Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

I have never in my life felt the anxiety I have over the past few months or so.  It's painful.  My chest hurts.  I can't seem to shake it. I wake up in the morning and it's there, looming with the sun.  I go to bed at night and lay wide-eyed and sleepless for hours.  A zillion things racing through my mind.

In the last week, more has been added to the on-going heartache with extended family.  But we already made the decision to make a huge effort to put it aside. After everything hubby has been through with them in his life, after all the hurt I have felt from them, it just has to be over.  It has to be that we pick up the pieces and move on because there are more pressing issues to face, things I can't even go into.

But what I can go into is this-

Through my anxiety and through the weight of the desires of our hearts concerning our business and home, I have tried to obtain humility and to remember to be thankful.  I have tried to glorify God in our sufferings and to also reach out to others in His name.  I am failing a lot.  But I go on.  One foot in front of the other.  I hope for a time when I can praise Him to people, glorify Him still, but for bringing about something amazing through all the suffering, and not just for the suffering itself.

Yesterday was a particularly difficult day for me, and the painful anxiety I have felt searing in my chest was high.  I couldn't get away from it and spent much of the day crying.  It was hard to do anything.  In fact, aside from a little summer school work with the kids, I don't think I really did much else.  But I knew, in my heart, I need to work past this. I need to continue to put one foot in front of the other.  My mother always tells me "just do the next thing; you've got to rise above this and do the next thing."  Sometimes this is hard to hear. And it's even harder to do. But I do need to both hear and do it.

This morning wasn't a whole lot better. I woke before the kids, which is a rare thing these days, but I just couldn't seem to get up and take advantage of the time.  I did end up getting out of bed before a few of them were awake.  When I did get up, I was greeted with the usual anxious feelings as I fumbled around trying to make coffee.  As I began the day, I realized that I needed to work extra hard to overcome my anxiety and try to enjoy the day and make it productive.

This became more apparent as I watched my husband work hard in our yard. I had climbed the broken steps up our small hill in the back and surveyed our property below.  Freshly mowed and everything put where it belongs, it looked wonderful. The colors of all the different flowers popped.  Even the messy pond seemed to not be such an eyesore. I thought about our desire to move. I thought about everything this place has been for us.  Three of our babies were born here.  This is where we truly fell in love for the first time.  This is where our marriage was saved.  This is where we started our business.  This has been our shelter in so many storms - figurative and real. We have chickens happily munching in their run who give us fresh eggs daily, three fruit trees we've been trying to keep alive, many beautiful plants my husband has planted for me over the years, and a garden which will hopefully be producing tomatoes, cukes and peppers soon. And even though I felt in that instant so  grateful and so appreciative of this place, I still felt like I am ready to move on.  I sat on the steps and cried.

And it was then that I realized how desperately I needed to just DO something.  Get my mind off of everything we're facing and everything we want.  Put one foot in front of the other and just do the next thing.  I spent an hour cleaning out the kids' pool. I started a load of laundry and put the ingredients for fresh bread dough in my bread maker.  I made plans to make butter out of the cream I separated from raw milk yesterday.  I played a game with my daughter and held my four year old tight.  I spent a lot of time journaling and reading the Bible. I sent an email to a friend to make plans for us to visit.

I am so blessed.  I am so blessed and I want to be a blessing to others but I'm not sure how to do that. I'm not sure how to allow God to use me as He wants.  I believe that every Christian is called by God; but that there are many who aren't willing to do what He wants them to do for Him.  I definitely used to be afraid of that.  I have had to remind myself over and over throughout the years that the Holy Spirit once specifically told my mom "the Lord will do great things through each of your children."  I had to whisper those words every time I found out I was pregnant again, fearful of allowing another life to be placed in my imperfect care.  I am so convicted of God's call that I don't seem to be able to move out of my paralyzed state in order to answer it often enough.

I need to put one foot in front of the other and just keep doing the next thing.  I pray that God can use each step I take.  I pray that I can always be convicted of His call to be His servant and glorify Him.  Through my suffering.  Through my anxiety.  Through all the blessings He places in my life.