How do you handle stress and chaos? Me, well, I personally like to manage it. I will clean the same room 4 times in one day. I will rush around behind children and pick up every fallen toy and wipe every dirty cheek. I will schedule everything down to the second.
Another favorite method of handling stress and chaos is to ignore it. I will bury down deep into my writing or pick up extra duties at work. I will paint a piece of furniture or redecorate a room in the house. I figure it will be harder for stress to catch me if I am always running. Sounds great right?
Who wouldn’t want to be organized and creative? Who wouldn’t want to be successful both as an adult and in their profession? But, at what cost??
Which of these methods is more effective? Honestly, they both suck. I give myself a false sense of control and before I know it I have ignored my family in order to channel myself deep into my work or things I am great at because some days I don’t really feel comfortable not being the best mom and wife ever. Just so we are clear, ladies, YOU WILL HAVE OFF DAYS AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN MORE GRACE THAN YOU THINK!!
I give myself a false sense of control by managing everything and everyone around me. If I can keep my home clean enough, I will be good enough and the chaos won’t creep in. Right? Wrong. A pile of junk on the floor doesn’t make me a pile of junk. I know this, but that is where my head goes.
When my husband eats in bed he throws wrappers and empty water bottles on the floor beside the bed. Let things get crazy enough and I will look at that like a direct reflection of how he feels about our marriage. Truly! I will think, “Robert doesn’t love me. Just look at all those Reese wrappers.”
Yes, I can seriously allow those things to devour the truth. The truth is my kids have a blast at home and my husband freaking adores me. I just cannot see things clearly because I am too busy trying to control everything.
What I have come to realize is that the stress and chaos are really a symptom of the actual problem. My true ailment isn’t the dirty dishes or the unmade beds. The issue is not the nerf bullets flying at my head or the fighting between siblings in my backseat. My problem is not really the nasty attitude from a moody teenager.
The problem lies in my inability to let go and let God. When I allow myself to give it to God, things tend to feel a lot breezier. If I can allow myself to be reminded that God would not put me on a path just to leave me stranded, the journey down that path feels a lot more tolerable.
God can handle it all. The messes, the nerf bullets, the candy wrappers, and the eye rolls. He has got this! Me? Yeah, I don’t got this.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When I get objective, I can allow myself to find the blessings in the “problems”. Arguing with a teenager? I’ll bet a mom who lost her teen in a car accident would kill for that moment. Picking up after my husband? I’ll bet a widow would pay for that duty. Screaming kids giving a headache to the neighborhood? I’ll bet the infertile woman would love that insanity.
Today I was hit with a tidal wave of immense pain. I knew it was a bladder infection. Duh, I know everything. I went to the doctor for an antibiotic. I was met with a referral to get a CT scan and pain medication.
Kidney stones. Great. I had so many things to do before my trip this weekend. But, sure I will just drive to Duke and wait forever. I waited all of about 3 minutes.
A kind lady came out to greet me. She asked how I was doing and I said, “I am ok, but this was not how my afternoon was supposed to go.”
What happened next shocked me. This woman had a gift. I don’t know if spirit reading is a thing, but this stranger told me incredibly personal things about me and my family. Things that are not in medical records. Things that even friends don’t know. She told me how God was working and she told me that I would remember this conversation because 2019 and 2020 had blessings coming.
This perfect stranger told me that there was always one disciple in every family. She told me that my son and I were the ones in our families. I never told her I had a son. Crazy!!!
My point is this, by just going through the motions, by simply walking through the steps and different offices and leaning into just getting myself healthy, I was given a blessing. Yes, I am in pain. Yes, I am concerned, but I was given so much reassurance and validation. This woman spoke of what my family walked out of and what blessings we were going to walk into.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
By letting go of control and giving it to God, I was given such a blessing. By embracing the chaos, the change of plans, the stress, I was granted a conversation that will forever give me chills. God is with us all the time. He is with us in waiting rooms and in messy rooms. He is with us always. The best part is, He is ready and wanting to handle it all.