I came to the realization I was never at peace. Never at rest, never enjoying the moments God was giving me. It started with my first real “no-kids” date with my husband after our second child was born. In the past, when we went on a date with only one child at home, I would intentionally throw all my cares to the side and focus on the time with my man. This time was different. I found myself unable to free myself completely from the thoughts that weighed me down. I knew something had to change.
It was some time later that it really clicked for me. I was unable to enjoy the little moments of sweetness with my family or life in general because I was so focused on creating the moments my way. I wanted family time, tasks, and naps to be done on the schedule that I thought was best for everyone. This was robbing me of the moments that God had ordained for me to enjoy, all the while stealing those moments from my family as well with my worry and stress.
Fast forward several weeks. I was in a funk. Rather depressed. Nothing would make me happy. Good things happened but the feel-good feelings were not there! My little one was up constantly after being put down for the evening, stealing me from the long to-do list I wanted to finish (had to finish, I told myself) before I went for a much-needed bedtime. I was angry. I refused to enjoy cuddling and rocking him because I was so anxious about the tasks.
God used a friend’s comment to bring it all together. (Oh, and this is a lesson I’m prayerfully still learning, as I just came back from an interruption to go feed and rock my little one back to sleep. I struggled with anger again, having to admit that I would never have everything all together and completed at the same time!) Anyway, the friend mentioned that she and I are doing what God has for us to do every day, taking care of our husbands and children, putting God first. That’s when it hit me. My day was all about crafting a good day for myself. Never let myself get too hungry, keep the kids rested and fed so they didn’t whine or cry because that’s a bummer, and make sure all those tasks get done so you feel good about who you are as a wife, mother, and Christian.
The well-quoted 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you,” is preceded by verses 5 and 6. “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Now, verse 5 doesn’t tell us to submit to God, but the very word submit brings to mind James 4:7 which does command us to submit ourselves to God. So here is the antidote to the worry and care which I so badly needed!
1. Submit to God.
Recognize that His plan is not aligned with my plan. He has bigger and better things than being sure my weeding gets done today, or at all! I need to submit in the moment that this is the plan which God has for me.
2. Humble Yourself.
3. Cast Your Cares upon Him!
Of course Philippians 4:6-8 has very specific tools to help with that. Release them completely to Him and continue releasing them as they creep back in.
As God brought all these thoughts together in my mind one night, I acted on them and felt immediate freedom. Freedom to look at my son and feel those feel-good feelings about cuddling my little boy, knowing God’s to-do list for me would get done that night. So here I go, off to seek His plan for the rest of my day, seeking to be a settled Christian, walking in the Spirit moment by moment. I pray these thoughts, or some of your own that God gives, allow you to experience the glimpses of abundant living God has given me!
Laura started attending Lehigh Valley Baptist Church as a child when her family moved to the area. For years, her primary passion was in nursing and furthering her education. In the midst of pursuing a medical degree, God changed her plans and she married Jonathan Snow (read their story here). Now, she has discovered a special fulfillment from being a wife and a mother! Truly, God’s ways are always for our good and for His glory.