"All our fret and worry are caused by calculating without God."
I've been s.l.o.w.l.y making my way through the book "Calm my anxious heart" by Linda Dillow and there have been so many thoughts I've wanted to share as I go through it. While I shouldn't be surprised that a book about worry and anxiety would hit my heart in all the right places - it's like I'm still surprised when the Holy Spirit shows up and burns in my heart. While at times I wish the author would empathize or give more emotion, I have to say I truly needed the blunt truths she writes about allowing anxiety to rule in ones life. Anxiety is ravaging our society and culture and I was deeply challenged in this book to live differently - to cut it out before it can sink in roots ** It can not only have huge negative impacts on our relationships and mental health, but even our physical health can begin to take a toll as I've also personally seen in my life.
She puts it this way:
"My worrisome thoughts are like impatient toddlers jumping up
and down and screaming, 'Look at me, look at me.' Jesus and I
take the negative 'toddler thought' and send them to time-out so
we can focus on the good thoughts. Sometimes they don't obey.
They get right back up and out of the chair and once again scream
for attention. Then Jesus and I take those thoughts back to the
time-out chair, but this time we tie them up!"
"When difficult circumstances come into my lie,
I hear God's voice saying, "Linda, let me be the blessed
controller. Surrender. Accept my timing. Accept my way.
Accept my outcome. Let your trust be in me alone. Make
secret choices that will honor me. Thought no one sees
your choices or knows how difficult they are, make them for Me."
"God has placed our portion in our cup. We either
choose to grasp it by the handle and lift it to Him,
saying, "I accept my portion; I accept this cup,"
or we choose to smash our cup to pieces, saying,
"God, I refuse my portion. This cup is not the right
size for me and I don't like what You've put in it.
I'll control my life myself."
Another quote - sorry so many good ones. You didn't think you were actually coming onto my blog to read a book?!? LOL Surprise!!
"Your life is out of control, so you give up. It's impossible
to make sense of life, beyond impossible to be content,
so you give up and give in. Most of us either try too hard or
we quit trying. In both cases, we miss God. We miss
His infusion of strength that leads to contentment."
In this book I love that she gives physical applications to practice this surrender. For her it was an anxiety box where she would write them down as they came to her and she would place them in the box, and every time she saw it she would remember she left them there with her Lord. She urges the reader to do something physical to be a visual of where you are placing your mind and worries. For we know we cannot do both right? We can't worry AND trust God. For when we allow anxiety to reign we are saying that we don't quite trust Him. My last quote:
We're familiar with the small trickle of fear that meanders through our minds until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
It gets us nowhere, much like a rocking chair worry is often described as something to do but with no progress. But it does do our emotional state, relationships and health harm. I've seen in my life that no amount of will power or "I will trust God!!" mentality will get me there - it's by him and him alone that we can live in peace free of anxiety.
Surrender - cast worries - trust.
I'm excited to keep reading and pray that if this is something you're also struggling with you will read it, find friends to walk through things with and most of all that the Lord's tender love would settle deep your heart, casting all fear away.
**To borrow a description from her book - There are friends who I know who have experienced anxiety attacks due to a chemical imbalance in their brains and must be on medication to control their anxiety, This is a physical problem over which they have little control. This is not the kind of anxiety to which I am referring. I am talking about the everyday worry we allow to control our lives.