my times are in Your hands

It doesn’t get easier. Weeks have turned into months and I still worry. These monthly OB appointments sneak up on me and yet I’m always wishing one would come sooner so I can get the professional A-Ok. I worry about preterm labor, gaining too much weight, getting my blood drawn for that dang gestational diabetes test, and James’ overall health.

I often wish I could skip ahead 16 weeks, skip ahead to the part where the dreaded labor and delivery are behind us, where James is home, and Tim and I are jumping into life with a newborn.  But then I begin worrying about colic and breast feeding and the mountain of things I don’t know about babies. It doesn’t get easier. I’m beginning to realize that parenting is one of those roles where causes for anxiety never stop. I look long term at James’ life and see endless opportunities for me to worry about his wellbeing, inside and out. All this worry and it doesn’t produce anything but more worry and unrest.

As a follower of Christ, I am familiar with biblical truths about worry. I know that tomorrow will worry about itself (Matthew 6:34), that if God cares about the little things like lilies and sparrows, we should not worry about food or clothes because He will take care of us (Luke 12:22), that prayer and thanksgiving should replace worry (Philippians 4:6).

But when I’m in the midst of worrying, I need something to pull me out of, not warn me against, anxiety. After studying Psalm 31 on a recent retreat, I have found that something. David utters a simple truth that has become and almost daily mantra in the face of my worry – “my times are in your hands.”

Psalm 3114-15aMy times, James’ times, my family’s times are all in God’s almighty hands. I can release my firm grip on every circumstance that causes me anxiety, even if it’s one finger at a time, because I trust in the Lord. He IS my God.

You better bet I will be repeating this to myself at my OB appointment today…

 

Dear Jesus {31 Days of Letters}

Mary DeMuth wrote Everything, a book about letting God be your everything.  In her words:

I’m a mess like you (though you’re probably much less messy!). I truly want Jesus to be my everything, but some days I try to be my own everything. I forget God’s strength shines best when I feel small and weak. And I bootstrap myself more than I’d like to admit. {Mary DeMuth}

Sounds like me!  I don’t own this book yet, but Everything is on my to-buy-ASAP list.  I’m looking forward to reading it, and I’m also kind of nervous.  I fail at making God my everything and know Mary’s book will stretch and challenge my daily walk with God.

In honor of Everything being released this past Tuesday, my letter today is based on The Worrywart Prayer.  Worry is a self-inflicted road block to letting God be everything in your life.  It distracts us, demeans God, and deadens our joy.

Here’s my take on The Worrywart Prayer, which Mary wrote to help us all let go of worry.  I encourage you to fill in the blanks for yourself.  Prayerfully consider what worries are disabling God from being everything in your life.  Pray for God’s freedom from those worries.

Dear Jesus,

You are far greater than anyone or anything I can fathom.  You have been faithful to me – faithful in my doubts, in my worry, in my unbelief – for all my twenty-five years.

You are more than able to handle my burdens.  You are more than capable of caring for my loved ones.  You are more than willing to turn my worries into a thing of the past.

Jesus, I give You my future.  I give You my emotions, my health, my marriage, my family, my writing.

I don’t know what You will do with these things, but I know that You are more loving and more wise than I could be, even about the things that I hold so dear.

I hold on to my life with such a tight grip that I strangle Your plans and purposes.  I am sorry for my obsession with control.

Please give me the strength to let go, to open my hands, and relax my grip.  I want Your will and Your presence.

Jesus, take it all!  Help me to trust You today and forever.  I give up my desires, my plotting and planning.  I humbly ask for Your guidance, for Your will to be done in my life.

I choose not to worry about my future and all that it holds or doesn’t hold.  When I slip and stumble along the way, let Your grace overcome my worry.

Amen.

Emily

You can find all my letters here.

For more information about the 31 Day Challenge, visit The Nester.