Have you ever put something off because you are just too busy? You think to yourself, I just cannot add that to my list right now, but in a few months I will be less busy and maybe then it will work. In a few months, you realize that life just hasn’t slowed the way you thought it would and you still cannot add another thing to your list. We all are busy. Sometimes we just cannot figure out what we are busy with, but we are busy. Throughout my life, my “busyness” has changed its look often. When I was young it involved homework, boyfriends, girlfriends and work. As I got older it continued to look about the same except homework turned from school to my career. When I married, my life added another person to mix. I added in cooking, cleaning, taking care of our dog and household chores. Later down the road came motherhood, and then my busyness looked like changing diapers, cleaning, changing more diapers, putting down kids for naps, keeping a schedule (for my sanity), tending to the dog, cooking, cleaning, and being with my family. As my kids aged, I still had all those same duties (minus the diaper changing), but I added in extracurricular activities which meant carpooling from 4pm to 9pm during the week. I thought life would get less busy, but it didn’t. In fact added into my “busyness” came the dreaded “what ifs” (which I will go into detail about shortly).
I learned through all of this that in order to stay sane, I needed God in my life. God gave me the strength to add in more to my schedule. He reminded me that I love being a wife and mom. I love helping my kids. When I think I have no more to give, He gives me strength to do more. Instead of relying on me for strength, God is my energy for each day. He also takes control and uses me as His instrument. When I allow this to happen, then God equips me for those moments that I don’t see coming. Because along with the “busyness” of life sometimes come worry (the “what ifs”). What if my child trips when she is learning to walk and hurts herself (which mine all did)? What if my husband’s plane crashes on one of his many business trips (which has never happened)? What if my child befriends people in the wrong crowd and turns her/his back on me? What if my child gets her driver’s license and crashes her car and injures herself? All of these worries can be given to God. When we spend time with Him daily, He will equip us for all of these “what ifs.”
My sister called me yesterday and told me that she felt this loss of control this past weekend. She knew it was not realistic for her to feel this way, but still she did. She knew that she was placing her eyes on fear and taking them off God, but she still did it. You see, she has 4 grown kids and her youngest child (who is a freshman in college) was going on a little weekend trip to Chicago. He had booked his own bus ticket, made a lunch date with our brother, and planned out the entire weekend with his friends. My sister still worried about his well-being. She still found herself fearful of the “what ifs.”
She admitted to me that even when she traveled to Europe (to backpack around the entire continent with no cell phone), she never thought about how our mom must have worried. She called home about every couple weeks (collect phone call I might add). She wrote home, but it took 2 weeks for the mail to deliver her letter. She kept in constant communication (as much as she could back then), but still mom must have been frightened. She was sad to say that here she was fearful of her own child’s well-being and she really had no reason to be because communication was going on constantly. In fact the minute that she started to worry, she could pick up her phone and text him. He would reply back that all was fine. When she wanted to know his schedule, she could text him. When she wanted to see pictures of what he was doing, she could go on his facebook page and check it out. Why when life now is filled with instant communication was she still worried????
I started to think about this. I love telling my kids how it was back in my day – no cell phones, no email, no computer, sharing one phone in the house with 5 kids. They don’t really get it. They cannot imagine it because that is not the world they have grown up in. So when I think of this, why on earth are mothers stilled worried about their kids? I have one word. FEAR. False expectations appearing real. Social media has not eliminated the fact that we are still mothers. We are still born to nurture and protect our young. When we allow all the “what ifs” to pop up in our brain (and push God aside), then we are living under false expectations. We are placing our eyes on FEAR and not on God. Fear can destroy us. Fear can hinder our ability to mother. Fear can keep us awake all night long. Even with top notch communication, fear can take over our brains.
The key is spending time with God. Let God equip us for the “what ifs.” Let God take the reins and move our own worries to the backburner. Because we don’t know what God has planned for us, we must trust that He will prepare us.
Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
When we let our minds wander to the “what ifs” we do ourselves a disservice. We are basically telling God, “I don’t need you, I can do this myself.” And guess what? We cannot do it ourselves. We need God. He desperately wants to help us. He isn’t going to tell us his plan, because then we would never learn to relinquish control and worry to Him.
Think about this:
How do you feel when you let yourself dwell on the “what ifs?” My guess is tired, exhausted, jittery, out of control and weak. Pretty much you feel like this worthless feeling is taking over your very soul.
How do you feel when you let God take over? I would venture to go out on a wire here and say you feel loved, calm, relieved, and sorry you wasted your time on all that worry.How can you eliminate a fear that you have today and let God take over?