Can I be honest here? This has been a very intense season of weariness for me. More and more, I am letting myself forget to find solace in the Holy Spirit, and instead, wallow in the never ending demands and stress that is our household. It is almost as if I have two different sets of glasses with which I view my life.
Sometimes I have those rose colored glasses on. The behaviors of children who need 24/7 eyes on them, suddenly become manageable. I do not let the weight of what it means to always have to be “on” ALL of the time, control my feelings, and thus life is more peaceful. When I have these glasses on, I feel hopeful, I feel more rested, I feel okay, I feel fierce.
For the most part though, I allow myself to wear the ugly olive green glasses. This makes my life look like crap, and feel like it as well. I allow myself to wallow. I allow myself to focus a little to much on the fact that I spend a lot of my day wiping butts. The behaviors of my children who will forever behave in a challenging way, begins to lay heavy on my heart, and I let myself make that my idol. I let myself focus on the fact that, I can’t go on a date with my husband more than a few times a year. I let myself focus on how hard it is to leave the house. I let RAD rule my mind, emotions, home, everything and consume me so much that it is my idol.
There I said it. I am allowing the burden to be the idol.
Well played satan.
If I am being really real, I will tell you that I spend hours and hours, trying to problem solve my life. How can we reduce the overwhelmingly challenging behaviors of some kids, find a “solution,” get it ready, try it out, it works for a day, it fails miserably, and repeat. This inevitably leads to a complete failure feeling, leading my focus away from God, and finding me once again obsessed with “fixing” the house so we can breathe and have peace.
Can there be peace in the chaos and can I have joy in the struggles?
The Bible says yes.
My depression, anxiety, fear, and constant focus on daily struggles tells me no. I’m going to suffocate (if you’ve never had severe anxiety, that may not make sense but yes suffocate) right here under the weight of my own life. The sin that I have not guarded my mind against, tells me that I can’t pray and feel freedom in Jesus. I have to fix this life first. I am not worthy to worship right now under the guilt of failing yet again.
That is a lie.
The Bible verse above says to guard your HEARTS and your MIND. Guard your hearts and your mind. To me, this means eat right, exercise, take the meds or supplements that will help, and be proactive towards guarding your mind. The mind is very powerful. It can make you think your life is a million times worse than it is; that this life that we have now is the only thing that matters, that you are sick, that you are weak, that you cannot take any more, even that you do not like people that in fact, you love very much. The mind controls everything about you, and the Bible tells us to guard it.
Guard your mind? Have you ever been in the thick of everything that hurts in life, and been to exhausted to open your bible? To exhausted to think or read? So you go a month, a year, all while allowing those negative things to take over residence in your mind. They begin to manifest in your emotions, guiding your daily behaviors, possibly even manifesting physically (hello stress related disease), and you fall further away from any guidance by the Holy spirit. You can’t focus. You can’t pull away from the pain and misery, the struggles, the suffocation. You haven’t been proactive at guarding your mind, and sin has taken hold.
And you are weary.
Ever been there?
The good news is that you get a new chance every day to start being proactive about guarding your heart and mind. Will the stress of life just disappear? Uh…no. However, you can change the glasses with which you are looking at those stressors. Put on your rose colored glasses and try not to make an idol out of things that stink. Yes, it might take up your whole day, and it might make you cry, but you still have God. He still loves you, and whatever is going on down here, doesn’t take away from the eternity up there.
Whew, that’s hard to focus on in the midst of struggle though isn’t it.
It’s not a sprint. You aren’t going to wake up and say, “oh hello new glasses, life is fine and manageable now.” You can wake up, break a sweat, drink some water, break the addiction to sugar that is causing insulin fluctuations that also take a toll on how your mind perceives things, journal some thoughts, clear your mind, read your Bible, let it soak in, forgive yourself and those around you for making things suck, and keep practising on letting God carry your anxiety.
Keep moving forward with it. Keep practising. Seek out ways to be proactive. Be on guard. The enemy wants to take control of your mind, break your spirit, make you feel as though everything is coming down on you and there is no way to feel better or escape.
There is a way. Even if you are feeling helpless….pray. Talk it out with God. Prayer doesn’t have to be formal, if it did, I’ve probably not ever prayed much then. I’m not a formal person, but I’m pretty sure that God hears me even when it is the pitiful “I am hurting please help me.” Pray then move. Move something, do one thing towards helping yourself. Listen, one thing builds to another, and all of a sudden you are strong and fierce in the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we just have to make baby steps and build to fierceness over time.