Worry. Nervous. Uneasy. Uncertain. Are these words that come to mind when you hear 2020? Were they replaced with more positive words when 2021 arrived? No? Not for me either! As a matter of fact, I learned, rather harshly, that these feelings are all tied into one ugly word: Anxiety. You know, that feeling you get when your heart becomes heavy, you cannot get enough air in your lungs, your irritable and grouchy with everyone…honestly, you are just no fun to be around.
I do believe I have had mild anxiety most of my life. You see, I am a worrier. I worry about things I cannot fix. I worry about people I have no way of helping. I feel like I let others down even when it is all out of my control. But when Covid-19 invaded the security of our home, my anxiety went through the roof.
I left work early back in mid-January with what I thought was a stomach bug. I went and got tested just to make sure I was covering all the bases. I was positive. My husband tested positive and so did one of our two nurses that care for our son. I was so thankful it was a mild case though. I did my time with the ten- day quarantine and was eager to get back to work. One day was enough to tell me that I was not ready. The fatigue was awful. My body felt like I had stuck my legs and arms in cement, and it had dried. I took the rest of the week off. My plan to return the following week was squashed when our nurse called in saying she had a set back from it and landed in the hospital Emergency Room. Another week off. Ok, let’s try again for the next week with just working part time. And an ice storm hit, rendering me at home either because I could not get out or my nurse could not get in.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
By this time, I was having bad shortness of breath and dizziness. I had an appointment with my doctor who told me that Covid takes a lot out of you, even in mild cases and the best thing I can do is rest. That I must take care of myself. That was when the little monster on my shoulder showed up. “You are letting so many people down” it said. “Maybe you aren’t fit to be a teacher. You never show up to work”. “Look at the hardship you are putting your coworkers under.” And the beatings in my head kept on and on until I seriously thought I might be having a heart attack.
Then, this small voice, ever so small, whispered “Cast your cares upon Him; for He cares for you.” Yes, yes, He does! No matter what is happening that is out of my control, it is not out of His control! And if I just cast all my worries, my fears, my burdens, my ANXIETY at His feet, He will take care of it all, because He cares for me! And He cares for YOU my friend!!
Stress is the enemy’s way of stealing our joy, our self- worth. It convinces us that we are a burden to others, that we are unlovable and useless. It really does a number on our mindset.
But in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Friend, the times we are living in right now are extremely stressful and if you are like me, it is easy to forget that we are not alone. And that we have someone on our side who is stronger and more powerful than anything – especially Covid! So, take a deep breath, and blow all the anxiety and stress out. Cast your burdens on Him and go have a nice cup of tea or coffee and rejoice in today!
Dear Heavenly Father,
In my head I know that stress is temporary and that I should not allow it to defeat me. But I still let it get the best of me. Lord, I just ask that You guide me through this darkness in my mind, help me to push through the stressful moments, and help me to rest in You when my mind is full of anxiety. Father, please just help me to be triumphant over the despair that plagues me and remind me that I matter to You, even when I can’t seem to find my place in this world. Lord, I lay all my burdens at Your feet and I thank You for giving me peace through it all. Amen