Worry.

It is hard for me not to move through life without fear. Fear that I won’t be able to care for my kids, fear that my husband will lose his job, fear that something devastating will happen.

Fear is real and it is strong for me. I am so fearful of fear that I worry to try to ward it off. Worry, worry and prepare and then I will be emotionally set when and if something bad happens. Makes sense right? Well, it makes sense to WANT to protect your self against an emergency, but does worry really keep you safe? We all know the answer to this one.

My preparation met my emergency once again yesterday when my 6 year old did a flip on our trampoline and could not move. She could not move her toes, fingers, head. I waited. She still could not move. Tears flowed from the corners of her eyes. I touched her skin and she screamed. This was an emergency. What about my fear? I’m sure it was there, but I did not notice it. All I felt was peace.

I called 911. I looked at her, stroked her hair and thought if my daughter is paralyzed I will care for her, she will live with us for the rest of her life, I will hand feed her and give her the best life she can have.

When they moved her on the mini stretcher into the lit up ambulance, I followed behind the large man and sat and rubbed her hair some more. We can do this. We were doing this. What about my fear in the ambulance? I did not notice it. I felt peace and we were moving forward. We were doing what needed to be done.

This was a fearful emergency where I did not know the outcome for my daughter and I did not feel fear. What about all the worry that I had stored up? Had it protected me against this moment? Was I more prepared as the ambulance weaved in and out of traffic? Hmm.

It was a whisper to me of the peace that only God can provide. It was a nudge that I can trust Him; a reminder that he loves Fiona more than I do and he loves me fiercely. I could not have manufactured that sense of peace myself.

What does this mean for the rest of my life? Maybe it means that I do not need to protect myself with preparation because in any emergency I know that I can trust God to give me that same peace. Wow. This is huge.

Of course, I did freak out when I was trying to buy a Starbucks this morning and realized my credit card had fallen out of my wallet. Baby steps.

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18 Comments:

  1. How is the lovely Fiona doing? She looks so small and vulnerable in the picture. And yet I see her little hands are clasped together and that seems very good to me. I’m saying a prayer right now for her and your family. I’m so glad you were able to feel that peace in the midst of such a gut wrenching moment.

    I have great faith, but when it comes to my children it is so hard to let go and believe in the goodness of every moment. I have two grown sons and one is battling anxiety issues of his own right now and the second is in Las Vegas with friends to celebrate his 21st birthday. I worry about both equally and for two obviously different reasons. Whenever I remind myself to not give in to my own anxious thoughts, that it doesn’t do any good, that I’m not in control but God is–there is a small wee voice deep inside me that reminds me that children die every day. All over the world children suffer in horrific ways. So even though God is in control, bad things happen and for whatever reason God does not intervene. Have you ever had such thoughts? And if so, how do you deal with them?

  2. This was particularly poignant to read. You expressed “perspective” so clearly. Being able to have that inner peace is AMAZING. And, flipping out every now and then is good, too. Funny how it’s easier to juggle the big things as we get older, and the little things can be rather annoying. Love to all.

  3. sandy honeycutt

    I am writing because what you said happened to me. “if my daughter is paralyzed I will care for her, she will live with us for the rest of her life, I will hand feed her and give her the best life she can have”. We are the opposite tho, I never worried, I had my faith that everything and everyone would be fine and good. Even when my kids were teenagers when there was ALOT to worry about I just knew everything would be ok…. Just knew it. 5 and 1/2 years ago that faith was shattered, my 29 year old daughter at the time was hit by a car, she has a traumatic brain injury and requires 24/7 care, we lost everything we owned to take care of her. For a long time I felt forsaken by GOD, I yelled and screamed. WHY. I ranted and raved some more. Ever so slowly my faith came back, it is still is evolving, that in its self is a miracle, that my daughter survived is a miracle. What I know is this, bad, horrible, awful things happen to everyone, no one gets out of this life “scot free” that is GOD’s plan to bring us into his fold if you so choose. It does kinda suck. GOD is always with us and pulls us thru. HE loves us and there is nothing we can do about it. I know because I am here to tell you. It appears it doesn’t matter if you worry and I don’t, it’s in God’s Hands, we are to treasure every moment that is what counts. I loved your words today. Thank you, Sandy Honeycutt
    PS I have been following your blog for quite sometime, I love to paint, this is the first time i have written anything. Sandy

  4. Christen, that is terrifying. But I love your perspective. And also how you keep it real that you then freaked out about the credit card. 🙂 I’m so glad she is okay and appreciate this site and you sharing. <3

  5. I’ve been learning this “trust” thing over the past few years, too, and I’m finding it’s the ONLY way. we are in control of so little, but trusting that when we hand it over to Him (it’s usually multiple times a day I have to remember to do this, and that’s when I remember!), He is faithful. Always. So glad Fiona is walking! Sheesh, you’ve had your share this year! xoxo

  6. Stay strong!!!

  7. Funny thing that fear. I was terrified about my father dying. It was my single biggest fear and the thought debilitated me. When I got a call from a Dr. on a Wednesday morning that my father (who had Pneumonia) was not going to live to see the end of that night, I was seized with fear. I flew up to him and he made it until Friday night. As soon as we had everything in order, he let go. And it was the most peaceful experience I have ever had. Peace, warmth, a certain “buziness” about it. No fear. Amazing what we can do when faced with what we think is overwhelming. Hope she is doing better! Hugs.

  8. Dear Christen,
    I’m so glad that your little girl is alright. I can see how terrifying that would have been for both you and your daughter.

    When you talk about WORRY – I’m hearing ya! I’m in my 50’s and have spent all of my life worrying and fearing the worst. I find it hard to be positive and am afraid to be too optimistic for fear of disappointment. I have a wonderful husband and three older teenage children and I constantly worry about something happening to them. I have had spiritual people say to me that if you put too much energy into focussing on what you fear that you will attract it. I am constantly attracting people who have lost children. Just in the course of browsing in shops and conversing with people, they end up telling me about how one of their children died. This freaks me out even more. I fear death to the point it drives me crazy if I dwell on it. My mother died when I was 17 and my brother was 12 and a grandmother whom I was very close to and spent a lot of time with died when I was 7. Both these deaths have caused me grief and a lot of regret particularly where my mother was concerned, as I have spent 34 years beating myself up because we had an argument the last time I saw her alive. It was a typical teenage type argument but none the less I spent many years wracked with guilt. Worrying is draining and guilt over something you can’t change is a waste of time and energy but none the less it doesn’t make it any easier to break the habit.
    Best Wishes to You Christen and Your Familyxx

  9. I hope everything is okay. Will keep all of you in my prayers.

  10. Wow,

    What to say, yes that big scary word we all seem to be terrified of “FEAR”. What I cannot wrap my head around is why we spend so much time anticipating the “potentials”?. And then just as you mentioned, when an emergency rings we suddenly feel a sense of peace, perhaps that peace comes from God or perhaps even adrenaline. Either way, it comes to us to question the why’s? And even more so begin to learn that sometimes fearing the idea of “fear or anxiety” becomes so overwhelming that it often paralyzes. A clergyman once mentioned something that I tell myself in the midst of fear. ” God, knows the beginning the middle and the end”, Therefore he knew what was meant to happen before I was formed in my mothers womb and he knows what will come to pass when I go to be with him. Although the idea seems foreign to some, I truly believe it can be something to focus on instead of the fear. Many prayers for your daughter and for the healing power of prayer.

  11. I am praying fiercely for your baby girl – I can’t even imagine what you are all going through right now but I do know that God will give you the strength, peace and patience to do what is needed. Prayers going your way Sweet P – Keeping the faith.

  12. I read your article with interest as I can totally identify with your feelings. I guess you can say I am a “born worrier” as I’ve been told. I am 65 yrs old and have been this way my entire life. I have learned that praying helps me and have always found that God has been with me in a crisis just as you have had with Fiona. You have expressed yourself so well in your feelings and I realize I am not alone. I hope Fiona will be OK – she looks well in the picture. Sincerely, Barbara (your fan from Calif) p.s. I have learned so much from following your site the past 6 mos. from working with ASCP to working and sewing the painters dropcloth.

  13. Oh my Goodness! My prayers to your family! I hope Fiona makes a speedy recovery! *hugs*

  14. Betty in Arlington

    O Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You alone know what are my true needs. You love me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which are concealed from me. I do not dare to ask either for a cross or for consolation. I can only wait on You. My heart is open to You. Visit and help me, for the sake of Your great mercy. Strike me and heal me; cast me down and raise me up. I worship in silence Your holy will and Your unsearchable ways. I offer myself as a sacrifice to You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me to pray. Pray You Yourself in me. Amen.
    Prayer for the Acceptance of God’s Will,
    by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

  15. Is your precious little girl okay? Thank you for sharing this story. It’s a good reminder that God is always there.

  16. I cried reading this. The surrender of being a mom is beyond understanding at times for me. I love love love how you went to the worst case scenario (if she is paralyzed I will hand feed her and take care of her for the rest of my days) and had a peace that you could do it, you would do it, and that God would give you the strength to do it. I, too, struggle with so much fear and anxiety–sometimes it’s based in reason and sometimes it’s because I accidentally dyed my hair orange or my pants make me look fat. I’ve learned not to judge my fears too harshly, but to be gentle with all of them, which helps me tackle each one as they come. Thank you for sharing your heart today. I do hope you found your credit card!

  17. Is FIona ok?

  18. Pingback: …the safe nest

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