I was Ashamed, Now I Am Hopeful

I’ve missed a few Weigh In Wednesdays. I’ll be honest, last week I was in survivor mode. For the first time, my husband went out of town for the week due to work.

For those who have followed my journey here, you may have read about my anxiety struggle.

I would like to say that I handled my husband being out of town like a champ. That I utilized my new tools in a mighty and powerful way, overcoming my fears, my thoughts, and my worries. That I slept like a baby and laughed and looked at the week as a beautiful opportunity to catch up on things, spend quality time with my son, and find peace in my Lord.

I didn’t.

I am thankful for the friends who reached out to me during the week.
Thankful for the dinner a dear couple cooked for me and my son, the laughter, the fellowship, the distraction from home.
I’m thankful for the afternoon break, and cake, another friend provided. Talking, laughing, and knitting.
I’m thankful for the friend who came over and just hung out. Cooked a dinner, had a glass of wine, catched up on life while our kids played in the living room together.
I’m thankful for my step-daughter who came over, helped me cook, just spent time with me.
I am thankful for my mom. Who checked in on me. Texted me randomly.  Called me and talked to me for well over an hour late at night, just talking about ordinary things and happy things and things that made us both laugh.

I think sometimes we look in the mirror and we know WHO we WANT to be.
We know HOW we WANT to react to things.
We know who we are STRIVING to become.

I was not who I wanted to be.
I did not react the way I wanted to react.
I was not who I am striving to become.

I cried. Everyday. Every. Single. Day. I didn’t sleep. Then when I did sleep, it was when I should have been awake. I couldn’t sleep in my room. I couldn’t sleep on the couch. I just couldn’t sleep.

Why?

Because I was afraid.

Of What?

Everything.

Afraid of my husband not coming home. Afraid of him dying on a plane, or in a car crash, or being robbed and murdered in a strange place far away.
I was afraid of someone trying to break into my home.
Afraid of everything. The quiet. The noise. The dark.

I wish I could explain the fear. It was as if my heart was being gripped right inside of my chest. Gripped so tightly I couldn’t breath. Gripped so tightly I could feel my pulse racing through every part of my body.

And. I felt like a moron.

Because the logical part of my brain KNOWS that my fears are irrational. That there is nothing I can do to prevent what is going to happen from happening. That I am wasting all of this energy on worrying about things that are 99.999999999% likely to never ever happen. That I’m living with a worldly focus that only has an ending, and not a heavenly focus that is eternal.

The other part of my brain is so deeply consumed by fear, I feel like I’m drowning.
I. Can’t. Breath.

And I keep it all inside. I don’t call anyone. I don’t tell anyone. Because honestly, I feel like an idiot. How many women are home alone because their husbands have to go out of town for work? Military wives who may not see or hear from their husbands for months? Who may not see them for years?

And I am going to act like the end of the world is coming over 4 tiny little days? I am going to cry over 4 tiny little days? I am going to lose sleep and be consumed by fear over 4 tiny little days?

This isn’t “normal” is it? This makes me a failure doesn’t it? The fact that there are hundreds of women in the world who can handle this so much better, and more “sanely” than I can?

What was worse, is that I KNEW what I NEEDED to do. I needed to pray. I needed to lean on the supernatural love and power of my God. I needed to fall at the cross and allow His strength, His love, His nurturing, His power, and His protection to wash over me. I needed to cast my fears, my worries, my hurts on Him and let Him bear them. I needed to allow Him to CHANGE my thoughts, to CHANGE my heart, to CHANGE my focus.

And I didn’t.

I walked through those four days carrying all of that GARBAGE on my shoulders, feeling like an idiot for doing it, knowing better, and trying to make sure to smile and be happy if in the presence of anyone else without really sharing just how deep in the garbage I was. Without leaning on any of the amazing sisters in Christ the Lord has surrounded me with and asking for prayer with them. Without confiding in my mom just how bad I was struggling, who would have prayed with me, or talked to me, or pointed out a thousand reasons why I should look at the week as a blessing to “change” my thoughts and break the cycle of fear I was in.

And when he came home, I was so thankful, and ashamed. Thankful he was home, thankful for the best night of sleep I’d had all week. Ashamed to look in the mirror and realize that I did not really even TRY to be the woman I want to be. At the end of the week, I finally kneeled at the cross, confessed, repented, and allowed His renewing.

 Fast forward to today.

He might be leaving again.

I immediately felt tears stinging my eyes. Immediately. I wanted to bawl my eyes out. I felt my body go rigid and I felt my heart screaming “WHY?!?!?”

Then my next immediate thought.
I don’t want to be that woman again.
The one carrying the garbage.
The one crying every day.
The one having anxiety attacks at 2 o’clock in the morning all alone
and wondering if she is just clinically insane.

So I set my jaw. I took a lot of deep breaths. I prayed “Lord, help me.”

I reached out to some of those women the Lord has surrounded me with, and asked for prayer. No waiting this time. No hiding. I believe there is power in prayer. Strength in prayer. I know there is. So I asked for it. Ahead of time. Gave specifics.

Then on the way to the grocery store, the call came. It was for certain.
He’s leaving another whole week.

And I cried.

I cried all the way to the grocery store.

And I realized something.

It wasn’t really “me” that was crying.
It was a little girl.
The one from a long time ago.
The one who watched a Lincoln Town Car leave her behind,
over and over again because he had to.
The one who watched her grandmother leave her behind,
because the Lord called her home.

And this morning, on the way to the grocery store, out of no where,
that little girl cried.
She cried and she poured out her tears to the Lord.

Her fear,
her deep rooted, at the core, underneath all the lies and distractions fear,
was being left behind.

I read something recently about “Should we forget our past“. To summarize, no, because it’s impossible. We can’t.

We bring it to Christ, along with our “now” emotions. We receive Grace, we allow Renewing. We remember the past, however, we “reinterpret” it. We look at it with spiritual eyes. We weave in God’s perspective and bring meaning to it.

As my mom would say, we change our brain links.

We change how we view the past.
When that changes, we heal.
We overcome.
We grow.

A friend this morning recommended Luke 12: 22-31. I’ve already read it several times. I have a feeling I may be reading it several more.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens; They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be give to you as well.”

Reality:

    • I am not an idiot. Neither am I a moron. I Am A Daughter Of The King.
    • I am Not Alone.
    • I am deeply loved. By my husband. By my children. By my family. By my friends. By more than all of these, By my Savior, By my God.
    • I am not perfect. I may have a weak moment while my husband is gone. That does not make me irredeemable. That does not make me hopeless.
    • I cannot forget my past. I can renew it, and re-remember it through Spiritual Eyes. And for every new pain that tries to consume my heart, I can overcome it with His Grace. He can Heal ALL of It.

My Battle Plan This Time:

    • I am going to pray. Daily. I am going to read His Word, Daily. I am going to meditate on Scripture that brings me comfort. Daily. Because that is what I need from Him right now. I need Him, My Comforter. I need Him, my redeemer.
    • I am going to speak truth, OUT LOUD. If I’m already worried about being insane crying in a grocery store parking lot, then it won’t matter if I literally talk to myself out loud a little bit this week. When a thought of fear tries to enter my mind. Of plane crashes, car crashes, etc. I am going to speak truth, OUT LOUD.
    • I am going to call my family and my friends if I feel like I stepped in quick sand. I’m not just going to allow myself to sink into it up to my eyeballs.
    • I am going to plan one special night to do something with my son we wouldn’t normally do. The reality is, he misses his dad a LOT too. He gets scared without his dad here too. So I am going to do something with him, to just spend time with him, the two of us. And I am going to pray with him every single night. Because I know what it’s like to have fear. I also know what it feels like to overcome fear. The Freedom. I am going to encourage, and love, and lift up my son. So that when dad needs to go out of town, it is not a thing to fear, it is not a thing to feel so deeply sad about that it consumes us. I am going to pray, deeply, that I am able to teach my son how to not be afraid. Because when he leaves our home as a man, I want him to go out into the world, without the shackles of fear bruising his ankles.

 

I don’t know how many people in the world suffer with anxiety. Suffer to the point of not being able to breath. Not being able to think. Of feeling like something most be so horrifically horribly wrong with them that they must hide it from the world and suffer in silence.

We are not alone.

We are not irredeemable.

We have a love.
A love waiting to pour out over us.
A love waiting to consume us.
A love waiting to fight our battles for us.
To conquer and claim victory over us.

A love waiting to transform us from the caterpillar,
struggling along the ground, trying to make the journey,
into the beautiful butterfly,
who is destined to spread it’s wings
and fly.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

 

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