In three days our girls are going to a school trip about six hours drive from home. Did I mention the trip will be five l-o-n-g days?
Last night I tucked the kids in bed and heard the best word any parent can hear ‘I love you mummy!’ said one of our girls. With that word still fresh in my ears as getting ready to go to bed ‘my mammas worry head’ started to spin.
A fear gripped my chest and for a few split seconds I imagined all the possible fatal things that could happen to them during the trip.
I thought, “Perhaps I heard those sweet words from my daughter so that it will be the last words I remember from her” . I don’t know about you, but it hurts when kids don’t say anything affectionate to you, but somehow it’s even scarier when they say something great.
“I got very upset when my husband gave me a diamond ring for my 30th birthday,” said one of my friends. ‘I thought he was about to divorce me and that was the parting gift’ she added.
I believe that kind of reasoning is so characteristic for us women. We get suspicious and fearful when things are good. Somehow we have learned to cope with stress and fear better than with good and well. When life is good and we have no major problems to worry about it seems to throw us overboard.
So, all sort of thoughts continued to flood my mind as I tried to relax in my bed. The images of a bad car accident on the way or the thought of them being forgotten in a city or forest all alone was haunting. What about food poisoning? Animal or human attacks? My mind kept rushing like water from a broken dam.
I kept imagining bad scenario after terrifying scenario until I could not get enough air into my lungs.
I knew I had to stop that crazy thought train before it did, even more, damage than it was doing.
Slowly I reached and held my husband’s hand as he rested next to me and squeezed it tightly.
‘I am afraid’ I whispered ‘I have got this fear that something bad will happen to one of our girls on this coming trip.’
Well, ‘let’s pray’ he said (that is his first standard reply for everything).
We closed our eyes and started to thank God for our lives, our children and this opportunity for the girls to be on the trip. As we uttered prayers of protection and security my heart and mind were warmed by that verse in 2 Tim 1:7 that says:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
There, as I lay on our bed I got a grip on that verse focusing my mind and heart fully there and like a bull-dog will not let it go. I stopped thinking about all evil foreboding that terrified me and started to meditate and think on every word on that passage. First, it was a quick repetition of that verse, but after a few moments I was slowing down with each word until my heart and breath caught up and became all one rhythm
After a few minutes ‘ruminating’ on that verse it felt like someone came and switched my ‘status’ from Panicking to Peace. It was miraculous. Now, that does not happen every time we pray, but I am learning that all the time ‘worry attacks’ me the best thing I can do is expose it (by speaking about it with God, your spouse or friends) because worry loves darkness and isolation.
And as we do that, a Bible verse, a song or simply peace will fill our minds and heart and fear or worry will start and lose its grip.
This really works and I am practising more often than before.
So, the first step to worry-free living is to ask God for help and the second is to expose it as soon as it lands on our mind or heart.
Let’s keep practising friend. It takes time and repetition to break old circles of worry and learn new ones of freedom. Keep going.
To be continued...