God has been speaking to Tim about this for awhile: Getting Tim to trust He is in control and all will turn out well, even if He does things differently than Tim would have Him do them. Tim's far from being a control freak. And apart from being concerned about the welfare of his loved ones, the only area in his life that troubles him is finances. He's learning to let go of the worry such an area can and often does cause, so stress and doubt do not lead his decisions.
As Tim and I were discussing this yesterday, it entered my mind that "tomorrow" (now today) would see me tested in this area. I once whined to God, "Why can't I just read a book like Tim can and know stuff? Why do I have to go through it???" and, in my spirit, I heard, "Because you have to experience things to learn them..." Which makes sense; as I do not like writing about things I have not experienced. So... I knew I would be tested - or trained in the area of wanting to be in control.
However, I still planned my morning, aiming for what I wanted to do with it, and, then, yep, the morning slipped out of my control and my plans were no longer my own. What I wanted to happen didn't, and what did happen was not a scenario I would choose.
So, aware of the "cling on to peace even if control is not yours" directive, I figured what had to be done had to be done and so be it. However, amid the rearranging of "my" morning, I was to face one of my oldest and greatest fears: Meeting someone new.
Just the thought of meeting someone new had my soul digging deep into a storage space of old anxieties, casting out all the peace and confidence and courage God had helped me gather over the years, seeking anxiety to come and crown me with its "glory" and lead me through this scary situation, fearing - as I constantly did while growing up - ridicule and rejection. Meeting someone new would be the very last thing I would choose for myself! I never deliberately place myself in such a situation - or if I ever have, I instantly regret agreeing to it, and anxiety soon consumes me. It is my greatest fear.
As I drove towards the place where I would meet two new people - due to my son having a new girlfriend - I had to talk myself back out of the pit of anxiety. I reminded myself of the Biblical verse 'the peace that goes beyond understanding,' knowing God offers it, no matter what our circumstances. I had to silence the fear - somehow. I sought for all that God had said to me in the past, that had helped me in previous situations. Such as:
* Fake confidence and it will grow on you.
* Make it [the conversation; your time together] about them.
* Treat them as though they're you're best friend, for one day they might be.
And while using these 'sedatives' to calm my nerves, I realised, "You got along fine in this world before meeting these people; you'll get along fine after meeting them, even if they reject you." And I had to remind myself I don't need man's approval to be me. I also realised, "You want people to see the real you, so be you. You want them to see the heart within, so don't hide it behind a wall of fear and insecurity..."
I had to talk myself back into peace mode in order to meet these people - who are quite lovely, by the way. :) And now I need to find peace over circumstances in my life that is quite opposite to the house I just came from, knowing it would take a great deal of "talking oneself into peace mode" before I find the courage to invite such well-to-do people into my "humble" abode. Now I'm in Tim's old seat of losing peace over the lack of our finances - even though, along with Tim's approval, I chose to be a stay home mum, and we chose 6 children over material possessions. These were our choices, and we would make them again...yet, anxiety would have me walk in shame through fear of what others think of the result of our choices. "Tut! Tut!" I say to myself over my response there, and I offer that part of my heart to God to have Him deal with it, knowing He will straighten me out on that issue - one way or another. And, in the meantime, I will look for the sunshine. I will find reasons to be grateful - such as those 6 kids. And I will let go of the control I don't really have anyway - despite what worry and anxiety would have me believe - and trust God will turn all things to good.
My mission today: Turn focus to things that bring peace; turn focus away from that which steals my peace - even if that just be worry.
I will look for the sunshine on a cloudy day; be grateful for the good things in my life; trust God will straighten my heart and thoughts out over matters linked to my inferiority complex, and He will continue to work to heal me of that. And I will trust that, with God, all things work together for good...
He cares... God really cares for you and me.
Now there's a reason to relax, breathe easier, and smile... :)
I don't know if that's a message for everyone, or for anyone else here, but it is definitely one I needed. I obviously haven't accepted everything about Donna Keevers Driver. I obviously still reject certain things about myself. And that, along with my leftover childhood fears of being rejected and ridiculed, opens a door into my heart through which peace can easily be stolen. So my focus is not to be on my worries, or circumstances beyond my control, but on my heart. My focus and concern is not what others think, but what I think. My focus is not the love of others towards me, but love for myself - which then, as we know, enables me to love others better, no matter whether they approve of me or not. And, honestly, I don't want to live in a heart that doesn't love. I don't want to spend the rest of my life rejecting - be it rejecting me or someone else that rejection and the negativity that brings is aimed at. So I will continue to work to accept myself... changing what I can, accepting what I can't.
Hey, can you tell I'm still on this pilgramage of peace...? :) I'm definitely walking this path with you. ;)
NOTE 2: Just when I was about to post this blog, I flicked over to Facebook and there before me was the verse 1 Peter 3:3-4: "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." ...and I am once again reminded that what is important to God should be important to me... which is not material possessions or the status of one's ego - as it felt. :)
Through these side notes, that came while I was trying to post this blog, my heart rejoices over the love God gives. He sets things before our eyes, to remind us what is and is not important - be it a Bible verse, our child, or whatever it may be that is 'good.' He draws our eyes away from that which troubles us, so we may find the peace that goes beyond all understanding; so we can have peace in our world, no matter what. And to remind us that worry is not the answer... and He does this because HE LOVES US! That in itself should be a blanket of peace for us...
The thoughts and images that worry, doubt, anger, depression, and fear speak to us do not bring peace; they do not set free... But God's word does...