Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I've been debating whether to share this or not. We'll see if it gets posted or deleted. I have no problem sharing my life and my struggles...that is when I'm tucked away behind my computer in the corner of my little living room. It's a different story when I see you all at church or the grocery store and you say "I read your blog and all about your learning disability!" Then I could crawl in a hole:) Not really but it has been humbling at times.

But then I think of all the conversations I've had, the emails and facebook messages I've received from so many of you saying "Hey I have a learning disability too!" or "thanks for being so open about your infertility, I am struggling through that now" or "thank goodness I'm not the only one who wears my pajamas all day!" I've been so encouraged hearing your comments and personal stories. So many of you can relate to my struggles. I've realized I'm not such a weirdo after all (or else I just surround myself with other weirdos..just kidding)!

I think the reason I'm not sure about sharing this particular struggle is because I'm going through it right now. It's easy to share about the past and tell you I've conquered that struggle, I've made it to the other side and I'm a stronger person because of it. But to actually open up about what I'm walking through now...that's hard.

But I'm sure there are many walking the same road right now. I'm hoping to encourage you just by letting you know, you're not the only one (and maybe you could drop me a note and let ME know I'm not alone either:)).

So what is this BIG struggle? It's my old friend -- Anxiety. Well I wouldn't call him a friend but he sure hangs around a lot. The last several weeks have been filled with unknowns for Andy and I and it has brought on quite a bit of anxiety for me. Have you ever felt anxious? It is a terrible feeling. I feel like I can't breathe, I can't focus, which causes me to feel confused and disorganized, and I'm on edge all the time--one wrong move and I might snap and bite your head off (well probably only if you live in my house)!

I've struggled with anxiety on and off for a long time. I've been handling it well lately and I'm able to recognize when it's coming and usually I 'attack' as soon as i feel it coming. This time though...I don't know, I'm having trouble fighting back. Maybe it's because my body is already in a tailspin from making a baby!? My hormones are out of whack already so I think the added stress has just been too much.

The last two days though the Lord has really brought two things to my attention (both things he's shown me before but I don't catch on so quickly I guess so in his patience he's showing me again).

1) Anxiety/Stress/Fear/Worry is NOT from God. In fact those feelings basically scream that I don't trust God! I say I trust God, I believe he is in control, I believe he has good things for me. Yet I allow myself to be controlled by fear. I allow myself to worry about the fact I have no idea where I'll be living in 12 weeks all the while I have a baby arriving in just 11 weeks. I want complete control of the situation and because I have no control of it, I'm terrified. But who ultimately has control? I know it in my head -- GOD --yet I'm still doing everything I can to be the controller. Doesn't seem like I have much trust in my Father does it? I've learned in the past that as soon as I relinquish all control, I am free. The anxiety leaves and God has (every single time) pulled through and worked out whatever the situation was. He has never left me to flounder. He doesn't always work the situation out the way I would have but I will admit that in hindsight I always see why my way wasn't best. So, why is it so hard to surrender? I don't know. My foolish human thinking, I guess.

2)My anxiety causes me to be self absorbed. When I am anxious the focus is solely on SARAH. How can I feel better, how can I fix MY situation, why doesn't God answer MY prayers? I don't know about you but I can't stand self absorbed people, yet I have definitely been one the last several weeks. I am so consumed with my problems (which really aren't all that horrible) that I haven't spent anytime caring about anyone else who might be struggling. I haven't picked up the phone to check on my friend who I know is lonely, I haven't made an effort to invite the new family at church over for dinner to make them feel more welcomed, I haven't even been that attentive to the needs of my own family. I instead sit here and worry (about me). Poor me. As soon as God (gently) pointed this out I was disgusted with myself! I didn't let that disgust turn into self hatred or loathing (which I might have done in the past) but instead decided to get out of my house and do something for someone else. Help someone else who is having a bad day. It really put things into perspective (and I actually felt a lot better after wards, huh).

I know what I need to do (now it's a matter of mustering up the courage to do it) I need to surrender control (again), I need to focus on God's promises and repeat them over and over until they move from my head to my heart. I laid in bed last night repeating over and over in my head "I am loved by a King. I don't need to earn his love. He loves me for me and has good things for me, he is trustworthy....I am loved by a King..." Over and over I repeated that. Slowly I could feel the weight on my chest lifting off, my heartbeat returning to normal and I finally fell asleep (only to wake up an hour later with a baby on my bladder but you get the point). I filled my head this evening with more of his truths by reading my Bible, it's shocking the wisdom you can find in there!;) And tonight I will repeat those truths again as I fall asleep. I will do this until they have been absorbed into my heart and the anxiety is gone. I know from the past it won't change overnight but in time as I allow God to move and speak and transform my heart it will happen.

Here are some scriptures I find comforting, encouraging and/or challenging --

Philippians 4:6-7
Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

Matthew 6:25-27
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.Isn't your life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They do not plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Matthew 6:34
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it's own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.

Psalm 23 {this is my favorite. It's probably familiar, it's often read at funerals but read it, REALLY read and let those truths sink's so comforting}

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

There are tons and tons I could share but these are a few of my favorites. Now I need to go and really read these. I often read them and say yeah, yeah I read that a million times. But do I believe it? Do I allow it to transform my heart and mind? Do I allow God to speak to me through it? The answer is, usually not or I probably wouldn't be ridden with anxiety!

So that's what I'll be doing over the next few weeks. Usually not a terribly fun thing but a necessary thing. Now, if you see me out and about, don't bring this up! It might make me anxious:)


  1. I know the battle of what you write.
    Firsthand. Right now.
    I could go into specifics, but my brain is just too tired. Thank you, though, for contining to write honestly, as it allows us to see Jesus more clearly through your human struggles.
    I truly gained encouragement through your beautiful mess tonight, Sarah!
    Thank you...

  2. Sarah, I really needed to read this at this very moment in time. I knew I needed to pray about my situation I find myself in but just kept trying to push it away and got on facebook. And of course God is still trying to reach me even through facebook! He used this to speak to me and I want to say thanks! I am praying for you too now as I get off of here and pray for myself! Love you!

  3. You speak words of wisdom and inspiration! Thanks for sharing. I'm guessing you'll have crowds of people coming out of the woodwork to admit they deal with this monster, Anxiety. Looks like I'm #3 : ( I bet you can guess what I'm worried about, although I should be placing complete trust in a loving heavenly Father!