As we begin the new year, it’s easy to feel that obligation to make plans and set resolutions. But goals can be difficult for those with chronic conditions. this lovely article by Ann can help us put our goals into perspective and learn more about why we can feel anxiety when we start that “to do” list.
Trusting God’s Goodness When Fearful of Making Plans
By Ann Ferguson
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid” (Psalm 56:3-4).
I often live in fear. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I’m not so much afraid of the big picture. I have accepted fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome for what it is and I know God is in control. Mostly, I am afraid to make plans. Every time I make some significant plans, I get my hopes up, then worry that I won’t be able to participate.
I play it over in my mind a thousand times. What will I feel like when that day comes? Will I be able to go and feel well enough to enjoy? Will I go and just feel miserable? Will I not be able to go and participate at all?
Sometimes plans include some kind of commitment on my part. People depending on me to get something done.
What if I can’t deliver? What if my health fails on that day and I let people down?
Not being able to cook dinner for my family–not such a big deal. Not being able to sing at an event where thousands of people are counting on me–a big deal. I can be obsessive with these thoughts!
But worrying is pointless really. Planning is good and necessary. Worrying is, well, to put it bluntly, sin.
God has clearly asked us to bring all our worries and concerns to Him in prayer. He asks us to trust Him. Not that every time I pray I’ll magically be able to do all that I want to do, but when I pray I will be able to trust His heart. His intentions for me are good, even when I can’t see it.
As His child, nothing about my life surprises Him. If I have committed to sing somewhere and the time comes and I absolutely can’t do it, that is not a surprise to Him. If I have done everything in my power to fulfill a commitment or participate in something I’m really looking forward to (vacations, social events, performances, etc.) and the time comes where I cannot, then well, that was His plan.
Hugely disappointing? Yes! But accepting it as God’s plan takes the sting out a little.
We don’t always understand God’s will and plans for our lives. Humanly speaking it doesn’t always make sense to us. But we can be confident that He is in control. He loves us beyond what we can truly imagine. And His ways are indeed perfect. Rest in Him. Trust in His goodness, love, mercy and grace. I don’t know about you, but I’m still working on it.
Prayer: Oh, Father, forgive me for not trusting You as I should. I know You love me so much and I thank You for Your perfect ways. Help me to accept Your plan without fear and doubt. Give me grace to trust You more.
Ann Ferguson lives in Florida with her husband and five young children. She has suffered from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome for over 15 years. Her blog “Restoring My Soul” provides spiritual inspiration and encouragement to Christians who also suffer from fibromyalgia and cfs.
Have you been hugely disappointed by not being able to attend a function you were looking forward to because of your health? How did your faith in God play into that moment? Were you able to trust His goodness? Do you sometimes live in fear of making plans, like I do? Please share with us!