thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

depression vs dependence, fear vs faith

I spent some time in the last podcast on depression talking about the fear for the future that many homeschooling moms experience, whether it is fear for our children, our marriages, aging, or finances. I can well relate to this type of fear.

When I know my husband is on his way home from work and the roads are icy or tornado warnings have been issued, I fret and pray for his safety. There have even been times that I have felt so anxious and my mind has started to race through all sorts of awful thoughts that relate to being a widow! One day I shared this with a friend who quickly admitted that she, too, has often had those same thoughts!

When our oldest son was finishing his last year of law school, he had to move to California in order to finish his studies and I was really concerned about him and his safety, so far from home and with no family closer than 2000 miles away. And to add to my stress, he had only been settled into his apartment for less than 2 weeks when 9/11 happened, causing me greater concern and making me long to have all my children close by.

Other times my worries and concerns for my children have revolved around the choices they are making and the consequences I can see for those choices, though they cannot see them because they haven’t yet had enough life experience. In fact, the courtship/marriage/raising their own children process has given me just about as many gray hairs as anything else I have survived. (Thanking the Lord for L’Oreal Light Golden Blonde even now!)

There have been times when I have felt literally sick to my stomach with worry or grief in situations with my family, events or circumstances over which I had absolutely no control. I have spent sleepless nights and days of weeping and crying out to God to change the circumstances. But almost never do those circumstances change, at least right away. In fact, most of the time God proves to me that His sovereign plan was for those things to happen and for me to learn that His ways are not my ways.

One Sunday, during a particularly difficult time for me, I came into church feeling hopeless and absolutely helpless. My heart was broken and the grief I knew overwhelmed me. Along with David, I felt as though “the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep water, the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69: 1-2 I was sinking fast and just wanted to drown.

That Sunday, my pastor was preaching from Acts 27, telling the story of Paul’s missionary journey and describing the atmosphere on his ship among the crew. As I listened, I realized he was describing my own life in its present circumstances. It was as though verses 13 and 14 perfectly stated what was happening to me: “When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island.” I had been sailing along in a calm sea, all those things I imagined in my life to be secure and perfect and calm were suddenly and violently blown off course by a storm that left me fearful, paralyzed, discouraged, helpless, and totally at God’s mercy.

But as he preached the message of God’s grace in the storms of life, I found myself sensing the greatest peace I could ever remember coming over me. I went home and downloaded the message, listening to it several more times throughout that week. It was as though the Lord has placed that message on my pastor’s heart just for me. I remember actually writing down my belief that, while I was certain that those circumstances were not going to change, my heart was wide open to what the Lord was wanting to do with my life through them. I was correct, the circumstances did not change. But I have changed. And I believe that was the goal.

Moms, if you are struggling with difficult, even impossible and uncontrollable circumstances in your life, I want to encourage you today that the Lord God is sovereign in them. In fact, I can safely say that through His will, He is bringing about changes in your life through them.

“Yes, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 18:28

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3 Comments»

  Lynn wrote @

I think my biggest struggle is feeling as though God has abandoned me during these times, in spite of knowing the Scriptures that teach otherwise.

But faith is not a feeling. It is a belief in God’s goodness, and it means, as Ney Bailey says it so well, “taking God at His word.”

Good entry!

  Mrs. M wrote @

I needed this today. There are “many” circumstances in my life that are far from my control. I crave ease so much right now not hardship! I know God has a plan but for me I have to trust in his grip on me right now becasue my grip is so not reliable.
Thanks for posting this!

  thatmom wrote @

Mrs. M,

I will remember to pray for you during this time. God is good and His mercies endure forever. Hang on to that promise today!


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