Thursday, July 31, 2014

worrier or warrior: what kind of woman am i?

confession: lately, i am a middle-of-the-night worrier.

2 am and you'll find me and my touch of insomnia camped out with a couple of concerns.


most people who know me, would be surprised. maybe even tell you, "but she seems to take things in stride ... she appears to be pretty easy going ... she's not at all the anxious type ..."

and i'm not.
not in daylight, at least.

mother of five or just the way i'm wired, but in the middle of the day, i'm pretty good. i'm pretty low key. in fact, it is possible that i might worry less than the average mama.  my older kids have even questioned me about my low level of concern on certain matters: "mom aren't you going to DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT? mom, are you really OKAY WITH THAT?"
(because let's be clear: teenagers know so much more than we do).

and, for some reason, usually, i am.
i am OKAY. WITH. THAT. usually.

but 2 am ... 3 am ... 4 am ... and, friends, it's a different story.

it's the availability of my mind.
it's the absence of busy-ness.
it's the attack of the evil one.

and too often, i fall prey.
and too often, i fail to pray.

in the dark of the night, under the covers of my controlling-self, i wallow in the what-ifs and the what-thens and the what-nows. i try to solve problems and fix issues and process the pieces of painful issues. of life. of sin. of failure. of fear. of the future.

i worry about big things like the hardness of a child's heart.
and ... i worry about ridiculous things like is that the right color beige on the family room wall.

all of it ... fair game.
all of it ... creeping into the corners of this mother's mind.
                                                            -----  in the middle of her night.

and, i'll admit, when this happens and these thoughts try to overtake me, my faith feels kinda small.
weak. wimpy. wanting.
heck, it seems almost un-christian.
what kind of woman of God is she if she worries like this at the 2am hour?

i mean, where is the cool-facade from my daylight?
where is the complete confidence in my Deliverer?
i know the scripture and i know the Savior, but what happens when the day ends and the sleep eludes and the worries evolve?

what then?

"for though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." ~ 2 corinthians 10:3-5


without the escape of an errand or the distraction of a daily chore, the chinks in our armor become more obvious, more out of control. glaring.
and, let's be honest, it's easy to feel vulnerable and afraid in the stillness of ourselves.

i don't care if you're 14 or 40, it's in those dark hours that our faith can falter.

what keeps you awake at night?
what seeps into your sleepless hours?
what doubts and concerns and worries are wild within you?

many years ago, when our oldest, emily, struggled with sleep and anxious thoughts, i was desperate to help her. i did what any crazy mother would do: i modge-podged a bible verse onto a plaque and hung it over her little girl bed.

it wasn't a magical fix, but it was a reminder that God doesn't expect us to just muddle through our midnights.
no, He has something better for us --- sweet sleep.

"when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." ~ proverbs  3:24

so, now this mama is struggling. and what should i do? go make myself a plaque ... hang it over my bed? rub my hand over it three times before hitting the pillow? chant? dance? drink warm milk?

we know it's not about the plaque ... but it is about the promise.

and as much as i want to, i just can't give you (or me!) a neatly packaged 10 perfect steps ...

i can't pretend there's an easy fix ... except fixing our eyes hard on Him.
because as long as we wrestle there in the middle of the night and believe it's all about us and our problems and our pain ... we remain captive to our concerns.

c a p t i v e

{i speak from experience}.

are you shaking your head like i am?

are you also a dark-hour doubter?

then friend, if you, like me, find yourself in this camp, maybe it's time we turn our worrier selves into warriors. it's time we turn our worry-camp into a campaign. it's time we TAKE CAPTIVE every thought. we FIGHT with the weapons of our faith. we don't continue to cower beneath the blankets of our burdens, but we SECURE sweet sleep and CLAIM His power and His promises.

you know, Jesus is pretty clear about how this is all going down. He didn't bring up the "full armor of God" because He thought it a clever costume. it wasn't a nice suggestion, but necessary for survival.

"put on the full armor of Christ..." there's no might or maybe.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." ~  ephesians 6:10-18
so, i may have started this post with a confession, but i am ending with a campaign:

worrier or warrior: what kind of woman am i?

join me in this august for daily scripture and encouragement -- friends, join me for battle!

note:  i usually try to include some photography in these series, but i'll need a little wiggle room this time around. there's no telling what kind of photos i'll include -- my arsenal of weapons is a little lacking (and for that matter, it's not like i really want to photograph weapons -- just not my thing). i'll work on that!

i'm not sure what this will look like, but when i finish pounding out this post, i'm going to begin asking the Lord to speak into this campaign. and, you know what? He's got everything it takes to succeed.

"the LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”  ~ exodus 14:14

are you in?

in the shouting of the day ...
in the silence of the night ...

the Lord will fight for you.


Sammy said...

That was a wonderful post, and just what I needed at 12:48 am. :-)

Keller Kuhn said...

How I wish it was just a color on the wall the woke me in the wee hours of the morning…really, it is wether or not I will be able to feed my children and give my sweet and special Timmy everything he needs to make it in a world such as ours…scripture is the ONLY thing that sets me free!
It's 4:22 am. but I've been up for w while… : )

jodymcnatt said...

dear keller ... i know. the color of the walls is, (as i said) a ridiculous worry! there is an array for most of us from big to small. and for some of us there is very, very big. God's word is the ONLY light, regardless the path. love and peace (and sleep) to you, friend.

Anonymous said...

Thank you..

Laura said...

I love your postings. They are always so inspirational and make me realize no one's life is perfect. I too am a night time worrier so don't feel alone. I pray continually and try mighty hard to maintain my faith in God as my husband and I face issues with our youngest son. It is one thing after another and it makes me wander at times what have I done to be punished by his actions and decisions that are a source of my fears and worries. I know it is in God's hands but I am getting mighty impatient for a positive turn around in his life. He has come so far and I am grateful for that. I do not wish addiction issues compounded with ADHD on anyone. Thanks for recommending that we participate with daily scripture and encouragement for the month of August!!