Here’s the short version. For the long one, read below the stars:
I was struggling a LOT with anxiety this weekend. it was killing my ability to sleep OR eat OR emotionally process and to top it off, I was upset that not only did i feel and look (srsly, ppl said so!) crappy, but I thought I was sinning by feeling crappy.
I thought “i’m scared of something, and there is no reason to be because God is in control, and the Bible tells me not to fear, so now I’m being unholy because I’m scared.”
Then I talked to my SWEET and WISE friend Betsy today, who gave me a re-frame for the issue. She said, “It’s not encountering fear or anxiety that is the sin. It’s dwelling on them or giving in to them. Every time you encounter these things, you’re giving them up to God. You’re not sinning, you’re just suffering.”
And I have permission to suffer. In fact, the Bible frequently tells me I can literally REJOICE in my sufferings knowing that it means I can participate in something with my Christ, my King, my Lord. And it will bring me closer to Him and perservere me.
So if you’re ever wrestling with something, maybe you need to hear this too: feeling bad doesn’t mean you’re sinning. If you feel bad, and you still keep Jesus on his throne and keep your eyes on him, you’re not sinning, you’re suffering. And it is OKAY to suffer.
Last week, i slept about 3 hours a night.
and i got REALLY VIOLETNLY stomach-ill on thursday night
and it was a “first tuesday” week (ALWAYS my most stressful weeks, since first tuesday is my most intense childcare event)
and it was my first full week of summer school
and it was the week before this big dang kid’s program at for for which i was in charge of all the decor…..
so it was an intense week, you might say.
But I knew, cognitively, that there was really nothing to be upset about. God was still good, as is always the case, and lots of great stuff was going on to boot, so I couldn’t figure out WHY I was feeling so wonky. And honestly, i still don’t know what was upset my sleeping pattern because it wasn’t night mares. If anything, i was having REALLY GOOD dreams. Like, pleasant ones that made me smile when i woke up.
But i was tired tired tired. And then Friday I…. well long story short I just really put my heart on the line in this tough situation that a)was the craziest thing I’ve ever done b) was the RIGHT thing to do, though maybe not necessarily with as much flare as i did and c) can ONLY make things better than they currently are. or make things stay the same, but can in no way make them worse.
So anyway, my point is, all this weekend, I was MISERABLY tired and sick and couldn’t eat and just having EMOTIONAL FREAKING BREAKDOWNS because, i was just too tired to do anything but cry. I have found that you either know exactly what I’m talking about (as in you’ve been this tired) or you have no idea (in which case you can pretty much just stop reading now).
Plus, I just kept thinking, there is TOO much going on. I don’t want to drop any of these balls (uhm, i did. i missed a wedding) so I HAVE to figure out something I can eat (everything i put next to my mouth was making me sick) and I HAVE to figure out how to sleep (i tried both RX and over the counter “helpers” and still got only 3 hrs each time). But I CAN’T figure anything out because I AM TOO TIRED!
Finally, Shanna shook some sense into me. “Hey, remember Matthew 6. You don’t have to do anything but rest in Jesus and he will sustain you even more than the sparrows and the flowers. He will take care of you, you don’t have to take care of yourself. You can trust him and lean into him.” Oh mercy. That really helped.
So today I sabbathed and spent i-have-no-idea-how-long in bed, going between sleeping, waking up, getting anxious, spending some serious time in the word, then falling back asleep until 1pm at which point I got OUT of bed to go hang out with Betsy….which I described at the top of this post. :)