I’m definitely a “middle-ager.” Way past the “wonder years,” but not close to the “golden years.” I’ve heard them called the “sandwich years;” kids on one side and aging parents on the other. My mom has passed and my dad has hit the golden age of seventy. He is still very full of life and holds down a full time job. But, for some reason, I still feel the need to hear from him every day so I know he is okay. I have two kids away at college, and one who is finishing his junior year of high school. They all drive; they all have active social lives and they all keep me busy praying as they trek all over the southeastern United States. Needless to say I am learning to trust in a way I never have before.
Yet, I still feel the weight of all the things around me that are completely out of my control.
This season of my life has been one of the most difficult I’ve ever known. I am constantly reminded just how fragile life is and how little say I have in what happens. I was headed out of town this weekend when it occurred to me how all over the place my family was going to be for those two days. One son in Nashville at a church competition, another in Birmingham at a college youth retreat and one in Mobile driving in heavy traffic to work across town. All this separation and traveling has been enough to make me seriously consider biting my fingernails.
We’re inundated with reasons to fret.
Last week a precious young lady in our community was driving home when she was struck and killed. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. My heart just breaks for this family. A young teenager from our community was recently returned to her parents after she had been reported missing for several weeks. I don’t know all the details of her experience, but I know my heart stayed heavy for her family who was going through a living hell while she was gone. I can hardly turn on the news without seeing crime; either a murder or a house break-in or a tragic accident.
It’s enough to keep a heart unnerved all the time.
And that is just the “big” stuff. We are faced with potential smaller disasters constantly. There’s the possibility of a naive youth in an abusive relationship, or young eyes being exposed to explicit material on the internet, a teen trying alcohol and drugs for the first time, kids breaking the curfew, or repeated illness, and the list goes on. It is so hard to keep peace in my heart when the world is constantly spinning around me; throwing darts and dilemmas.
I was trying to explain the feeling of all this fear to my husband the other day and it sounded like I was babbling uncontrollably. How do you explain it? I know how fear feels, but putting it into words is tough. I guess you could say it feels like the ground beneath me is unstable. Sometimes I even feel like it has me paralyzed, unable to think straight and rationally. There are so many things to worry about, so many potential tragedies that could happen each day.
The thought of it makes my stomach hurt.
I read wonderful quotes and I have crushes on people who rise above all of these potential threats to live full, seemingly fear-free lives. I want to be like them, they are my heroes. They give me hope that it is possible to live a day and not be gripped by your fears.
I have told you many times in our sharing together that I am on a quest to find peace. It is one of the toughest roads I’ve ever travelled. I understand now more than ever how I have no real control over the situations that come into my life. No say in the circumstances that tomorrow holds. So I find myself praying harder and more often. I have an ongoing conversation with the Lord these days, I don’t even say amen anymore, it’s more like “I’ll be right back.”
He has been filling my senses with verses and stories of peace and hope, and now I have to do my part and INTENTIONALLY think on the good rather than the painful and bad. The mind is so hard to tame. But, TODAY I am going to remember that God has this all under control.
Life is not a reckless happening of events but a plan that has been laid out for me and for you. I’m holding on tight to that TRUTH.
Well, better get going, I need to call my daddy and make sure he’s doing okay.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT