Saturday, September 12, 2009

Anxiety and Praise Don't Mix

I should be so full of praise, afterall, much going on around me is so worthy of shouting out to God from the rooftops. Praising Him, loving Him, pointing everyone into His direction....and yet I feel like my vocals are completely stifled. My heart is so frigging full of anxiety.

I am already fully well aware that anxiety is not from God, and it serves me no good purpose.

Proverbs 12:25: "An anxious heart weighs a man (lovely woman) down."

Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (vs 7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I really want that peace. My anxiety is in the way.

My anxiety is a result of financial stresses. We all know that Real Estate has not been booming and so my income this year has been low (so far). Joe's hours were cut back at work and so his income is reduced. We've accumulated more debt, just to stay afloat, in the past year than I ever could have imagined. When I add up the amount of this debt, it simply makes me feel hopeless. It's horrific. And it is crippling.

So, you'd think a recent turn of events would have me turning back flips. I have had multiple real estate closings recently and have a few more scheduled for the next 2 months. All at once, I am about to wipe out about 2/3 of the nastiness we've accumulated. WOW, right? So, why am I freaking out? God isn't just providing a little at a time, He is actually making it possible for me to write large checks and say bye-bye to some bills that we may hopefully never have to see again. I am so grateful but my heart is still pounding with the force of a boulder.

We were gifted with a great opportunity to go on a family vacation for a great low price....and I hated spending every penny of it. Asher and Shawn needed new shoes and new school supplies, and while I was thrilled to have the money to buy them, I nearly almost threw up in Target. (Sorry, Target). Joe needs new work shoes and a new tire, and it has me panic stricken. I spent $25 on a pedicure just before we went to the beach and I bought a couple of celebratory starbucks, and now I'm thinking..... all of those nickels and dimes were simply wasted. I might as well have thrown them in the garbage. I guess you could say that this experience has certainly changed my view of money. Having needs met is far more important than fulfilling wants and wishes.

When I return to Zimbabwe in November, I feel pretty sure I'll be swallowing another dose of reality. I'll embrace my arms around those beautiful young teenage girls who eat one meal per day and have no clue what a pedicure is. I'll share praise and love and hope with ones who have never been on a family vacation because they've never had a family. Seldom running water and electricity.

I want to be on cloud 9 about my needs being met. I want to be floating in an out of body experience in knowing the reality that my life is SO good, SO convenient, SO full, and SO frequently met with opportunity. I want my heart overflowing with joy rather than anxiety. I want the same for you.

Father God I am before you now praying for the peace that makes no sense. Peace that covers me and blots out every sense of worry, fear and anxiety that I have taken upon myself to live out. My prayer is for your spirit to move in and force all of those negatives right out. I want to feel better. I want to be free again, living in your joy, and sharing it with everyone who needs a dose. I want to be the me that you have created, to serve and honor you. I'm so sorry that I set my faith in you aside to carry things on my own. I'm sorry that I refused to trust that you are in control. Please forgive my nature to do it myself. If Satan is stirring around me attacking my weaknesses, I pray you'll stand firmly in His way and protect me from my strongholds. Release me from the pain of worry and let me live in you, to do as you have purposed. I want to praise you with my whole heart. In Jesus, Amen


Sarah said...

I can so relate to the agony of spending money, especially on a vacation. If it were up to me, my family would probably never go anywhere. But when we do, I'm so glad we did.

Praise God for supplying such a financial blessing right now! I'm praying along with you that you (and I) can release the anxiety and bask in the peace that passes understanding.

Melissa said...

I love your human-ness that you so transparently place upon this blog. I learn so much from you---often just that what I feel/do is "normal", but more often it's that I need to turn to Him for every need and to give Him glory for every blessing. You point me to the One I need so often that I can't help but think He must've planned us to become friends...if only virtually. Love to you, dear friend.