Today's Friendly Friday blogger is someone I get to call my friend. Not just a bloggy friend; a friend friend. Her name is Rachel, which is probably why we click. Rachels are awesome. Biblical Rachel notwithstanding.
Rachel #1 (to my Rachel #2. Humility!) is my theologian. If I have a question, I ask her. She has a great blog called One Bible, One Year, where she summarizes and clarifies her daily Bible reading. She's a smarty pants!
What I like best about her, though, is that she is a very vision-driven person. When she gets an idea of what she wants to do (and the ideas are always very specific) very little can deter her from getting it done. She's also ambitious, since she has not one but two blogs. Her primary blog, Barren Woman, is about her struggle with infertility and the adoption of her darling son, Little Man. And if you think he looks cute in the pictures, folks, I can tell you they do him no justice. His adorable personality amplifies those good looks tenfold!
She's passionate and caring. She's great to talk to about anything. She's pretty much the best. And this entry of hers speaks right to my heart, since it's something I struggle with constantly. So stop reading me (well, right this moment, anyway)—start reading her!
I'm not sure how many of the people who read this blog are bloggers themselves. If you're interested in doing a guest post for me, just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your blog so I can see what you're all about. And, you know, make sure you're not insane.
I have had a hard time deciding what to write for Rachel’s blog. I feel the pressure to be really Christian, even though the title of the blog is The Lazy Christian. But I’ve been a Christian for a really long time—since I was 7 years old. And while there have been some gaps of belief in there, for the most part, I’ve always loved Jesus.
But I am a world class worrier. Or, at least, I was, before we adopted our son. What I learned while in the midst of our adoption journey is that I have absolutely no control over anything. I learned that God wants to handle all of my worries; Matthew tells me this. Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Two verses later, 6:27, says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Waiting to be matched in our adoption journey… waiting to meet the expectant mother… waiting for the “I’m in labor” phone call… waiting for the papers to be signed to make Little Man officially “ours,” all of those were prime opportunities to worry. And in the beginning, I worried a lot. But the more I talked to God, the more I prayed and listened, the more I journaled, the more peace I felt. While we were waiting in a renovated janitor’s closet for the TPR papers to be signed so we could take our son home from the hospital, I was actually able to curl up on a very uncomfortable couch and sleep, because I had turned over all my worry to God.
But then we got home, and the fear started.
Fear is a whole other ballgame, as far as I’m concerned. Fear encompasses things not listed in Matthew 6. Like death of a loved one. Or a debilitating accident. Or your child growing up without both parents. Or food poisoning. Okay, so maybe food poisoning isn’t on the same level as the others, but it’s still something I fear.
I don’t worry about what I’m going to wear (as evidenced by my pathetic collection of jeans and tee shirts). I don’t worry about what we’re going to eat or how we’re going to pay our bills on one salary. I don’t worry about much anymore these days.
But I fear my son will be killed in an accident or die from some horrible sickness. I fear my truck-driving husband will be in a fatal accident and I will be a widow and my son will never know his father. I fear my mother will die before I’m ready (as if I’ll ever be ready for that). I fear that I will be hurt and become a burden to my husband and son, or that I’ll die and my son will grow up without his mother. I fear that my dad and step-mom will die without Jesus, but they still don’t get it. I fear that my son will grow up to not love Jesus.
And how do I stop those things? I can’t.
How do I stop thinking about those things? I can’t. I try, I really do try. I know the Bible says about a gazillion times “do not be afraid,” but it’s generally in regard to angels, or Jesus, or God’s glory appearing. It refers to something specific. My fears aren’t necessarily specific, but they are plentiful.
So I struggle with fear. And as a lifetime Christian, that’s hard to admit. I’m supposed to be the mature one – a leader. But I’m afraid.
I try not to think about it too much, or I’m pretty sure I’d have a panic attack.
When I sing songs like “Blessed Be Your Name,” I wonder if I really could praise God if he takes away.
When I sing “It is Well with My Soul” to my son at sleepytimes, I wonder, would it be? Would my soul survive?
And then I wonder, if I would, would God do that to me? Would he take away? Would he send sorrows that roll like sea billows?
So I struggle with fear. Not worry – but fear.
So I cling to Psalm 18:1-2:
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Is there a guarantee in there that nothing I fear will happen? Of course not. But there is the guarantee in there that if my fears do come true, I can cling to my Rock, and he will deliver me.