Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Powerful and Effective

My husband and I took our kids on a camping trip almost a week ago. We left the comforts of home and packed up in our cars and headed out of town. We spent 4 days and 3 nights at Paradise Cove in Lake Isabella. We left almost all the comforts of home including wifi and computer access to just get away from it all.

Things have been really stressful around here. Our work situation is tense, the business we work for, like many these days, is suffering greatly under the pressures of our economy. Although we got good news about our refi working out before we left, we're still in limbo waiting for when it will actually finalize. Relationships have been strained (not in the nucleus of our little family, but beyond it.) There have been health issues and concerns, bills due, expenses like the upcoming school year looming ahead, our plates are very full, heavy full.

So our few days of "roughing it" were actually incredibly precious to us when we realized we were able to not only leave behind the comforts of home, but the crises of it too. It was nice to actually not even think about the "stuff." going on. Nothing about home weighed on my shoulders the whole time we were away. I slept well at night (and actually have not been struggling with sleeping even at home, believing that is the grace of God); I would wake up in the mornings so relaxed. Although we dealt with little camping issues that would arise, they'd rise and fall quickly, and they would dissipate. None of the cumbersome constant stress was looming about like it has been here at home for weeks, months even perhaps. It was a really nice respite.

Even when we got home Sunday evening, as we unpacked everything and began the hassle of regrouping and settling back in, there was a pervading peacefulness. It felt really good. I actually kind of forgot about the stress... for a little while.

But Monday morning was sure to come, and it did. Although I had a good night's sleep, as I started to rouse a few minutes before the alarm clock went off demanding I get up. As I became aware of the room around me, I also felt the familiar presence of the anxiety that has greeted me every morning for weeks. It varies in degree, but for weeks it has been there, often faint, and nagging, but at times, even overwhelming and suffocating. As I woke up this Monday morning, it wasn't faint. I wasn't drowning in it, but it was strong, the sick heavy lump of it right in my breast.

It made me sad. It made me long to hop back in the truck and head back to Isabella. I don't know why it suddenly reappeared. More accurately I guess I am not sure why it ever disappeared, but I know after having a few days of freedom from it, I didn't want to have to bear it anymore.

The rest of the day was really rough, miserable at times, and I could not shake the sense of my morning's greeting. Anxiety is not our friend.

Not knowing what else to do, I sent a prayer request out to a few of my friends. I asked them to please pray for me. I asked for prayers for the complications of my day, but even more I asked for prayer for freedom from the constant anxieties that have been greeting me day after day.

Then Tuesday came. I woke up again just before the alarm yesterday, and suddenly I was aware of something different. I laid in bed, waiting. It wasn't there. The daily heaviness in my chest just simply wasn't there. My shock pushed me to look for it, which almost led me to create it, but I stopped myself. I had asked my friends to pray, and I know I was feeling the result. God was answering their prayers and mine.

This morning I awoke again very aware of the absence of the pit in my chest. It was a blessed feeling. I immediately begin to speak words of praise and thanks to God. I pray it continues. As I sit here and type about the anxiety, I can feel it laboring to rise in my chest, but awake I can fight it, I can take authority over it with the word of God. But awaking to it, that has been a battle I have not been able to win on my own. It has greeted me before I have been ever aware enough or my surroundings to stand, much less stand on the word of God.

So today I find myself thankful for my friends and their prayers. It has made an incredible difference in my life these last two mornings, and I am grateful for them, and for a God who hears and responds.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:15-16

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Diana, this sooooo timely! There are so many women out there suffering in the same way and not talking about it. But we aren't expected to manage on our own and it is important to allow others to help us stand. We are ALL here for one another "bearing one another's burdens!" Thanks for bringing it up, my friend.