I haven’t written in ages. Why?
I have been thinking about that—about why I have not written. I want to. I feel like it would be personally mentally beneficial. I’ve always said I think of my blog as free therapy. But I just haven’t done it. I didn’t even post anything during April—Autism Awareness Month. Oh, the shame!
I could say I’ve been busy. I could say I’ve been uninspired. I could say that I haven’t felt very funny. And all those things would be true statements.
But I think, if I am honest, the simple truth is that I have felt overwhelmed with life and that I just could not think about one. more. thing. I am a worrier. I never thought I would say that about myself, but it is true.
Worries include, but are not limited to: the weighty issues of life and raising kids and financial responsibility and home keeping and home schooling and worries about Jacob’s future and decisions we’ve made in the past and Emma going to high school next fall and is Clyn going to get laid off, and should I get a paying job and what about all the needy folks out there in the world? Should we make Jacob take the SAT or the ACT? Is he going to be ready to go to college after he graduates next year and how will we pay for college anyway? How much longer can we expect our ‘95 Toyota Camry with 240,000 miles on it to keep going? And how will we fit another car payment into the budget when it dies? Oh, and, how is this laundry going to get done? On and on and on with the never ending, paralyzing, worry!
Those are some of the things that keep me awake at night. Trust me, insomnia is a friend to no man. It just gives you more time to worry. It feels like all I have done the last six months is Worry. Worry. Worry. And worry just perpetuates more worry. Sometimes it feels like I am losing my mind. And I just don’t know what to do with it all. So, I just check out and do nothing with it, except to make a feeble attempt at balling it up and tossing it heavenward.
These are the very things I don’t want to write about. Partly, because I don’t like to seem whiney or ungrateful and I really don’t like to be a “downer”.
I recognize that we are blessed beyond measure. I realize that I just need to put my big girl panties on, take some action, and DEAL with some of the stuff. In the scheme of things, I am aware that my concerns are little compared to what some families are dealing with and so I keep it to myself, stuff it down, put on my happy face and just try to fake it till I make it. I give it all to God and then promptly take it away from Him on a daily, no, on an hourly, basis. And then I feel guilty for not trusting Him. I am often reminded of the scripture in Mark 9:24 (NIV) where a worried father says to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” This is how I feel so often!
It’s kinda like my mama, and probably your mama, used to say “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything to say at all.” I don’t feel like dumping all my worries out here is “saying something nice.” And so, I don’t write at all.
Here it is, people. The Ugly Truth. There is an insecure, frightened, anxious girl on the inside of me. (One, I think, who lives inside most of us, if we are honest.) And yet, even as I admit my worries and insecurities, I still feel compelled to cover it up and say– oh, no, really, it’s all good. And smile while I’m saying it. I feel like such a phony. How crazy is that??
I read a poem recently by Paul Laurence Dunbar (thanks to homeschooling 11th grade English) that really struck a chord in me.
We Wear the Mask
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Why do we wear the mask? Why isn’t it okay to be totally transparent? To be vulnerable?
For me, I don’t want to seem weak or too needy. I want to seem in control. I don’t like to ask for help. I want to show others that my faith is strong and that I trust God to care for me, my family and those I love.
But I am weak. I am needy. I do need help. I often feel out of control and like my life is running me. I don’t have all the answers.
And, since I am being honest here, I have to say that I don’t like for people to see that in me. But I am pretty sure, even though I try really hard to cover it up, that I am not fooling anybody. And I’m just plain tired of pretending.
I do know, in spite of my craziness, that God is in control. I do know to cast my cares on Him because He cares for me. I do know all the right answers about anxiousness and letting go of all that stuff. But the act of walking that out daily is a challenge for me; making the head to heart connection is sometimes hard.
What to do, then?
Two words come to mind: Press On.
Yes, people. I am pressing on and hanging in. I desire to worry less and live more. Pray more, trust God more, and acknowledge Him more. Reach out more and be more vulnerable. Try to take action on the things I can and let God handle the rest and then, RELAX.
At least, that is the plan.
I mean, really, what is the worst thing that can happen?
“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3 NIV
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
“’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 than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’” Matthew 6:25-34 NIV