Sending Them Up

Anxiety. Fear. Sadness. Unrest. Nervousness. Sorrow. Overwhelmed. Confused.

Any one of those feelings can be crippling. All of them swirling together are scary. With the wrong mindset, it can be devastating. Those feelings don’t hit me all at once often, but when they do, it is easy to try to figure it out myself. That never works. When I try to fix something alone, I just make it worse.

I can never do anything alone. I’m an imperfect being. I will almost always fail. So I remind myself of one of my favorite verses of Scripture:

Careful in the KJV means “anxious or nervous”. Don’t be nervous or anxious about anything. Instead, in EVERY THING – and I believe every thing means every thing – go to God. He knows the outcome before we do. The key is to take things to Him and TRUST that He’s got it.

So just like every day, today I go to Him. He knows what’s on my mind. I will trust that He hears my prayers and He will get me through. He will give me what I need to be the person I need to be for family and friends. He will provide.

Fill in the Blank?

I really have every reason in the world to be happy. I am married to my soul mate. I have 4 wonderful children. I am saved by grace. I am alive. I am employed. I have food on the table and a roof over my head. The list goes on and on. However, I have fallen back into a funk and I am trying to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life in an attempt to break free from it.

I used to see the above picture at a therapist’s office. There are more feelings on it than the ones seen above: enraged, ashamed, cautious, smug, depressed, overwhelmed, hopeful, lonely, lovestruck, jealous, bored, surprised, anxious, shocked, and shy. I’m sure there are many others that I am forgetting. I remember looking at the poster and wondering just where I fit in on that particular day – even though it was not my appointment!

I wish I could sort it out. I HATE being in this place! I HATE not being able to figure out just what is going on in my head. Just what the heck am I feeling?! I wish I could figure it out. When I get this way, I feel like everything everyone says to be puts me on the offensive. I feel attacked. I feel pushed. I feel like I have no control over what is going on in my life. I feel that way, but that probably really isn’t the case.

When I feel like I have lost control, I kinda go off on a tangent. I go from “0 to 100” as my wife has told me on occasion. I react. I don’t think before I open my mouth. Is it stress? Maybe. Is it lack of sleep? Maybe. Am I overwhelmed? Maybe? I just can’t seem to figure out what the deal is.

Am I happy? Yes! Am I happy with myself? Not always. Sometimes I feel like I let the people in my life who need me down. There are so many things that I need to be doing as a husband and a father, but I am just exhausted and feel like my brain isn’t able to really understand what I need to do.

Perhaps it is the fact that we’ve been living as hermits? In two years, we have pretty much lived a life of isolation. No big birthday parties for my kids. Limited exposure to everyone and everything. Life consists of work and home. Anything “fun” seems to have been put on hold. I just don’t feel comfortable yet. When will I feel that way again? Will I EVER feel that way again?

Perhaps it is the thought of change? I don’t like change. That is no secret. I have blogged about that many times. Fear of the unknown has been a fear of mine since I was a kid. This is so unwarranted. Many times I have taken a leap of faith and it turned out ok. It is bad enough when you have a fork in the road with two options, anything more than that can really take the stress and fear of the unknown up a few notches!

This is one of those situations where I wish my mom was around. I could always count on her to listen and offer her thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I have people I can talk to about things, and I appreciate their opinions, but they are not mom. Really, if I am being honest with myself, we are all going through some tough stuff right now. Are my friends really going to want to hear about my silly BS when they are dealing with their own? Probably not.

So here I am. Trying to sort through every possible emotion and feeling known to man to try and figure out what is going on. What do I do with those things in front of me? Do I just shut down and shut up? Do I just keep on keeping on? How much more can I look at all of this and scratch my head? What EXACTLY is the BEST outcome/scenario/choice?

This is going to sound silly, but sometimes I wish there was a fast forward button for life, so you could see what would happen based on decisions. Don’t like the outcome, rewind and try another option. Just rereading that I realize what a stupid thought that is. There is no such thing. There are no do overs. You make a choice and you live with the choice. If the outcome wasn’t good, you make a change.

I’ve made thousands of changes in my life. Those changes have brought me to the point where I am now. The point where I need to reassure myself of all the things in my life that make me happy.

If I have done something recently to annoy you, upset you, make you angry, or anything along those lines – I am sorry. I wish I could sit down and say, “I am feeling _______ and I’ll get through it!” I just need to fill in the blank. I’m just not sure how long it’s going to take to figure it out …

Be careful for nothing …

I needed to read this verse tonight. The Greek word translated “careful” in verse 6 is (μεριμνάω) merimnáō. It literally means “to be anxious” or “to be troubled with cares.” Anxious is defined: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. So the verse is saying “Don’t be anxious about anything!” “Don’t be full of worry!” It is easier said than done sometimes.

I haven’t really said anything on here or really anywhere about this, but I think my anxiety level is starting to rise a bit too much. Ever get that feeling like things are closing in on you? Feel like you are surrounded by things that are just out of your control? That’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve been in this place before, and have been able to get it under control. It just feels like the things I was able to do to get them under control, aren’t helping like they did before.

Admittedly, there are things that I know contribute to this. Lack of sleep, for example. I am just not getting enough, and won’t be getting enough for some time. With a baby on the way, and a toddler, I’ll be grabbing sleep in little chunks for a while. What is bothersome to me about sleep is that instead of getting my usual 5-6 hours, I am waking up a lot, usually from weird dreams. Then my mind won’t shut off long enough about other things to let me fall back to sleep.

I made the choice some time ago to stop watching the news. This really helped eliminate much of the barrage of Covid stories that I was seeing. Covid and just the fear and uncertainty that came with it led to me having a breakdown a year ago. Staying away from those stories helped. However, my phone continues to “ding” throughout the day and night with Covid stories from Yahoo News and other apps. Then there is the constant stories that friends share on Facebook.

Let me put it this way, I can see why many people are choosing to leave Facebook. There is so much misinformation, countless arguments, and hatred within my newsfeed daily. I have muted or snoozed many people because of it. That doesn’t stop it, though. Any time a post mentions “Covid” or “Vaccine” there is a link that automatically shows up.

Then you have the fight between people who are pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. This falls into the same category as whether you should wear a mask or not. It is amazing how polarizing this is. It is almost as polarizing as what we saw during the past few elections. Pro/Anti Trump. Pro/Anti Biden. There has always been divisions in our country, but it seems that it in society today, if someone disagrees with you, it leads to hatred and violence. I know way too many friendships that have been broken because of the failure to “agree to disagree”

I digress. If I am being honest, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed again. I know that I shouldn’t, yet I do. I need to take those verses and focus on them. I know that is where I will find peace.

Remember the opening of the Twilight Zone where all the things are spiraling around?

That is how I feel on a daily basis and it is taking my focus away from where it needs to be! I feel like I am surrounded by Covid and cancer and the deaths that they bring about. I feel like the vaccine is being talked about everywhere – whether the talk is good or bad. Then we have all the stuff that is going on in the Middle East, Earthquakes and natural disasters. I seem to have daily conversations with people about whether or not we are in the Biblical End Times. It is overwhelming.

THEN factor in that my wife and I are are expecting a baby and the pregnancy has had its share of scares and worry. Those worries outweigh ALL of the others. As mentioned in a pervious blog, those worries were put at ease to some degree with the latest ultrasound. However, we have 8 weeks left and I still have some concerns.

My mind is one big muddled mess at times.

I am struggling to remember things. I zone out during conversations for no reason at all. I can listen to something or read something over and over and not comprehend what I just heard/read. I’m scared about some things right now. I will spare you the details of that.

I’m hoping to dig myself out of the rut and get back to normal. I have the support of my wife and family. I have the support of my Christian friends. I have God on my side. I will do my best to “let go and let God.”

Thank you for allowing me to vent.