. To be well rounded and strong in all elements of my life. To be the best me I can be. To be intentionally trying and working on all elements of my human being. I’m trying. I’m really, really, really trying. But, I have been having some high anxiety days lately. I mean like days I haven’t had in years. Where all I want to do is crawl into a hole and hibernate. Quit life for awhile until the anxiety passes. Get rid of something. Sleep for 10 years…or at least until Covid is over.
I told Nick that I wanted to be 8 or 108, because then my anxiety would be gone. Or at least lessened. Because at 8, everyone else is worried for you and you’re just having fun, and at 108 you’re either dead and the anxiety is also gone, or you’ve lived a great, long life, and you don’t worry either.
Now, I recognize these are not viable options. They are not realistic. They are not helpful. They are not “being the best me”. And they’re also not what I’m choosing, but I need to acknowledge that they’re there. They are very real and very mind consuming and very very very very very persistent. Essentially the entire month of August my brain has looked something like this: It’s August, the “Sunday” of the summer, I need to spend as much precious time with my kids and family as possible, but wait! I also need to set up my classroom and plan my lessons because school is starting, and I can literally only teach about 10% of what I’m used to teaching in the way I’m used to teaching it. How can I teach music when I’m not allowed to sing?! But, my family (obviously) takes priority, so let’s do something fun with them. Maybe we could even adventure somewhere. AHHH! It’s corona time! Why would I think to take them anywhere that’s not our house or our yard? Because it’s so life giving to spend some time in new scenery and you’re being safe, distancing, wearing a mask, etc… But then I come home and second guess every choice I’ve ever made in my life and guess what? My lessons still aren’t planned, but I don’t have time alone to work on it because Nick is working and sleeping when he’s not at work and when he’s awake I can get some work done, but then I’m missing on my kids playing and time with my husband and time together as a family, and I don’t want to miss out on that, but I can’t go into school unprepared because I literally don’t have an arsenal of “I need to fill 5 minutes, so let’s play this game” songs anymore because I can’t sing and we can’t touch each other, and everything needs to be sanitized and how many times a day will I have to say “please keep your mask on your face?” And then what happens if we go to online learning? How am I supposed to have Z and Vinny and myself all on different zoom calls at the same time and helping the boys with their school work and teaching classes and getting Sydney snacks because I’m still mom and Daddy is sleeping because he still has to work. And what about Christmas? There’s no way we can have people over or go anywhere because it’s also flu season and corona and probably wave 2 or will there not be a wave 2 because no one even cares to take this seriously enough, and am I even taking this seriously enough? I think so, but maybe not. And am I still going to be able to work out every day when I go back to school? What if I get sick? How will I quarantine? What if Nick gets sick? How will he quarantine? I don’t even want to think about the kids getting sick because that will spiral me into even more anxiety and and and and and and and…
I know. Be present. The past is gone and the future hasn’t happened yet. Stay in the fricken boat. But, wow…these waves are strong. The boat is rocking, and maybe I’d be better on my own. Maybe I could jump out and make it and save myself and my family.
Nope. No, I wouldn’t. That would not be a good idea.
And so, we circle around to the Bible study I just finished. We’re talking about Philippians, but there was a reflection passage that was titled “Midlife Crisis” so, of course, I read it because, even though I think I’m too young for a midlife crisis, maybe that’s (part of) what this is, and it brings me to this Bible verse: Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
It’s a pretty popular phrase, one often seen on posters and quoted a lot, but, the reflection included these 4 extra words “…because she trusts God.” She can laugh/smile at the future because she trusts God. We talked a lot tonight about obedience, and how we need to be obedient to God’s word and God’s will for our lives. That just hit me and stuck.
I can smile and the future. I can laugh at the days to come. I am clothed in strength and dignity. Because I trust God. He will provide. He has already provided. Because I am here, my family is safe, my friends are safe. My life is beautiful and blessed. My anxiety is high, but He can also calm that. Because I trust God, I can and I WILL smile towards the future instead of wishing it away.
One day at a time. One moment at a time. One breath at a time. Be strong, trust God. I am clothed in strength and dignity; I can laugh at days to come because I trust God.