Thursday, January 04, 2007

Braving the Storm

Attention Worrywarts!

A lady whose friend was a chronic worrier said to her one day, “Do you realize that 80% of the things you worry about never happen?” “See,” her friend replied, “it works!” Seriously, Jesus said, “Don’t get worked up about what may…happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever…come{s} up” (Mt 6:34 TM). Worry doesn’t rid tomorrow of its sorrows, it just robs today of its joy. Plus when you make a mountain out of a molehill you end up having to climb it. A salesman who usually drove an old car and wore outdated clothes turned up at his office one day in a designer suit, driving a BMW. “What happened?” his buddy asked. “Remember how I used to worry about everything?” he said, “Well I hired a team of professional worriers; now I tell them my problems and they do all my worrying while I go out and sell.” “How much do they charge?” his friend asked. “$5,000 a week,” he replied. “How can you afford that?” his buddy asked. Smiling he replied, “That’s their worry, not mine!”

Wouldn’t you like to have somebody to handle all your worries? You do; His name is Jesus, and He said, “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens…I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28 CEV). God promised, “As your day is, so shall your strength…be” (DT 33:25 AMP). That’s because He only gives us today’s strength for today’s needs. Remember, it’s impossible to wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. So instead of wasting today worrying about tomorrow, “Give…your worries…to God” (1Pe 5:7 NLT), and get busy living the life He gave you to enjoy! ~The Word For You Today

These last few days I’m finding myself worrying much more than I have been. Everything from what tomorrow brings to what someone else may be thinking. I waste my time and energy over people’s judgments sometimes and I tend to worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet. “Well I might get an anxiety attack if I walk into that crowded grocery store!” Some days, I’m able to get a grip on my agoraphobia. Other days, it’s as if it never left me. At night, I can’t sleep because there are a million things going through my head. You wouldn’t believe the thoughts I have right before sleep. “Did I lock the door?” (That could be the OCD kicking in as well as the other questions such as making sure the oven’s off…ten times.) "If I turn the TV off when I try to sleep, will I hear any ‘bumps in the night’?” I’m like a child thinking she has a monster in her closet. I’m scared of the dark! When the lights go out, I freak! God forbid there’s a lightening storm outside and the electric fails. I grab a flashlight when I hear thunder. Seriously- major problems over here!

I never forgot the storm in March of 1997. We had some freaky weather over in New York during that time and La Nina was hitting us hard. It was always windy with gusty storms that were a force to be reckoned with. One early evening, my parents were barbequing. I was the only one with them, so my sisters can’t vouch for me. But, the day was sunny, oddly warm, with a few clouds in the sky. I walked out to talk with my dad as he cooked his steaks to perfection. We discussed how calm and quiet it was outside. The entire atmosphere was at a standstill. Then, I went to look up above, and there was this huge black cloud coming in slowly. The rest of the sky was blue. It didn’t look good. I said, “Dad! Shut the barbeque off and come inside for a few minutes- I don’t have a good feeling about this.” He just shooed me off and kept flipping his steaks. I worried so much that they ended up treating me like the boy who called wolf. Understandable, but this time it wasn’t an irrational fear. This cloud meant business.

As I kept staring at this black monstrosity, it started to develop a finger-like shape that began to try and touch ground. The winds whipped up a bunch of leaves and grass and I started screaming at my dad, “Get in now dad! Hurry! It’s a twister!” He stood out there laughing at me, as his thick silver hair was flowing in the breeze. “You gotta be crazy or sumptin’! It’s nuttin’! Youz are all crazy- you know dat’?”

Then the twister touched down in the woods, bringing up debris and uprooting trees. That’s when dad came inside. As he made his way through the door, the wind shut it so hard, that it felt as though the house had this suction effect to it. My mother ran to her little radio and turned on the news channel. It had the weather alert that there was a tornado warning for our area.

“Oh we don’t get tornados in New York Deb.” My mom pipes up from behind the counter.

The fact is, we’re right outside the city with flatland. It was the perfect environment for it. Yes, we lived on a hill, but any tornado can start somewhere, making its way down. Well that day proved that tornados do exist in New York.

After that day, I began to be deathly afraid of rain. Seriously, it didn’t even have to be a storm. Dark clouds would roll in, and I’m gearing up for the worst, making room in my little spot under the stairwell. We didn’t have a basement- it was just a crawlspace. So, I already knew where my spot would be. Forecast for rain? I was in panic-mode! It was getting so ridiculous, that I started fearing going out at all. I thought, “Well what if it starts to rain and I’m somewhere without shelter?” All these irrational thoughts took over my mind. It basically ruled my life.

At 23 years old, I shouldn’t have these irrational fears plaguing me day after day. So one morning, I prayed to God. I asked Him to take this awful fear away from me. It was literally preventing me from living a healthy life. I sat there for a moment waiting for His answer. The only bible I had at that time was one I received back when I went to CCD when I was fourteen years old. It was the Good News Bible with Deuterocanonicals and Apocrypha books added in it. (TEV) It even had illustrations of some of the events that took place in the bible.

I opened up the bible, and it went straight to Psalm 46:2 “We will not be afraid.” And there was an illustration of Jesus walking a young girl across the land while it stormed outside. Then I read the entire scripture.

“God is our shelter and always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and the mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the scared house of the Most High. God is in that city, and it will never be destroyed; at early dawn he will come to its aid. Nations are terrified, kingdoms are shaken; God thunders, and the earth dissolves.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” ~Psalm 46:1-7

After reading that scripture and looking at the illustration of Jesus carrying “me” out of the storm, I then began to realize that I was safe. I was always safe but didn’t know it. I then started to feel better about storms. I didn’t fear the dark clouds rolling in anymore. I didn’t get scared when I heard a crack of thunder from outside. And now, I enjoy watching a good summer storm come in because it reminds me that God is always with me…even when I’m afraid.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am the official worrier in our marriage. I wish I could give up that title, but it is part of me. I worry about pipes falling off trucks and impaling me, germs on door handles, and comets hitting the earth. So, folks, don't worry about the comets - that's my job.

kathi said...

I'm just glad that you're feeling good enough again to be blogging!

Worrying is like second nature to all of us, it's instilled in us from our parents (sometimes) to the movies we see where the worst usually does happen. But, you've got it right when you turn to the Word for the Truth of it all. Worrying never makes you any money or makes your health any better or makes someone love you. Just wastes your time and energy and steals your joy, your life.
In the palm of His hand, darlin, in the palm of His hand.

samuru999 said...

Hi Deb
I am not much of a worrier, but I do remember an incindent about 10 years ago that i was so worried I felt like I was losing my mind!
My hubby had went to see somoene about a computer late in the evening!
(this person he went to see had an ad in the paper, and my hubby was interested in maybe buying)
Well, I was expecting him back home at least within an hour or so!
After two hours had passed, and making calls to his cell phone, and no answer from him, I started to become very worried.
I was pacing the floor, and just a total mess!
After 4 hours, I was crying like a baby, and I called the police to ask about any accidents in the area!
A person is not considered missing till after 24 hours, so all the police could do was be on the lookout for his car.
So, I went to bed and prayed to God with all my might to take care of my hubby!
Then i called some close friends...it was after midnight, and they said they would be right over!
Well, as they arrived in my driveway, so did my hubby!
I ran outside and wrapped my arms around all of them!

And, where at my hubby been all this time....and why didn't he call?
Well, the person he went to see was someone he worked with ( he did not know that till he got there)
They got totally involved with talking about computers and other things, and my hubby just lost track of the time)
I told him NEVER to do that to me ever again! He has always let me know since that day if he is running late when I expect him home!

Since that day, when I have big worries I turn them over to God!

Margie

~Deb said...

It’s odd how our worries manifest into panic. Our thoughts just rummage through the most horrific scenes in our minds. Still to this day, I still worry about things that haven’t even happened yet- and probably will never happen. I guess it’s human nature, but I find I worry less when I pray and ask God to protect me. Madelene had once told me to pray for a hedge of protection through Jesus. Ever since I started doing that, my worries have become less.

JD said...

happy new year hon. deep post once again. you're the best. i thought about you when i was in your neck of the woods last month. okay, woods don't have necks, why do we say that anyway? i hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. i promise to do better and come by more often.

you're still my number one Lesbian fan!!! (inside joke). ;)

~Deb said...

JD, Happy new year to you too! You were in my 'neck' of the woods, huh? Not sure why they say that actually. Hope you're doing great! Thanks for stopping by!

samuru999 said...

I have this little poem to share, Deb

WORRIES
Little worries swarm
like gnats
And can cloud the
brightest day...

And when I turn
to God
He sweeps my worries
all away!
_______________________________________
Wishing you Deb,
A wonderful and worry free day....
and hoping it is beautiful in every way!

Margie

Pittchick said...

I think my husband worries that I don't worry enough. I don't know, never been much of a worrier myself.
I don't like thunderstorms. Never have. I don't really know why, just a quirk I suppose.

ann said...

I think it would be more unnatural NOT to worry... as a mother I have the most irrational fears for my children. Sadly some of my biggest worries came true and now as I've got older I've tried to loosen up and not let everything get to me... most of the things we worry about are out of our hands anyway and the rest is down to us.

For example, if I get fined for filing my tax return late, it will be my fault for dealing with it late... if I didn't want that worry I should have sorted it sooner.

I've had more than my fair share of trauma and when I look back now I realise I wasted far too many sleepless nights.

try not to worry Deb... it's a futile exercise... take my word, the word of the old lady of blogdom

lotsa luv ann xxxxx

Anonymous said...

I worry and then I worry that I worry. That whole phrase: Rest in the Lord is so hard for me.

Anonymous said...

By the way that is me Enemy, I am just using my beta blogger ID

Miss 1999 said...

Deb,

You know, I swear, it's like we share a brain sometimes! It's really scary! Last night, I was thinking about the exact same thing. I was worrying my heart out, which is nothing different from any other day for me, when I stopped myself and said, "Why am I worrying? God is already there, and all I have to do is trust in him, and do his will."

Back in 1998, I had a "tornado scare", too! I had my survival bag packed with 20 outfits, all of my jewelery, photo albums-- all of the things that were precious to me. In the basement, I had blankets, pillows, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, a radio, everything I *thought* I needed. Granted, the tornado did hit, but luckily, it hit the mountains and turned the other way, not hitting us. A few people's homes were damaged, but luckily, no one died.

You know, God is in control, all we have to do is ultimately, trust in him. Thanks for sharing this post! *hugs*

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Was dropping by to see how you were feelings. So fun to see that you've posted twice!!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely,lovely uplifting post.
Hoping for more,
Julie :-)