Monday, February 9, 2009

Anxiety: a gift

Once upon a time I loved to watch CSI, Private Practice, Grey's, etc... But now, anything that has to do with children and sad endings, Not Aloud. I can't do it. Children change your whole life. They have forced me to eat better, stay home more, watch better TV, educate myself on all things medical (my husband has band me from the University of Google). I now have a minor in pediatrics. My sister-in-law thinks I have missed my calling. I literally know TOO much when it comes to pregnancy. My children have truely opened my eyes. I see the wonders that God has made, for instance, baby smiles, newborn headbobs, giggles, and the funny antics that come from my son's mouth. But I also see the scary things in life now. Storms! I was never afraid of storms before my children, now... Well, you get the picture. By nature I am an axiety ridden person. I have always worried about everything (I'm sure that is where all the gray comes from) and I mean everything for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory was that my mom would find my hiding place for all my bad grade papers (she did). As I have gotten older my worry (now called anxiety) has only gotten worse. If everyday things don't bother you, then, think about a time that you were so worried you couldn't sleep or function. That is the worry that I have learned to live with. I'm not complaining. God gave the "gift" to me for a reason. I have become exceptional in the art of "supressing" that it's not there. This gift has allowed me to be a better mom, wife, christian, and person. I spend constant time in prayer. And I think God just knew in the beginning how to get and keep my attention. His way of wrapping me around his finger. For me, anxiety is a good thing. It keeps me humble. I can't do it all on my own, so, I rely on Him. Below I am sharing a posting of an online journal written by my childhood youth pastor. It's a great testimony on how what we do now will affect others down the road. My gift has caused me to be more conscious of my actions. I still make mistakes but I'm able to go to the Lord in prayer for forgiveness.

Does all this “Faith-Stuff” really make a difference?
By Brad Pistole
I mean, come on, let’s be serious! Don’t you have those days when you seriously doubt and question whether or not the “faith-journey” is really worth it? In today’s world, that’s a legitimate question for those who don’t have their heads stuck in the sand. I mean, let’s be fair with ourselves. Have you noticed any of the following where you live and worship: decreased attendance “at” church; lack of faith in church leadership; lack of genuine conversions; disappointment in what happens on Sundays and Wednesdays; shock at the way your members treat outsiders and one another; disappointment in the church’s continued commitment and excitement toward “brick and mortar” instead of lost people? (And you know the really hard stuff we struggle with wasn’t even mentioned). For the first time in our nation’s history, the “church” is statistically WORSE than unbelievers in many of the categories we pride ourselves in. The word “Christian” has become a bad word in our society, and not because of God-haters, but rather because of the behavior of so-called Christians. Famous author and church research specialist, George Barna, doesn’t even believe in church buildings anymore. Have your read his new book “Pagan Christianity?” If you haven’t, you should. It will give you an indepth history lesson about the true origins of the church, dating back to the time of Christ, that you have never heard preached….because most of our preachers haven’t studied it and don’t really know where our current traditions and “church” structures come from. Do you know where all of our buildings, auditoriums, pews, elevated pulpits, and current worship practices came from? Or have you assumed that you know? Or did you assume that the person who taught you where they came from knew? Some accurate research just might astound you. Question…if all of the above is true….then what should we do about it? Should we continue to prod along from week to week, going through the motions when we know what we’re doing isn’t very effective? Is it even worth it? Should we just throw in the towel?That’s a great question! One that has to be asked if our faith is real and actively seeking the truth. And if you’re still reading at this point, you probably are a true seeker, a disciple in this journey we call life and you want with all that is within you to make a difference for the cause of Christ. So today, I’d like to give you this small reminder that what you're doing DOES make a difference. Since the beginning of time, we have always been called to plant seeds and water, and the “faith-journey” we are on has always been one of waiting on God for His timing and for His ability to cause the increase. Yesterday morning, I received two messages from former “young people” who now find themselves in the adult world. One was a direct message to me and one was a post that I was included in. Their messages helped me remember that what we do DOES make a difference and it was a good reminder that God’s increase will occur on His timetable, just as He wills, no matter what is going on around us. I asked permission to share the following, as it might be exactly what you need to hear today. I hope it will bless you! (From a former teen…in their mid-20’s…whom I hadn’t heard from in years)
Friday, January 6th
"Hey Brad…I wanted to tell you about this song. Remember from youth? Well, after my daughter was born I came down with what they call "Baby Blues" + anxiety. (Being that I was bringing a preemie home) Anyway, after a week of solid, uncontrolable crying, my doctor prescribed me Zoloft. I'm nursing my daughter and couldn't fathom putting an antidepressant in her body (even though they say it's safe) and I didn't want her on formula. The pressure of choosing was just about too much. So, I told my husband i was going for a walk and in the 20 degree weather I started praying. I prayed to God that if he could take major addictions away from people without meds and heal, then i wanted Him to be the medicine that I needed. And the song "light the fire" came to my heart. And I just sang and prayed and walked. When I came back i told my husband about what had happened. A week later when we went back for my check up, my doctor was amazed. He said "the medicine must be working" No I said "it's sitting in my cabinet unopened". That's what I needed, was my fire lit. I needed to turn to Him instead of taking it on my own. It's been over a month and I haven't broken down once. Thank you for teaching me that song. It's been a wonderful prayer for me.”
Words to Light the Fire…I feel your arms around me, as the power of YOUR healing begins. You breathe new life right through me, like a mighty rushing wind....So light the fire, in my soul. Fan the flames, MAKE ME WHOLE. Lord, YOU know where I've been, so Light the fire in my heart again.
Lange's Commentary says, "The church belongs to God; it is He who tills the field–externally, by the preaching of the Word – internally, by His Spirit. What teachers do is to plant and to water. But the word sown is His seed; all the ability employed in its first planting and after culture is His gift; on Him depends all success. Without His blessing, all planting and all watering, however skilful and careful, amount to nothing."I Corinthians 3:6-7Keep planting. Keep watering. And keep waiting! (Daniel 10) Praise God for HIS promises and for HIS ability to cause the increase!

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