Some days bring more anxiety, don’t they? For me, worry comes in like the tide, slowly, steadily, inching its way into my consciousness until I become so preoccupied with the unknowns and what ifs, I falter, my mind mired in the fear, sinking into it like my feet beneath the sand as the waves slowly wash away the foundation upon which I stand.
For me, when these moments loom large before me, my mind darts the horizon of my memory, seeking scripture verses promising assurance and comfort.
Most often, my mind digs out at least one verse about casting my cares on the Lord; but honestly, I don’t always understand exactly how this works or what it looks like. I love the idea, but, really, it causes me greater anxiety because I become more concerned about whether I’m doing it right than simply doing it. Ironic, right?
It doesn’t matter how many word pictures pastors or teachers or Bible studies or friends have offered: I’ve not truly understood how, exactly, to cast my cares on the Lord.
There were no mental images of me throwing things into God’s hands.
There were no half-hearted efforts to seek His face and forego my fears.
Instead, there was only rough draft, rough-around-the-edges prayer. Not eloquent words that would rival David’s poetry in the Psalms. Not well-wrought, perfectly placed words woven into beautifully inspired passages. No, there was only disjointed, desperate, raw, naked neediness (if you need an image, think of someone spasmodically heaving a hand grenade barely a few inches from her own feet and responding in proper additional flailing spasms).
It went a little bit like this:
Dear Jesus. I don’t know what to say. Oh Father, Papa, I know. I know you know. How I need you. I love that you care for me. You are mighty and powerful and all-knowing and all around me so that I am never without you, but, you know, you know these worries make me feel so, so, so lost and alone. I want to know what to do. But I don’t. I mean, I don’t want to know, you know?
What I want is to rest in the promise of your Word: be my refuge; be my safe place; help me breathe; help me trust you.
I love the what you tell me, that you care for me. Help me rest there. Help me rest there. I don’t want to worry about autism and medications and therapies and where we’re going to move or live and how we’re going to do all of that. Take the guilt and the tears and the rage, mine, hers, ours, all of it. There are always too many questions. You have wisdom, and I need it. So I’m asking. So, please be generous, because, seriously – I need it. Like I need you.
Oh, and I don’t want to figure out, actually, no, I can’t figure out jobs and income and finances and bills. I can’t do it without feeling overwhelmed. And, really, I have no idea about any of it.
Seriously, God, I hate figuring things out. But I love knowing that you are here, always here. Help me, help me, help me to believe your words and to rest in them. Speak to me, Jesus, as I train my mind to think on you and to see you in the space around me. Speak, shout, yell, whisper; just, please, be in control. I’m too tired to figure it out. We both know I can’t figure it out and trying, pretending, it makes me tired.
I have no control over anyone or anything. There. I said it. Finally. You’re in control. I belong to you. I trust you. You love me. That’s it. That’s all I can do right now, know and accept that You love me. You made me. So, I give up, because that’s all I can do.
And that’s all He wants me to do: Nothing.
And that is something I can do.
Oh, and you want to hear something amazing?
I got home (I prayed this in the car, driving my daughter home from one of our therapy appointments) to find that God had answered one of those prayers. And that caused me to pray again, my words tripping on my tongue because my thanks and praise and gratitude were no more eloquent than my casting my cares.
But they were equally heartfelt.