Living in the Sunshine

Living in the SunshineI want to open my heart up to you. I hope that doing so will solidify this moment in my brain; that I will hold onto hope instead of the fiction in my mind, and possibly encourage you as well to live in the sunshine.

I just experienced a moment of reprieve from the anxiety that has clawed its way into my heart and captivated my thoughts for months on end. This beautiful moment swept into my kitchen wrapped in peace and joy with a huge slice of hope for things to come. It started out like this, I was washing the dishes when I turned on the iPod and played a little Russian roulette with the deck of songs my husband has collected over the years. Josh Garrel’s song “Further Along” started to play and spoke to me immediately. The tears ran down my cheeks and I believed the words he was singing. My heart was lifted up from the dark room it has been living in; it’s as if the curtains flew open and I could hope again. Soon my son Waylon ran into the kitchen in his little orange undies and we danced together as he looked at me with a quizzical smile trying to figure out why my cheerful eyes were mixed with tears. It didn’t matter we laughed and danced and I soaked in the sunshine that shoved its way into my being.

You must know that this pregnancy had been hard on me. Apart from being sick for 16 weeks and just generally uncomfortable in my body, I have found it difficult to enjoy the gift of holding life within me. What’s robbed me of this joy is the uncertainty that all will go well and the lack of control that I have over this whole growing a human and delivering life situation. Pregnancy undoes me; me the therapist that has empathy for others in their own anxiety and dishes out coping skills and brain tricks. I’ve felt like a failure since nothing has seemed to work in helping relieve my own anxiety and panic when I’m struck with a thought that frightens me like “what if they don’t hear a heartbeat”, “what if I lose this baby” and “what if my child isn’t born healthy?”

I’ve been trying to plan my future and imagine what my family will be like with this new addition. In essence, I’ve really been trying to control things, control who and what God gives us. I know my anxiety has many outward and inward triggers but a very large piece of it is that I think I know what’s best for me and my family and that’s what I want. I want God to bless me with what I want and I’m afraid he won’t. I spoke last night to my pastor and he reminded me to live in the present and that our human minds are equipped to imagine but not to actually live in the future. The future is for the Lord and He loves us! Did you hear me there cause I somehow forgot about that part….HE LOVES US! God really does have the best for me and for you and ultimately wants us to be happy. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, that doesn’t mean the rest of this pregnancy and motherhood in general is going to go swimmingly. It means that His grace is sufficient for every bad and good moment to come, that He is planning a great future for me and you, and that He is doing something so sweet in the midst of hardship. I don’t have to know what it is but God gives me glimpses of it along the way that I hold onto as a sign that he is making me stronger in my weakness.

If you are struggling with anxiety like me and grasping for a rope to hold onto, try this new coping skill with me. When you feel that anxious feeling or thought creep in, imagine tossing it up to God in breathes of prayer. This externalizes anxiety and gives it to its rightful place, in the hands of the holder of the future the one that provides sufficient grace.

 

Farther Along

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Chorus

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

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