Ever since my surgery, I’ve been debating what I wanted to write about first.
This time in my life has been challenging, uplifting, discouraging and enlightening all at once. I have so many stories and new revelations I would like to share. But since the day I got out of surgery and returned home, there was one truth that has been hitting me hard and I knew I had to write about first. It’s probably the most relevant and influential truth in my life so far.
Here it is:
Learn to trust God in every single moment of every day.
Super profound, right?
It seems like such a simple truth; one that’s been spoken for years. It’s something you read in your daily devotions and hear the pastor preach on. When you’re feeling frustrated or anxious, friends are always quick to remind you of this.
But I’m afraid this truth has become a trite saying we use to smooth over ones problems. We say it so nonchalantly to our friends who are hurting because we know in our heads that it’s the right answer, but we don’t always believe it in our hearts. Stop worrying and start trusting. Easier said than done.
But I can’t even begin to tell you how hard this truth has hit me. Trusting God in every moment of the day is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s something I should have been doing for years. But it took immense suffering, pain, and an uncontrollable future to realize how much I needed Jesus every hour, every minute, every second.
I basically have a hole in my side. Call it a thorn, if you will. A small portion of my small intestine is literally sitting on my stomach. I have a constant reminder of what happened; a reminder of the tough path I currently have to go down. I see it every day. I feel it every day. And I’ll be honest, if I think about it too long, I freak out! Eventually, it’ll become something as normal as breathing. But right now, I have this red cherry tomato-looking thing on my side and it freaks me out.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had little mini panic attacks over this. Sometimes, instead of fighting my fears, I let myself think of all the possible complications I might encounter now and in the future. I over-analyze every twinge and pain, wondering if it’s normal or not. I worry about something bad happening to my stoma site or to my body in general. I do research online, I call my Ostomy nurses, I contact my doctors. I fret and I fret and I fret.
I’m panicking a little bit as I type this. Gah!
Anywho, here’s my point: I will drive myself crazy if I don’t continually trust God in every moment. These thoughts will run my mind into the ground. They’ll keep me from being positive in any sense and cause me to become very frustrated and depressed. That’s not what God had in mind when he chose this path of healing for me.
He doesn’t want me to be afraid or concerned. He took care of the problem (the nasty colon) and now he’s restoring me back to health. To continually worry about my body every day will only hinder the process and take away from the joy He has in store for me. To let fear and anxiety distract me from that truth is not part of God’s restorative plan for me.
From the day I was admitted into the hospital to the day I left, I had to constantly remind myself to take it one hour at a time. It was the only way I could make it through.
We aren’t meant to live in the future. We are not told to dwell on what may or may not happen 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 years from now. There’s a reason why God gave us the measurement of time. Not for His benefit – His power goes beyond all time – but for ours. He knows that we are weak and we struggle. He knows we can barely handle today’s circumstances. To try and take on tomorrow’s load would push us to the edge. He tells us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow because “each day has enough trouble of its own”. Oh, how true that is.
A couple nights ago I decided to jot in my journal every fear or worry I had throughout the day. Within minutes I filled the whole page. Worrying for me is like scrolling through my Facebook news feed. It’s an automatic habit that I don’t even realize I’m doing…then I hate myself for spending so much time on it. I don’t even realize I’m worrying until I start to feel a twinge of panic coming on or I get really down and upset.
Honestly, controlling your thoughts (2nd Corinthians 10:5) takes a lot of discipline. It takes a conscious effort to redirect each fear back to God and lay them at His feet (1st Peter 5:7). It’s not easy but it has to be done. The long term effects of fear and worry on one’s life are not healthy spiritually, physically or emotionally.
I’m not a pro at this whole “stop worrying and start trusting” thing. Anyone who’s read my blog before can attest to that. But I’m seeing more each day about what it means to trust God completely in every moment of every day, taking each thought captive and laying every burden and fear I may have at His feet. There’s a freedom that comes with this kind of surrender. A surrender that goes beyond just a one-time commitment you say under your breath at church or a revival. It’s a daily moment-to-moment occurrence.
I want, more than anything, to taste this freedom. Thankfully, we serve a God who breaks every chain.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD… – Jeremiah 30:17
So tell me, what do you do when you feel yourself starting to worry? How has God given you freedom from fear?