“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
– John 14:27
I am a worrier. Lord forgive me, but this is true. If our routine’s off by just a smidgen, I start to sweat. Mass amounts of responsibility sit on my shoulders and I start to wonder if I can handle it all. The kids are getting out of hand, acting out, and I start wondering if I’m failing as a parent. My choices in curriculum and social activities begin to weigh on my mind. And these are just the small worries.
If work is slow, paying bills is going to be tight because we are self-employed. My kids need glasses, clothes, food, and so much more. New laws in our state might force regulations upon us that usurp our parental authority. The list could go on.
It is in my nature to worry about everything and anything. I worry about having dinner finished at a good hour; using too much laundry soap; stretching our budget; whether or not I should have said those words to that person; and if I am ‘enough’ for the people who depend on me. I worry. I worry. I worry. This is who I am… on my own.
Ah! But that changes everything doesn’t it? What I am on my own cannot compare to what I am in Christ. In Christ, I am a new creation. (II Cor. 5:17) My old nature is constantly battling with who Christ is trying to help me become. I can easily slip back into a pattern of old habits, allowing myself to be overwhelmed by life; forgetting Who is in control. My emotions war with the Holy Spirit who is trying to comfort me, offering me peace during times of trial.
Overwhelmed by Emotion
If gone unchecked, emotions can sometimes overwhelm; clouding our minds and paralyzing us. We cannot see the truth for the feelings standing in the way. We have allowed reason to fall by the wayside and allowed our hearts to dictate our current state of mind.
And yet, we are reminded in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We are not to be ruled by our emotions or the turning of our hearts. What we feel is not to be our focus, but, rather, what is true.
What Is True?
The truth, as we are reminded in John 14, is that we have been given a spirit of peace. Not just any peace, peace given by God Himself! We have the God-given ability to accept this peace and move forward, but we have to choose to do so. God will not force His peace upon us. He will not shove this peace down our throats. He will not beg us to take it. We must choose to accept His gift willingly.
Let Not Your Heart…
Our emotions are not going to gain control of themselves. We need to be proactive about not letting our emotions control us. We need to rely on the Lord and ask Him to remove this stress and fill us with His peace. We need to trust He is going to see us through.
This does not mean He will always meet our needs in the way we expect; sometimes He doesn’t! Christians die, go hungry, and are persecuted – we are told to expect this (John 15:20) – instead we ask that He see us through the trial and come out of this stronger. We accept that God is in control.
On my own, I am a worrier. In Christ, I am learning to have peace; peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). My friends, let not your heart be troubled. Instead, accept the gift our Lord has freely given. Peace which fills our empty hearts, calms our sea of emotions, and confounds the unbeliever. May we choose to accept the gifts Christ so willingly died to give us and enter into a life well lived.
Your Turn!: When worried, I find it helps to pray and reorient my focus. What helps you when emotions seem to hold sway?
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I am just like you. My daughter has Autism and I am in constant worry that I will fail her. I have 2 adult children that I worry about. My go to is prayer. All we can do is give it to God and wait. When I pray I feel instant peace. I say a lot of mini prayers throughout my day. I’m so glad I found your blog. I can’t wait to read your other posts.
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Thank you for the encouragement, and for joining us on A Homeschool Mom. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the adventure of learning.
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As a parent of five children, worry just seems to be a part of who I am. I feel it is my responsibility to keep them safe. My kids always seem to be into something. I worry they will climb furniture and it will fall on them, worry about if they are doing okay in school and retaining the information, worry about if they are social enough, worry about swimming and if they swallowed too much water, worry about my 3 month old turning over in the middle of the night and suffocates, its worry…worry.. worry. Mostly because I cannot fathom the hurt and the pain if something wrong happened. I don’t think I would be able to live with myself.
I appreciate your post as it reminds me that God does provide peace. I have felt that peace before during some tough times but I will be honest since I have become a parent, I have not put my kids in Gods hands. I’m still very much tightly wrapped around them. How true and how real are your words of the trouble of worry. Thank you for sharing Gods word and your testimony! One area I surely need work in.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and taking a moment to encourage others. 🙂
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