Monday, September 21, 2015

Let go of worry by being faithful in prayer

Today is my beautiful mom's birthday. I wrote her a little Facebook dedication today:

Happy Birthday to my mom! She's one of those people who mean so much to me that I can never really find the words to accurately say it all. She is "my person" when I need to emote - cry, vent, celebrate, worry. She tries to solve my problems (even when I don't want her to) because she cares. She wants the best for me and doesn't let me stay in a mindset that is not based on the Truth/reality of faith. She is a resting place; she is my shopping buddy; nothing makes me happier than seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. Thanks for teaching me to love life and to let go of worry by being faithful in prayer.
There are a lot of things I could expand upon, but I'm going to focus on what is probably her biggest gift to me: let go of worry by being faithful in prayer.

I am a Wednesday baby. You know what that means, right? "Wednesday's child is full of woe." ...and I live that out well. When I first read about 4 personality types (not Myers-Briggs) - the phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, melancholic - in high school, I could strongly identify with the melancholic with my "internal self' - but I so badly wanted to be the sanguine, my "outside" self. The best way to describe the melancholic is to just think of Eeyore.

My internal self would worry; not all of the time - but, enough. I couldn't sleep the night before leaving for summer camp because I was worried about all the newness + being away from home; I was sick to my stomach the first 3 days I was in Rome (in high school) because I couldn't get in touch with my parents to let them know I was okay; I didn't get a small section of my hair wrapped in embroidery floss when in Italy like all the other girls because I didn't want to come home and have my mom think I'd changed so much on our 10-day trip to Italy/Greece.

I cried several times before starting 6th grade because it was the start to something I couldn't stop - THE REST OF MY LIFE. When opening a pack of 10 pens, I realized that I could use one pen each year - and that would get me through the entirety of high school AND college! (and I cried) Then, I got going with school - and the scary part wore off.

...then I graduated high school. Once county fair was over, the emotions came again. I cried once a day for 2 weeks about starting college/saying good-bye.

All of this is to demonstrate that transitions/changes have never been my strongest, emotionally. I also write this to share how much my mother has taught me over the years that this is no longer the same struggle for me.

My mom and I are quite alike in some ways - but also very different in others. Namely, she does not worry - and I'm not sure she ever has. As the youngest of 6, she got to be the carefree youngest. The parents are too tired from raising the others to put the pressure of being the 'perfect first', so the youngest get to just skate on through life. Although, the youngest can get the 'smothering' effect and feel so doted on that they need to exert their difference, their independence from all 'help' given by parents/older siblings.

It was always remarkable to me that she didn't worry, especially given that my grandmother is such a worrier. So, one day after graduating, I asked her, "Mom - why didn't you worry about me? Even when you knew that I was partying?" She said, "I just prayed for you, and knew that God would take care of you."

This lesson has guided me through my adult life by approaching new situations or life changes with prayer. Though, I am not perfect...and I often pray after the fact instead of first...but still, I do it. The last two months have been one of the most turbulent circumstantially, but also one of the blessed. Rather than worry first, I pray. ...and I pray often...through those prayers, peace stills my soul even though the waves still rage.

Proverbs 31:25 says "She is clothed with strength and dignity - and she can laugh at the days to come." To me, this is my mother. She can laugh at the days to come because she has covered them in prayer, and she trusts that God is true to His word - that all things can work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28 - one of the first verses she taught me)

So, happy birthday, Mom! Many more to come!

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