This week, the days haven't felt like themselves. My community group didn't meet this week, so Wednesday didn't feel like Wednesday. Before I joined this group, I attended a Bible study on Wednesdays at lunch. So Wednesdays just don't feel quite right unless I'm with a community of believers studying the Word. But just because we didn't meet didn't make it less of a Wednesday. It was just my feelings playing tricks on me.
Earlier this week, my mom left for a twelve-day trip to the Holy Land. I'm excited that she desired to go there and had the opportunity to go with a wonderful group. But it's a bit unnerving that she's so far away and in an area that is known for instability. And because of their traveling itinerary and the time difference, I can't pick up the phone and check in with her to see how she's doing. I have to trust God with her and put aside my fearful feelings about her security because there's nothing I can do to change the situation.
Today, a friend sent me a link to a blog that has redefined what it means to write authentically with unabashed feeling. One of the members of the Christian group Selah is named Todd Smith, and his wife Angie started a blog about her journey of carrying an infant daughter, named Audrey Caroline, who will not survive because her body does not have all the organs necessary to live outside the womb. She will be born on Monday, April 7 at 4 p.m. EST. Every word of their unthinkable journey demonstrates what it looks like to run to Christ in unbearable times and to give Him the glory for letting them know and love Audrey. In spite of their feelings, they are believing God and clinging to His promises.
Reflecting on these examples has reminded me how often my feelings cause me problems. They tell me things that do not line up with the Truth of God's Word. They make me sense things that aren't real. They make me fearful of things I can't control. And if I let them run amuck, I would be paralyzed with fear.
I have experienced overwhelming anxiety numerous times in my life. It is grueling. It fed on itself and caused lots of health issues. None of which responded to medication. Probably because the source wasn't medical; it was emotional.
I grew up without my father at home, and I constantly dreamt of burglars (even Amish burglars, which is quite an oxymoron). I felt unprotected. And I still do at times.
I look for all sorts of holes in my life--those places where I feel vulnerable--and pray for God to cover them. But I get fearful that I've left out something. And that I'm unprotected in some area of my life.
All of this boils down to whether I trust God or not. And that's not a feeling. It's a decision that I have to make. Sometimes multiple times in a single day. To believe Him, not my feelings. Because as far as I can tell, He's got a much better track record than my feelings do.
Father, I confess that my feelings often get in the way of trusting You. Thank You for loving me, pursuing me, and protecting me. Be with Angie and Todd and others who are struggling right now. May the Truth shatter their fears.