How to say “No”: on persistent worry and fearless hope

worried

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever…I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter…”

Psalm 73:25-26, 28

 

I’m 18 weeks along today.

80% of Hyperemesis Gravidarum cases completely resolve by 20 weeks. No nausea. No vomiting. A normal pregnancy from here on out. In the next 2 weeks, things may drastically improve for me. I hope for that.

But my health may fail.

I have to start acknowledging that at 18 weeks, I’m not better yet, and so I may be the 20%. The whole pregnancy may be this way. If I’m honest, that persistent thought terrifies me.

But my heart has to learn to hold that possibility without fear.

I have to learn how to let Him be my heart’s strength, how to let Him be what I desire most. Then I will be able to ask for a lesser desire and not stake ALL MY DESIRE on what I ask.

I am not guaranteed what I ask for, but I am guaranteed Him. And He is enough.

looking up through leaves

I can learn to hope and expect help from Him, to know it is not hard at all for Him to turn things around for me, and to still to cry out:

Even if you don’t

My hope is you alone.

-MercyMe

I have come a long way with how I handle worry. I am growing in my ability to face financial uncertainty and settle in my heart that my needs will be met, even if I don’t know how at the time.

I’m learning that I can allow torment as I anticipate what’s ahead, or I can rest in what I know of God’s character. I can wonder and worry and grow completely distracted with all the what if’s. Or I can trust that He will give me what I need, generously, abundantly, lavishly, just like He gives Himself.

But I have yet to learn how to say “no” to worry over sickness, over pain, and over loss.

I have yet to learn that it is the same choice.

I cannot know what He will allow, but I can know He will help me face it, and so I can spend today acting as if I will be okay, because I will be.

I will see, when I get there, that it was either better or worse than I expected, but that:

  1. He was faithful.
  2. I had what I needed.

My expectations may not be met, but my needs will be.

So I can let worry steal my joy as I wait to see how the details pan out, or I can decide that I know enough of the big picture, and it’s not worth my time to obsess over the details I can’t control and can’t figure out ahead of time anyway.

binoculars

I can give my attention to fear, or I can give it to Him.  But I have His blessing to choose not to worry about it. I have His go-ahead to set it aside and go about my day as if I will be okay, because I will be. In fact, I honor Him when my actions assume that I’ll have what I need; as they add up, they form a life that takes God at His word, that makes practical decisions and takes real risks based on confidence in His promises.

 

Lord-

I can spend my day planning and constructing shelters from an unknown, unseen storm, or I can take shelter in you.

shelther

I can be overwhelmed by all the threats, all the possibilities, all the noise in the world, or I can fall silent and be overwhelmed by you.

My health may fail, but I have you. And so this morning, while the wind and the passing traffic and the problems and the construction and the nausea and the frightened thoughts are not silent,

I will yet fall silent before you and know this:

You rule from On High and my story is in your hand, held precious. I don’t know all the details, but I do know this:

  1. You will be faithful.
  2. I will have what I need.

So help my heart to be brave and unconcerned, to fall silent and learn of fearless hope, to face the possibility that my health may fail, that things may be worse than I expect, and to say “no” to worry anyway.

hope 2

“But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”

Habakkuk 2:20

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Matthew 6:34

 

even if you dont

 

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