“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)
Last week I woke up with many anxious thoughts after having a dream that my son had been placed in a classroom for both fourth and fifth graders. In the dream he had a fast-paced teacher that I was worried would leave him behind.
The week before, I dreamed I had to move to get away from something dangerous, yet I was paralyzed. It wasn’t fear paralyzingly me, but something I recognized as my disease preventing me from doing something,
I am not really a worrier. The benefit to staying busy and keeping my mind focused on Rest Ministries “stuff” is that I will claim I have no time leftover to worry. But evidently, I do have those anxious thoughts. And when I push them down, ignore them, avoid allowing myself to feel them, I don’t take them to the Lord either. I fall into the mindset of, “It will all work out. Why worry and have anxious thoughts when God is in control?”
It sounds good. It is true that God is in control. Yet, without allowing myself to have those anxious thoughts, I am not putting them at the Lord’s feet and surrendering them to Him. And they eventually resurface, either in my dreams (or nightmares!), or situations where suddenly I want to “blow” even when the seriousness of the circumstances don’t warrant it.
Anxious thoughts are seen all too often as a negative thing, feelings to bury, emotions to deny or downplay. But they are very real–and normal. Allowing ourselves to acknowledge them and then surrender them is the best way to deal with all of those anxious thoughts.
Prayer: Lord, help me know that those anxious thoughts I have are not a sign of my weakness, but a symptom that I need to have a long chat with You. Help me bring those anxious thoughts to you rather than dealing with them in a prideful or destructive way. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
How do you cope with our anxious thoughts? When you stuff them down, do you feel stronger or weaker? How would God prefer you deal with those anxious thoughts and feelings?
If you need to get rid of some of those anxious thoughts, and you like a little country music, you may enjoy this song, “Quiet Your Mind” by the Zach Brown Band. Can’t see the video? If you are reading this in your email click the title to go to the website to watch the video. -Lisa