I need to be honest: I’m in the middle of a frustrating battle within myself right now. Chris and I BOTH have been feeling the battle ground lately. It’s been about four months since our move to Ohio, and we’ve been in our new home for about 5 weeks. For Chris, starting a new job isn’t an easy task, especially when it’s entrepreneurial, and for me, being a stay at home momma is a challenge when everything else is already in place…so being in a new place has been difficult. And then there is this other battle that is distracting me. It’s a battle with fear and anxiety.
I am embarrassed to say that this battle with irrational fears has been going on for years for me. It’s off and on, but this season, stimulated by a move and all things new, has brought this irrational fear battle back with a vengeance.
Through it all, I’ve prized just re establishing believing friend communities through church and trying to root ourselves into this town. And I do think that it will be SUPER helpful when we’ve landed on our home church. However, I have also sensed the Lord giving me a new message this time around: REST.
This just hasn’t seemed to make sense to me as my mighty Father has been whispering in my ear: REST IN ME. I am thinking, “Lord, how could I rest right now? I’m in a battle; I’m scared. I NEED to fight!” And yet He has whispered to me through my discerning of His still, small voice, “Rest, my beloved Meghann.”
My soul fights it. My mind fights it. I so desperately want to be able to take down all of the anxieties and fears that I’m facing – to put them in their place once and for all. And the Lord has told me to remember His faithfulness of the past and to place my TRUST in Him, to remember that day He rose again and finalized the payment for all of my sin – my striving, my fear, my obsessions, my icky.
My heart breaks when I see the sin inside me, and I’m a “do-er.” So if there is a way to deal with something, I’ll fight it to the death. But the thing is, this never seems to help my fear and anxiety. In the past, it has worn me out and oftentimes left me furiously turning from one article to the next, from one book to the next, from one passage of Scripture to the next, from one counsel session to the next, just looking for that next nugget of truth that will be the key to my ability to FIX it all, to make it all right.
But it’s in this place that the Lord has been wooing me – teaching me that there is no grace in striving. There is no peacefulness in working harder. And when I do go about my sin struggles in that way, I will almost always feel defeated and lonelier than before. Instead, my Father beckons me to …
BREATHE DEEPLY, AND REST.
REST IN JESUS’ SINLESS LIFE.
REST IN JESUS’ LOVE FOR YOU.
REST IN JESUS’ DEATH ON THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.
THE GRAVE IS EMPTY.
I wish I could say that I’ve reached a point where I’ve fully given all of this fear and anxiety over to the Lord, but I haven’t yet. I’m still wrestling. But I’m also learning each small choice at a time that The Lord Eternal is faithful. He has not left me yet. He knows my desire to serve Him, and He has been gracious with my sin struggle.
Somehow in the midst of the mess, I remember Psalm 121, and I believe that in the midst of my fear and anxiety, these words of David are absolutely true for me:
I lift my eyes up to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
So as I cling to the Lord, I may not understand the fear that torments, but I can sing praise to Him, my God and my rock, trusting that he is my shield and the stronghold of my life. And as such, He will come out on top. After all, He already has.