Monday, June 25, 2012

BECOMING A BETTER ME...part #10...Thanks Dad!

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  ~ Proverbs 3:5


I learned a lot in the last few weeks of and months following my Dad's life!

God is good even when our circumstances are not! There was so much to do and think about during that time. Initially, I felt so overwhelmed! I didn't know where to start and it didn't seem like it would all get done, but my siblings, their spouses, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and medical professionals were amazing. With all of us doing our part the doctors got called, the meals got made, the bureaucracy was handled, laundry was done, boxes were packed, bills were paid, decisions were made 2500 miles away, people were notified, notices were written, errands were run, flights were scheduled and rescheduled, an estate sale was planned, charts were made, papers were signed and believe it or not, we still laughed and smiled and enjoyed (that is so crazy to say...) the time we had with my Dad and each other.

I could only think about things one day, or one hour at a time. I had no choice but to trust God, so I could find some peace, where I was able to enjoy life while I was waiting for Him to solve our problems. He doesn't always give us our hearts' desires, but He knows the right timing for everything.

I come from a long line of EXCELLENT and EXPERT worriers! 

Until recently (the last 6 months), I never even thought about what a waste of time and energy it was and how it didn't make a darn bit of difference to my circumstances.

Joyce says, "Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking back and forth; it's always in motion and it keeps us busy, but it never gets us anywhere."

I still worry, even though I have this new found understanding, but I let it affect me a lot less and I can stop myself from doing it quicker and move on with my day. 

Philippians 4:1-23, basically says, "Pray about everything and worry about nothing." I loved this phrase the minute I read it. I never realized that in worrying, I wasn't trusting God to to take care of my life. I was concentrating so much on my problems, that I wasn't notice my MANY blessings and in focusing on them I was magnifying them, simply by focusing on them excessively. They actually started to seem even bigger then they actually were. I now know that I have gone too far when I think about something for so long that I start feeling frustrated and confused.

So many time I have said, "I just can't help it; I am a worrier." The truth is that I was choosing to worry because I did not know how to trust God. I became good at worrying because I practiced it and now I want to become good at trusting God.

We certainly need to do what we believe we should and can, but we shouldn't do what we cannot do. It's actually nice to say, "Tracey, don't take on God's responsibility. I can only do what I can and God will step in and do what I can't." I now have to live with some unanswered questions, but it's satisfying knowing that God knows what I don't know.

Since January I've also learned that you can't force someone to love, accept, understand, or even forgive you. Some people just choose to pull away. I can only do my part and then I have to let go and give it to God. If they choose to not reciprocate, then so be it. Only God can work inside this person's heart. I pray about this situation every day and I am waiting on His direction to take action. For now I am letting God deal with this situation.

I love these two verses:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." ~  Matthew 11:28-30

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." ~ Philippians 4:6

The worry still comes back, but I continue to take it to Him again and again and he continually renews my peace. I feel I am making progress. As I become closer to Him my problems have less power and I worry less (or at least for a shorter period of time before I snap out of it...again).

I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be! God is so good!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Loved your thoughts here and so much of what you have said is true and actually quite enlightening!