Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scriptures to Combat Worry & Anxiety

Worry is a darkroom where negatives develop!

I'm so glad we will be studying Matthew 6 in BSF this week! How timely that I will read Scripture and hear a lecture on worry when that is just what is plaguing me now! I am overcome with worry/fear/anxiety these days.  I wrote this to help myself overcome the temptation to worry, however I am posting it here to hopefully bless another.

First, I am not feeling close to God. When this happens in our lives it's us, God never abandons us. I have unconfessed, unrepentant sin.  I asked God to forgive me for having a spirit of bitterness lately and of worry.  I have not seen His unending blessings and instead have allowed doubts and fears to creep in. Worry is not believing God's promises, so I must bring it to God. Confess my sin of worry and turn my troubles over to Him.

Paul tells us to take all our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5).  He knows my every thought, there are no secrets from God. So I cannot hide from Him my worry that He may not provide, or that I don't want His plans for my life, I want my own.  I don't always understand the reason things are happening the way they do (as His ways are higher than my understanding). In these moments I doubt Him.

I can grow complacent - not being in His word or in quiet prayer time with Him. I don't know if I want to hear what He has to say. All things, even bad things, can be used to His glory. That's what I'm afraid of! So I confess this to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and ask that the Holy Spirit give me the strength to toss these thoughts out.

I picture myself writing each worry on an index card and then crinkling it up, tossing it at that guy in the Office Jerk game (an app on my phone that my son loves), then throwing the dynamite at him and the thoughts- BOOM! They're gone!

Scroll down for the scripture verses I found helpful in arming myself against the temptation to worry.  If you're interested, these are the anxieties that consume me today:

As I've shared before, there is always the fear that something would happen to my children.  Most specifically I worry about my 8 month old baby. I think knowing safety hazards and dangers are good but I know TOO much, having me in constant fear that my son with die unexpectedly.

I worry a lot about money.  The State has determined the MN Zoo is not liable for themedical bills for Julia’s dog bite and rabies vaccines.  I have to decide whether to take the dog owner to court or not. I’ve paid the bills. As a Believer I need to evaluate more than just the financial value and is it worth my time, but what does this speak about my witness/testimony?

We went from almost zero debt ($5k student loan) to $14k in less than a year. Tons of medical bills, car and home repairs, needed new appliances as pretty much everything broke in a 2-month span.  Taylor needed glasses, I had a baby, kids are in OT, Speech, etc. Our meds are crazy pricey.  Homeschooling can be cheap but not 100% free.  I have 6 mouths to feed - many of them on special diets or having food allergies. Oh, and 7 pets.

Dean had dental surgery and received 10 crowns, which is very expensive, even with insurance. Bruce had surgery the next week and we found he has severe food allergies (food protein intolerant entercolitus syndrome).  I am trying to determine the source of pain, but still many days – and nights – he screams for hours and has blood in his diapers. I worry what I feed him will cause him pain, he will not gain weight, get very ill, etc.

Taylor is doing well with many things regarding her autism/ADHD/etc. and her growth (precocious puberty) issues seem under control.  However she is still struggling with sleep issues which leads to huge behavioral struggles almost daily.  Her asthma has gotten more severe and was not being controlled with her meds so we now need to do inhalers and nebulizers daily, as well as oral pills.  One of her meds is the max copay of $240 a month.  Just when I think I know all her triggers, she has a crazy extreme meltdown and I'm left paralyzed with shock, unable to avoid repeats of this.

So I worry about the costs, the time, will my children ever have friends, will they be sick forever? Will it get worse? Will it affect their jobs or ability to find a spouse and be a mom? So many worries.

Julia’s autism is causing new problems as she moves into a new stage (puberty).  The doctor did discover chronic colitis and she is on meds and adapting her diet however it does not solve her growth issues.  She has not gained weight or height in 4 years! She has dropped from 3rd percentile to off the charts.  Her BMI is only 13.2 – this is now leading to other severe medical issues, such as bone weakness (osteoporosis).  It is possible she may never ovulate and have children.

The doctors are baffled and out of answers.  We will try the eating disorder clinic.  She had to go off her ADHD meds and onto pills that make her hungry.  God is equipping her and me to handle school without these meds, but it is definitely a challenge not taking them – especially around her peers.

My children also do not really have many friends or playdates or outside activities.  I’m grateful they have each other but I’m heartbroken they get so lonely. And that when they are with friends that they lack social skills to properly maintain the friendships.

Dean has a heart defect and night seizures,  has never pooped in the toilet, won’t eat most foods due to their textures, etc.  He is soon to be evaluated and diagnosed.  We know he has developmental delays, speech problems, and sensory processing disorder, but his special ed preschool teacher is certain he also has autism.  He may be my lowest functioning, most challenged child.  There are also severe behavior issues since he struggles with transitions, noises, lights, etc.

So I worry about everything that goes with having ANOTHER special needs kid! The time, the pain, hurt, money. I fear giving Bruce his vaccines AND I fear NOT doing so.

The basement pipes are clogged and my laundry room is flooded. BOTH our vans need new breaks. We haven’t paid our mortgage this month. The stairs to the house are crumbled to pieces, the storm door was ripped off in a storm, the screens are broken on the windows, the sliding door and front door do not properly close or latch, and the wasps have been killed but the wood under the roof had to be ripped off.  So we have holes in garage and it looks like a trashy house.

And YET - I'm seeing the little blessings. The way God spectacularly meets me where I am at and shows me His grace is sufficient.  I can rest in Him, lay my burdens at His feet. I am profoundly aware that I need a Savior DAILY. I draw near to Him and ask for strength daily. And to be equipped for the calling He has given me.

SO HERE ARE SOME VERSES that are really carrying me through right now. I am working on memorizing ALL of them - that they can be my fighting words when I'm tempted to doubt or fear.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." - Psalms 68:19

"For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, and says to you Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, ...Do not fear, for I myself will help you. declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 41:13-14

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

"Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you & help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  - Isaiah 41:10

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." - John 14:27

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6

"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord." - Jeremiah 29:11-14a

"I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to ear, drink, or wear.  Isn't life more than food or clothing?" - Matthew 6:25

"Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things.  Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what He wants. The other things will be yours as well." - Matthew 6:32-33

God knows the needs of our hearts before we even ask! When I lay all my worries at His feet I reveal my faith in His plans to provide and to comfort. I know whatever He has in store for us is all for His glory and our benefit. I can surrender to Him EVERYTHING, because it all belongs to Him. My children, my time, my money, they are His.

So I am working on asking God to reveal Himself to me and to open my eyes to His plans for me so that I can wholly obey.  Here are the blessings I've seen in just the past few days (I am also praying He helps me to see ALL my blessings - AND be a blessing to others!):

A sweet friend that I have not seen in years knew of my need for a winter coat for Dean from a post I made on Facebook.  She ordered him one online and is having it shipped to us.

Another friend, who also has some financial struggles herself, dropped by some hand-me-down clothes for Dean.

My mom bought Dean some new pants knowing he has outgrown his from last winter.

I received a very, very encouraging card regarding my ministry from my Bible Study gals - and a gift card!

The cashier at the grocery store today was able to accept an expired store coupon for $5 off my purchase.

Another friend (gee, I am seeing that I am blessed with friends!!) had a bunch of frozen meat she didn't really have room for and couldn't eat very quickly on her own and gave it to me (as I have made many meals for her in the past).

I sold several of my bags from my business, enabling us to buy gas last week.

I was able to get an in-person appointment with the County to attempt to apply for state aid and PCA services for the kids.

I try not to speed but can be absent-minded at times.  Today I was compelled to look at the spedometer and saw I was going a few over.  I slowed down a bit and just a couple blocks later saw a police car - waiting.

The book I really wanted to use for Science in school was at the library - with no other holds and no wait time to check out!

My girlfriend, who is a single mom herself, bought baby Bruce a couple warmer outfits as the weather is getting cooler but he does not yet fit Dean's old winter stuff.

Thank you, Lord, for your undeserved blessings!