I Want to Be a Warrior, Not a Worrier

Recently, parents in my little community found out that the long standing tradition of “Step Up Day” (finding out what homeroom you would be in, and what students would be with you) would not take place on the last day of school, as it had in the past. This day always caused much excitement, and more than a little anxiety, as anxious students AND parents awaited The News when their student arrived home on the last day of school.

In certain situations, especially those that pertain to Sweetboy, I can be one of those anxious parents.

I’ve always assumed Sweetboy needed to know these sorts of things to appease his own angst over the possibilities.

But, in true “out of the mouths of babes” fashion, when I told Sweetboy about the change, he said, and I quote, “That’s actually kinda good mama because then I don’t have to worry all summer about being in a classroom with a not-nice kid or teacher.”

Clearly, this was a lesson that I needed to learn. Yet again.

You see, I had worked myself into a bit of a frenzy over the many negative possibilities that this change in notification could produce. I had convinced Sweetman that we needed to assert ourselves into the process to help “guide” it more positively, for Sweetboy’s sake, of course. I had discussed the reasons this was so not a good idea with other special needs parents.

But, what I didn’t do, was take it to my God.

I’d say “shame on me”, but I’m too aware of the grace He constantly throws me, and will continue to.

Why is it that I still, still take my problems to God, last?

He promises to work on my behalf. Every time. Sometimes, He’ll work in ways I can see and feel. And sometimes, it will be in ways I can’t fathom. But, He is working. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

When we take our worries to God, as He asks us to,then we become Prayer Warriors, instead of worriers.

Warrior.

I rather prefer that title. Don’t you?

Yes indeedy!

While we wait to receive news of which classmates and teachers Sweetboy will be with next year, I’m lifting this prayer up to The God Who Is In Control Of It All:

Dear God, thank you for loving Sweetboy more than I ever could. Help me be patient while I trust You for his future. Take these anxious thoughts and turn them into reminders of how able You are. Thank you for your grace. I surely need it. Amen!

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How to Deal With the “What Ifs”

How many times have you heard the saying, “God will not give you more than you can handle”?

If you said “too many”, same here.

Nothing can strike fear in my heart quite as quickly as any situation where the word “if” is involved. It can be one of the most terrifying words in the entire English vocabulary. I’m guessing it can be for some of you, too?

Often, if hangs in the air like a bomb waiting to detonate. That bomb might sprinkle confetti or rain down disaster.

But, OH! How terrifyingly if hangs there.

If this baby has a disability, too. If this precious egg sticks within me.

If I win the competition. If I don’t even place.

If the job ends. If I get the job.

If.

IF.

IF!

What’s your if?

Because, I can tell you this, whatever it is, there’s an answer to it. An answer that every religion, since religion became a thing, tries to answer differently.

And yet, each answer is essentially the same. Because The Creator of All knows our questions before we ask them. And He is faithful to answer.

In His timing, of course.

Ultimately, that’s what irks this If Asker, the very most. The plotter and planner and want-to-know-right-now-er in me is annoyed that I can’t always know what happens if.

I crave certainty. Stability. Dependability.

“If” provides none of those things.

Sometimes, an answer is for me to know. Other times, times I dread, it’s not. Anxiety could set in so easily, during those times. Two verses that I cling to during a time of waiting for an answer are:

“When doubts fill my mind, your comfort gives me renewed hope and cheer.”

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”

Comfort comes in knowing The One who made each one of us does, indeed, care what happens to us. And, he knows what happens “If”. Not only does He know, He’s got a plan for whichever side of this two-letter word the answer falls on.

Remembering that truth provides a measure of relief, as I consider my desperation for the finality of an answer. It also lifts the burden of trying to figure it all out on my own. There is a time and place for figuring it out, of course. Someone has to decide if we are going to Dairy Queen for dessert or not.

psalm66_19_missindeedy

In the grander scheme of life, though, I’m able to breathe a sigh of relief as I remember that most of what I worry my heart over isn’t for me to decide. God’s ability is higher, longer, wider, and deeper than my inability.

So is His love for me.

And you.

He knows if this is what I can handle.

God knows if this is what you can handle.

“Blessed be God; he didn’t turn a deaf ear, he stayed with me, loyal in his love.”

I’m resting right there.

Yes indeedy.

Panic Attack at the Dump

Snowy_Roads

The road I drive down to get to our town’s “Recycling Center” is bumpy and has potholes galore. There are a few sketchy turns that I have to be very careful of during the winter months when that awful black ice can be hiding.  (I haven’t taken out any trash cans lately, though, Ahab.) Whenever I make the turn to head down this street, I see that grooved pavement coming up and know that it will provide a little extra grace for my tires.

Although I know the road well, I should be alert when I’m winding my way down it. While I’m aware that if I take one of those curves too quickly, I could easily find myself kissing the trees just past the ditches along each side of the road, I sometimes zone out as I’m driving along.

As I made the turn onto this road the other day, I instantly noticed something different.  It took a few moments for it to register, though.

The road had been re-paved. It was all smooth black asphalt.

That should be a good thing.

I was horrified.

The first thought that came to mind, was that the road would be an unknown this winter.  The questions started whirling in my brain. Would it be more icy than usual? Would the snow be extra slippery instead of fitting neatly into the grooves and providing a little extra room for slipping and sliding? Would other people have taken notice of the newly paved road and be driving more cautiously? What if they didn’t?  Or weren’t?

And before I knew it, I’d worked myself up into a full-blown panic attack at the thought of visiting the dump in the winter.

Until…

I remembered The Message version of this verse: “So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

Traveling that road is a lot like life. Often, I know what to expect. But, I also know that there are unforeseeable dangers. Experience has taught me that there will even be some potholes that threaten to take the wheels right off! I must be alert and aware. 

Not scared, though.

We are not called to do life, scared.

We are called to be smart.

So, I’ll drive a little slower, and maybe even a little slower still, for those who may just be discovering that the road has been paved. And I’ll say a prayer of thanks to God for making all things new.