Thursday, August 2, 2012

Week 7: Delia Blair

Delia Blair
I’ve spent weeks, probably more than a month thinking and praying about what I would write. A few days ago I began doing some reading to help me figure it out. I came across one of my favorite quotes: “You can’t pray and worry at the same time!” I also had penciled next to it: “If you’re worrying, you’re not praying!”

  Wow! That was a reminder of a time in my life, nearly twenty years ago when I was all but crippled by worry and fear. To the point that I was hospitalized and no doctor could figure out why I was having such severe abdominal pain. It subsided in about 48 hours and I was released. I have no doubt today that it was a physical symptom of pain and brokenness in my heart, soul and mind.

Yes, I was a Christian at the time. Before the hospitalization I sought Christian counseling, prayed and read scripture looking for the answers to the problems that were destroying me and my family. Some of the scriptures the counselors and I used then are still some of my favorites. These are just a few:
Matthew 6:34-

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

John 14:27-

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 121:1-2-

I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Proverbs 3:5-6-

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

Unfortunately after speaking with someone, praying or reading scripture I was right back to the worrisome and fearful thoughts that plagued my mind every waking moment. I would even find that my thoughts had wondered to the worries while I was in counseling, praying, reading, talking to a friend, cooking dinner or giving my baby a bath. I could concentrate on nothing. It seemed as though I could not escape them for more than a few seconds at a time. This affected every aspect of my life.

Then, by the grace of our almighty Father I met a group of women who became and still are today my angels on earth! I believe the Lord saved my life, my family and my marriage through them. They taught me how to live out those scriptures. I was desperate and willing, so I did what they said had worked for them.

My prayers changed. I started by only asking God to help me. Those “angels on earth” were sometimes rather rough. They basically told me I was such a mess that I really didn’t know what I needed or wanted, so to simply ask that He would help me and give me the strength and peace to live according to His will. In the past I would tell him what I needed Him to do. I began praying that He would give my husband the same peace I wanted for myself.

It was suggested that every night I write down five things I was grateful for in that day. After a while I decided to always make sure at least one of those five was something about my husband.  I eventually added a prayer of thanksgiving for those things each night too. This one act was crucial in changing my attitude.

My biggest obstacle was my thinking! I was told to read scripture and/or from one of my inspirational daily readers each morning. Here was the key part to that morning routine…After doing so I was to choose a part of what I read to repeat to myself alllll day long! For example if I read John 14:27 I may decide to “think” on “do not be afraid” for that day. As the day went on and I would realize I was worrying I would just start saying to myself, “do not be afraid, do not be afraid, do not be afraid…” I sometimes repeated it out loud if I was alone. I learned that it was possible to control my thoughts and therefore I had control over my serenity. This behavior allowed me to begin to understand and feel the peace Jesus had left for me.

Although it’s been many years since I began to make these changes, I do not live a worry and fear free life. However, I can confidently say that even through some tough times that followed I am no longer controlled by worry and fear. No matter what may happen I trust the Lord’s will in my life today. My life is His anyway!

1 comment:

  1. I needed to hear this today Delia - perfect timing! Thank you for being so transparent! I keep some "fear not" scriptures in my purse at all times for when those moments start to overwhelm me!