Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness. The way I curl my toes up, tight retreat. How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel the brow with the lines of distrust. How I don't fold my hands in prayer...weld them into tight fists of control. Always control--pseudopower from the pit. How I refuse to relinquish worry, babe a mother won't forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I'm the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and churn and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, is it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow. 

As I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp this morning I was struck by this paragraph. My friend teases me that I don't worry. But that's not true. She doesn't see it because I just do it internally, not externally. I think that if I keep all my worry on the inside...put up a facade of control, that everything will be ok. And then when things blow up I feel like a complete failure. I beat myself up on the inside, letting the enemy taking advantage of it...telling me how worthless I am because I couldn't get everything done.

This morning I read in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 

God has given me all that I need to acomplish each days tasks. By myself, I can do nothing. My giant to-do list will always remain just that, giant. Unless I stop worrying, and give it to God. I almost skipped my quiet time today, thinking I've got too much to do today...maybe tonight I'll read my Bible. But I'm so glad I didn't.

My to-do list is still just as big as it was before, and it still seems daunting...I don't know how I'm going to get all that I still have to do done...but you know what? Worrying will not do anything to that list!! God has made me adequate to start knocking things off that list one by one.

So, today when I begin to worry I will open my tight fists of control, take the hand of God and pray. I will tell Him of my worries, let Him take them onto His shoulders. Because really, His are stronger than mine. He has the strength to carry them...not me.

What helps you when you feel that you can't go on any more? When all you want to do is give up? When your life seems to be imploding around you? How do you open your tight fists of control?

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