Last week ended, and this new one began, with the need for nursing a sickling.
Quinn woke up Friday night saying he wasn’t feeling too well. He is the more dramatic of the twins and so I got up and gave him vitamin c, a small dose of elderberry and then settled him back in bed without giving it much thought. But by afternoon of the following day he was running a fever. Now that isn’t cause for panic but my mind working the way it does, I conjured up all the imaginings of it being the dread flu and him passing it to Levi, who would in turn struggle before finally succumbing to it in the hospital.
I have serious issues, ya’ll, but the good thing is I recognize it. I understand how necessary it is for me to take every thought captive. I was in a meeting at church when my husband texted from home that he was sick and sitting in my chair I felt the anxiety rising. It got to where my head was literally throbbing and I had to try rubbing my temples which of course likely translated that I wanted out of the meeting. Really I just wanted out of my own tense body and into one where I could roll with the punches like I imagine normal people do.
Because I see people posting pictures of their children playing at trampoline parks to get the winter wiggles out and I see death-by-germs instead of cute kids having a great time. I see pictures of people with their happy kids strapped into shopping carts, enjoying simply getting out of the house, and I literally cringe with the thought of everything that has touched those handles. For other people, doing their best involves a drop of hand sanitizer and hoping for the best. For me it involves total concentration.
I had a chat with myself on the way home that day. I acknowledged that I make mini-gods of my children. I teeter over into worshiping at the idols of health and happiness. I cling to what’s mine for fear it’ll disappear if I’m not holding tightly enough. And I do all this while being a living, breathing, sincere seeker of Christ.
My relationship with Him isn’t fake or forced. It is earnest and heartfelt. I truly want to sit at His feet and learn from His word and listen for His whisper. Satan just happens to know the best way to get to me is by keeping me well-fed with things to worry over. And he’s most faithful to his mission.
But the beautiful thing is, while I’m still an absolute mess, He’s more faithful to restore me than the devil is to break me.
Anxiety is my near-constant companion and I’ve spent years beating myself up because I felt like it meant I wasn’t truly a Christian or that my experience was shallow. Instead, God is showing me that it’s actually something He’s using to remind me of my need for Him. You know how for every truth the devil holds a counterfeit? Well, for every counterfeit God holds the key which unlocks the truth.
Satan intends to use this propensity to anxiety as his ace-in-the-hole. His way of securing me for his service if through no other way than by worry, which ultimately stems from doubting God. But God is teaching me to use that worry and fear to catapult right back to Him. He hasn’t yet removed it from me, but He’s teaching me to use it for good until the day that it no longer has any power at all over me.
And I do believe, that if I am faithful to fight the good fight in the strength He promises, that day will come.
In the meantime, I’m practicing for it by intentionally looking for the beauty around me. Tender moments with my children, invigorating walks out in nature, stolen hours with my husband, precious time with my friends, incredible support from extended family. I’m determined not to miss a minute of the big picture even if I still sometimes miss things in the moment.
I’ve spent the past few days trying to both restore and maintain health. We’ve encouraged the little boys to wear masks when near each other in an effort to allow them to still be together without transferring the fever. They aren’t paranoid about germs but they don’t mind the little bit of inconvenience it requires to wear a mask at times. I’m still loading them up with their vitamins, probiotics and their sugar-free, whole-foods, plant-based diet. But I’m doing so with the understanding that none of it is worth anything without the veto power of God.
Because what Satan means to use to annihilate us, God uses to save us if only we’re willing to be saved!