Tag Archives: faith

Putting Anxiety in a box

Thinking…it’s a beautiful thing, really.

Until the thoughts take a turn for the anxious.

I have struggled with anxiety for my whole life. I remember being shy and hiding behind my mom’s legs when someone new was in front of me.

I remember having dreams that would amplify the fears inside of me.

My brother died an unexpected and tragic death and that made me more anxious.

Then I said good-bye to my babies and almost died.

I struggled. Oh how I’ve struggled.

I’ve worried about losing Richard, my kids, my parents, my friends…my security.

Two years ago, I asked God to take my anxiety. I was done with it. I didn’t want the physical sensation of fear continually with me. The pit of my stomach churning and heavy. I told him to do what he  must. I wanted to be free…to understand God’s peace…

Philippians 4:6-7New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Truly, I wanted to know the peace that passes all understanding.

Now I see.

When you are in such a place that all the worry in the world will not  do any good or change any thing. When life is threatened and there is little you can do…why worry? When there is EVERYTHING in the world to worry about….

Why worry?

I could. I could sit and stew…and sometimes I do. There is so  much at stake that it literally blows my mind. I have to shut it down. I have to put it away and I do. I place it in a little worry box in my mind and give it to God. He knows exactly where to put it. He’s got it all under control.

I can do this because I believe. I believe in everything he has said. I have experienced things within this crazy life of mine that I don’t doubt that he’s got it all.

He’s got it.

Oh sure, I’m normal and still want to take that box back. I demand it. Then I open it and look inside a bit. I realize it’s an ugly box of rubbish. I take out each worry and look at it a bit then put it all back and give it back to Him.

I have also realized that part of the increase in my anxiety is actually physiological. I mean the tumor is sitting right on that part. It’s fiddling around with my emotional state.

I realize that being a person that has coddled my anxiety has not been healthy for me and I want to get rid of that toxin.

So, I concentrate on the truth. Most worries are lies anyways. Did you know that?

The truth is this. God’s got it. He’s already there. He WAS there. He’s always been. And he loves each and every one of us more than we love our own children. He LOVES me! That’s a lot of love because I get choked up every time I talk about my kids these days. That’s how much I love them. I know I may not be there for them at some point.

Truth is, I have a shortened life span. I will probably not get old. There is a chance I may. I would be super happy to get old with my guy. I could get old. That would be cool. But likely, I won’t. It’s the stats. I’m ok with it because whether I get old or whether I see eternity’s gates sooner rather than later, He’s there.

I know that My Father will always be there. For me, for my kids, for my guy.

He’s got it.

And when I should be riddled with worry, anxiety, regret and fear, I am not. I am NOT. That, my friends is a miracle.

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Too much to say – Part 3

I’m going to attempt and put part 1 and part 2 in a final act, of sorts.

Perspective comes in strange ways. Our life has had it’s strangeness…that’s for sure.

Two and a half years ago, we were feeling really good about where our lives were headed, the direction the church was going, confident in relationships and, for the most part, pleased with our decisions in personal life. At the same time, my physical health was going down hill and we didn’t know our way around a stick. Life was good, bad and all sorts of NORMAL…for us. It was a winter I never wanted to repeat. Does that sound confusing? It really was a confusing time of life.

Pivotal moments seemed to line every part of the race of life. Moments like the loss of friendships, the gaining of new ones. God teaching me how to pray more effectively. Showing me that spiritually I had a long way to go. Areas of sin that were blatant and screaming for attention.

God was moving so many parts of the picture our heads spun. He was doing such a deep work of renewal that I felt I would drown at times.

One of the pivotal moments happened on our 20th year anniversary celebration trip to Jamaica. Anxiety was trying to knock on my soul and when I stepped on the plane I chose not to take it with me. I left it, like a bag of dirty clothes outside of the plane. I decided right there that I couldn’t stop anything bad from happening so why take all that baggage with me? If something terrible was going to happen all the worrying in the world would not stop it.

Relief.

Then I went snorkeling.

My brother drowned when I was five. Since then water has had  a certain grip on me. I could swim but didn’t like it. I could put my head under water but it wasn’t fun. Being without breath scared the bejeebers out of me. I had dreams when our oldest was a toddler that he had wandered away from me near water and we couldn’t find him.

When I decided to go snorkeling I knew it would be a test. I looked at everyone else surviving on just a little tube of air. I pumped up my air life vest as fat as it could go and stuck my head under water. It was liberating! I survived! It was a feat of the mind.

Fear. It’s hounded me.

And on that trip I let a lot of it go. It was amazing! I didn’t worry about what to make for supper, whether my kids were ok (because I was 10 hours away and couldn’t do anything anyways) and I didn’t lose any sleep, besides what should be lost on that kind of vacation.

We came back and I set off to train myself to run a 5 km in the fall. I don’t run for any reason. Not even a bear. With a bear you best lay in a ball and stay put. Well, that’s what I’ve heard.

When I started to train I didn’t realize how much of an exercise of the mind it would be. The first time, I jogged for 30 seconds off and on. By the end of the summer I was jogging for 30 min’s straight. Say WHAT? It took a lot of mental grit but God, in his strength, led me through it. So very cool.

I completed the 5 Km and was so excited that I finished that challenge! It changed me forever too. All that time breathing deeply and being in the fresh air. It renewed both my body, my spirit and my mind. It was beautiful!

The winter after that run was when I started the new ladies group. What I didn’t know then was that God had a hand in that too. It created a community I would need through the tough times ahead. It gave me a business that I could be challenged by, in different ways.

You see, what I’m trying to say is that all the threads of my life, of your life are being drawn together in a beautiful pattern. Even now, as we face another monumental challenge, our lives are being woven by the Master Craftsman.

I prayed for God to restore us in many ways. I prayed that he would bring people back…to us… but mostly to Him. He has restored some relationships that I cried over losing. How great is THAT? He is restoring that which has been broken.

He is working in ways that are mysterious and so very amazing. In your life too. You may not see it now. You may not see it in a year. You may never see the beautiful pattern that is being knit together. But have you given it a thought? Have you given HIM a chance? It is a matter of choices. He gives us all that. You get to choose to get better or to get bitter. You make the choice to let anxiety kill you from the inside out. You can let it go. You choose to let him work in the hard places. You get to choose so many things even when things seem out of control.

A lot is out of my control right now. But I get to choose how I react, how I live the rest of my days. He’s given me so much. How about you?

What are the choices you need to make?

The week countdown

It’s getting more real the more closer we get to the day they make another hole in my head. It’s the only other hole, apart from ear piercing, that I’ve purposefully sought. Apparently the phrase “I need that like I need a whole new hole in my head” will have new meaning for me. But this time, I do need that hole in my head.

I have felt a tremendous amount of peace until now, knowing that God goes before me to give the dr’s wisdom and accuracy and the knowledge to know what to do if the unexpected happens. I am at peace. It’s the kind that passes my understanding. Because shouldn’t I be riddled in anxiety. What happens if this? Or what happens if that? Well, if any of this or that happens, will my worrying amount to anything except extra anxiety and stress. No it leads to death. It really does. So I choose peace. I choose to trust the One who made me to be in that OR that day and to be there with me. I trust him. No matter what happens.

I know that an army of praying friends, family and people I don’t even know are standing with me on that day. I know that God will hear them. He will be with them and he will be with me. I’ll  be unconcious but all those other factors? Awake and taking care of business.

Sure I’m nervous about new situations and the fact that they are drilling in my head. I wonder what that will feel like after. To have a hole in my head. I wonder if it’s life back to “normal” or if it will make me lopsided for some reason. Silly wonderings.

Most of all, I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to finally seeing something be done about this alien in my brain. It doesn’t belong here and how long am I going to have to put up with it. It’s cramping my style. I am ready. I feel like a warrior about to do battle with an alien.

I’m thankful for all of the people that I have “watching my back”. I have a pretty amazing team of prayer partners, of friends who take practical things and do them for us.  I have kids who are hoping for the very best outcome and a mom and dad, that though they are not young, have come out and left their comfort zone to give us some comfort and practical help.

God has given us good things. There will continue to be amazing things happen here, of this much I am SURE!

Oh the places I’ve seen

Through the last few months I have had a lot of blog posts percolating in this mind of mine. The problem is that they stay up there and rattle around too long and then they are gone.

Truth is, I’ve been going downhill for a long time now, and I didn’t really recognize it until I couldn’t balance when I walked, couldn’t focus on what I was reading and what I wanted to say seemed just out of reach. The words…just not coming. I thought it was something…something big. I’ve been told for a lot of my life that it’s probably nothing. It gets into the mind and rattles around and gets the old thought processes making no big deal about having spells that disorient me or falling into a wall or forgetting what I was going to say…a lot. It makes me think it’s all my fault for not being organized enough in my thoughts that I can’t pull this house together. I mean, it’s always a battle, but lately a real BATTLE. Chaos has been blooming and growing for 2.5 years and I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was nothing…just me being a failure. Now there are some answers for all of that. Awful answers but answers nonetheless.

The thing is, I was getting really amazing things going on in my life. Tea business was taking off like a slow but powerful rocket. I LOVED it. My kids were learning even if my teaching wasn’t perfect. We held down out chaotic fort. Our non existent youth group burgeoned up to 16 kids one night at youth. Wow! We are on the edge of miracles here. I was all kinds of busy and feeling like I was really on FIRE!!

Then God happened. Since Dr’s had been ignoring my pleas to check into my migraines and “spells”, for years and God wasn’t having it, he saw a way to get me into a pediatric neurologist in Edmonton. A friend of mine was seeing him with her daughter. She told him about me and said “sure, you can send her to me!” Really? Wow! cool. Funniest Dr. I’ve ever had. Maybe I get him because I am childish (in a humor sort of way) and short, and he deals with children most times. It’s a good relationship. He got me into an MRI but wasn’t very worried about it. When Dr’s tell you “it’s probably nothing” it’s most likely SOMETHING. Lesson learned.

Shoot, a week later we found out I have a big ol’ tumour on my brain. Freaked my GP out, Freaked the Neurologist, it freaked US OUT!!!! and didn’t FAZE the really-difficult-to-communicate with Neuro surgeon a bit. Not a bit. He wanted to wait and see what changes happened in a few months. We changed neuro surgeons for a second opinion in Saskatoon and I believe God moved for that to happen too. We will not be waiting around to see if this blob on my brain is growing, he’s going into my Marcy brain and taking bits out of the ugly sucker to test it out and see whats up in my head. We will find out what we are dealing with after that and possibly commence treatment and whatever else they recommend.

We were in shock. The week that we found out, we thought I was dying within a moment’s notice and it was nothing I can describe. I was a mess, My big strong guy, the Reverend was a mess. My kids were messes in their own ways. We didn’t know what was facing us. The fact that he thought it was an astrocytoma means he thinks it’s been there quite a few years, maybe decades. No rush for a possibly slow growing monster on the brain. No sweat. WHAT? We knew enough that a biopsy would be helpful. The original Neurosurgeon didn’t think any of our questions were relevant. What we took from that was that I was not immediately dying and Christmas would not have that hanging over us. We can celebrate Christmas together!! Yay! Enjoy the moments we have. The normal crazy moments. And we would wait for a second opinion and wait some more for a biopsy.

I had friends help me in ways I didn’t know I would need, and I did need it. I needed it so much. I have spent a lot of time crying about how people have touched our lives with the way they’ve loved on us this last 6 weeks. Incredible! We’ve had our freezer stocked, a few times, gas cards, grocery cards, gifts given, money handed off secretively…floors washed, cupboards organized, moments with people I’d never take back. Free hair cuts… We were entered for a Christmas Wish from a friend and we WON a few sweet prizes like a housekeeper, a bunch of gifts, money for groceries, and money for a TRIP of a lifetime!! I really want to go now. But we’ve been loved by so many in so many ways and it’s humbling and amazing. We found out just how truly great our little community is in a crisis.

This has been a wild ride already but in the end I know it will ALL BE WORTH IT. During my quiet, resting moments, Jesus has given me some incredible times with him. Times I have felt him close, speaking to me in hushed tones. Comforting me. He has covered me with his peace…the kind that is impossible to understand unless you are lying underneath his beautiful wings of protection and love and you KNOW it. He was there all along, I just KNEW it in those moments.

I’ve already  had an ER visit due to bad meds reacting with my heart. Scary moments. And yet He was there. In the form of people who didn’t know me well, running to my house to see if I was ok, through really deep snow. People wiped the feet of snow off of their trucks to bring me a blood pressure cuff and gave me really good medical advice. People who care but don’t know me well…they cared.. That touches me in places that make me tear up every time. That God loves me that much to provide in ways that mystify me. I love that he’s so near. Working in ways, behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to.

In the ER room that night the Internal Dr who saw me and when I heard that my husband was a pastor, he said “Well, since you mentioned it first, I’m a Christian too!” He proceeded to pray with me, give me a prescription of scripture and was generally very compassionate. One lonely night in the small and noisy ER God heard my cry and answered it with a beautiful African Dr.

And I know it’s what I prayed for, way before this all went down. I prayed that God would move in an incredible way in this church, in this town….in our FAMILY. I prayed that it would have an eternal impact. That others would know his incredible love. I didn’t want it to be me possibly dying or having a tumor…but I knew as soon as we heard it, that this was what he gave me life for. For others to know him. And I am blessed to be used in such an incredible and difficult way. If what happens in my house and in my family and in my church furthers the Good News of Christ then I am a willing vessel.

Some people may ask…why you? Why NOT me? Don’t I feel like I’ve had enough in my life? Well, yes. and no. I live to love Jesus. As LONG AS I HAVE BREATH. Lord give me the grace and strength to do it all as you would have me do it. People are having tumors and cancer every day. Why not me? It’s ok. It happens. It sucks but it happens. My kids will go through things many kids won’t. My husband is going through things that no husband should go through but he’ll be ok. Because I know Jesus holds them too. He goes before us. He’s been there with us back there in the other places. He’s going ahead of me, to make a way.

And I am looking Forward to seeing what he does. Because it’s going to be AMAZING!! No matter if I live or die…it’s going to be down right INCREDIBLE!670313088