Friday, October 2, 2015

In the Stillness...

He leads me beside still waters.. (Ps. 23:2, NIV)
Return to your rest, my soul, 
for the LORD has been good to you. 
For you, LORD, have delivered me from death, 
my eyes from tears, 
my feet from stumbling.
Ps. 116: 7-8 (NIV, emphasis added)

Recently, writing has been difficult.  I think I'm numb... No, that's not quite right. I do feel something, sometimes... Panic. "Too much, God. Are you kidding???" is never far from my thoughts.  The rigors of normal life with ASD, has suddenly become complicated by the educational struggles and frustration of my youngest, and my middle child's intense battle with anxiety.  She describes it as an avalanche of 'here's something to worry about, and here's another thing to worry about!". I stand up to my full height (5'3") as I inspire, motivate, pray and do breathing exercises with them, while trying to beat back my own panic.  The normal level of amped up chaos that I have lived with for the past 15 years (post ASD diagnosis) has suddenly, and without warning, gone up a few notches.  So, I'm either numb, or trying to get back to numb.

Fortunately, as I try to get back to numb, I sometimes pray, and invite God to speak. During those times, for brief moments, I'm utterly calm. These are the still waters he was talking about! (Ps. 23:2) In that stillness, I notice things.

In the stillness, I notice the wide chasm between the thoughts I have in panic, and the thoughts I have inside the stillness. The panicked thoughts sweep terror through my body and mind, their logic feels faultless and sure. They reproduce after their own kind (more panic and terror) and they leave no space for the interjection of any other thought process. I try to reason with these thoughts, and often fail. It isn't until I've shifted out of panic, that there's space to hear something else.

In the stillness, I can stand outside the anxiety swirl, and see it as separate from me. Like my lower back pain. What do I do about lower back pain? Ride it out and/or take something for it (short term) while I do the back stretches, planks and chiropractic work (long term). Instead of making the panic about me (what's wrong with me???) or God's questionable actions (why are you doing this to me, God??),  I need to build into my life, short term and long term routines that support me in this area.

In the stillness, I remember.  I remember the times when God has rescued me, given me wisdom, bailed me out, protected me and so much more (Ps. 116:8-9). In the rear view mirror, I have a track record of God's faithfulness. I also remember what He has said. Trust me with her, He said. I will capture his imagination, He said. I have given her grace, He said. I am not a man, so I don't lie. I do not speak, and then not act, He said (Num. 23:19).

So, I surrender to the vastness of the Unknown, who is GOD, and ask for a willingness to let go of my need to know, need to control. I remember my role: to love God passionately, and show His love by loving others.  I want to do this, not by frantically grasping for what I want, or fearing what might be, but showing God's love in what is.

Father, today I am grateful for the opportunity to be still, to pause and speak to you and listen.  Thank you for the peace you give, available to us all the time.  Thanks for being persistent, even when we aren't persistent with you.  Draw us into this stillness.  Please sit with us in our quiet spots today, and pour Your incredible capacity into our hearts and lives.  Do this so that we can take our broken lives and display them for Your honor.  Do this, so that our entire family will effervesce with Your presence, regardless of physical ability, to Your Honor and Glory. Amen.

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