When your heart feels heavy, where do you turn?
There is a lot on my mind these days. In fact, I feel like I am at a point where I literally cannot sit through another meeting, attend another training, open another lengthy email, hear another terrible sadness, watch another devastating event on the news – because quite frankly I cannot fit anymore in my brain. Nope. Nada. The capacity of what goes in is full and until I can start eliminating some of the madness currently left behind, I am a gazed over human.
My heart hurts. A month ago I lost a family member suddenly and tragically. It was unexpected. The death was torture to my family who now feels riddled with guilt and “could of, should of’s.” Not to mention words unsaid and situations left unmended.
There is sickness. People near and dear to me and / or my family are suffering. Fighting silent battles where worry and fear exists as we wait for the medical community to answer unanswered questions.
Soon my dear brother who serves this country will depart for his first overseas mission and while we are blessed with a small amount of time away from home, it is scary to think of him in a foreign land with little to no contact.
And then there is the way of the world. The evil and the heartbreak. The attack on Syria and the sad, horrible images of suffering and death. I cannot get the vision of the father holding his two nine-month old twins who died from the warfare out of my mind. I close my eyes tightly and scream in my mind and nothing will ever erase that image.
When I awoke the night before last, just after 11 pm, after accidentally falling asleep next to Lo, I carried her to her crib and I turned on the news. I read the headlines of our country bombing Syria and I turned to the bathroom to shower. As the water poured over my head, I cranked the heat up more and let the hot water trickle down my neck and back. I felt sore all over. Like a nagging sick feeling.
As I climbed into my bed, my safe place, I felt the tightness creep into my chest and anxiety fill my body. I did not sleep. No, I tossed and turned all night. Waking and thinking of one of many worrisome images in my mind. Stresses within our home, within the family, within work, within the world.
When I awoke, not much had changed and instead I felt like all day I carried around this feeling of uneasiness and sadness.
I know I am not the only one with this sick gut feeling. In fact, I know for a fact so many more people in my inner circle who are suffering a painful loss and I know this feeling I feel cannot compare with the world they now face. And, yet, I find myself aching for them too.
Faith is the only constant that I know I can 100% undoubtedly rely upon to pull me through. Last night as I tossed and turned, awaking each hour and sitting up to look across the room at our alarm clock, then as I laid there staring at the ceiling, I turned to prayer. Sometimes returning to the same words time and time again. I would eventually calm down, breathing would become more normal and soon I would drift to sleep. My anxiety became manageable. It was like the weight of the words and the heaviness of the matters transferred from my heart and into God hands.
As Christians that is what we are taught to do. Turn to God.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We know this yet we have such trouble casting our worries away and praying to God for the strength, the guidance and the grace to let go and let God take control. I know worrying won’t cure others, stop the piles of stress, fix what seems like in this moment as unfix able problems, and yet I continue to worry.
It takes hours and days and months of build up until finally I find myself at a point at 2:00 am, staring off into the darkness of my bedroom, overthinking and anxious. But, soon the light shines through and while I do not physically see the rays striking my face, I feel its warmth in the darkness and know that sometimes the greatest things in this scary, stressful world are the things we cannot see. And, in that moment I feel and know God’s grace.