Wow, just realized I've been MIA the month of Jan! Where has the time gone??? I think I just wanted to recover from busy holiday season. I tend to withdraw every January, some of it due to weather and other from the busy season.
If you are in the Atlanta area, you definitely know what I mean by weather withdrawal. It's been a nutty winter thus far. Last week in particular with the snow and ice storm that hit. I got catch in the millions that were trying to head home that Tuesday. I was only 10 minutes from my house but couldn't manage to get there. I had to re-route after an hour because the bridge was closed that I have to travel over to get to my house. After it was all said and done, 7 1/2 hours later I arrived at the bottom of our drive. I was so happy to be home! Praise God for great neighbors, who cared for my kids while I was trying to get home.
(These pics are all from the following day.)
During that trip, God showed me a lot about Himself and myself. First He revealed to me how much of a control freak I am. For me that moment looked a little like when you scrunch your face up and say "Really, me???" That should have been an even bigger indicator for me it is an issue. I had NO control for those hours, my family, my car, those around me, the weather, bathroom breaks, food, the list goes on. I was totally cool the first hour, I think it was because I thought surely it wont be long and I'll be in my safe haven, home with my kids. Second hour was another story, I could feel the anxiety building, when I finally saw that no matter what direction I am going there is more and more traffic, loosing more and more control. I wanted to scream!!!! I can't do anything to help my kids, myself, or even those around me. I'm going nowhere fast. My insides were about to explode! I have never reacted like this, but I guess because I have never been in a situation like this.
After a while I could hear God whispering to me, calm down, calm down, calm down. When I finally heard Him, I thought, "Wow, how long had He been saying that to me and I was too busy throwing a tantrum to hear Him?!" Then Philippians 4:6 came to my mind, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." That is exactly what I began to do...pray and give thanks.
I prayed for safety for those around me and myself, for the kids who are stuck at school, for the teachers who are also there, for those who's car maybe isn't in the best shape, maintenance wise or those who needed gas, bathroom, food, medications, with kids in the car who had the same needs, but we know those needs for kids are elevated, for those who's heat may not be working at all or maybe it stopped the day before and they haven't had a chance to take their car in to get repaired or don't have the money to do it at all. You get the idea, I took my mind off myself and thought of others and began to intercede on their behalf before our Almighty God.
When you do that, it really is a powerful moment because what follows that is thanksgiving, because you then realize how fortunate you are in that situation. My kids were able to get home safely, my neighbor was home to care for my kids, my car's engine is working wonderful, my heat in my car works, I was able to stop and have access to bathroom, gas station, water, food along my way home, many lost control and had accidents, many got stuck with no help.
My anxious heart was calmed by God, the Holy Spirit brought scripture to my mind (John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.) This is an amazing reason why you should read the bible and memorize scripture. The Holy Spirit will give you what you need in those moments to rely on God for your help. This experience is also proof when said the Word is alive, it truly is alive and living. When I began to obey scripture by not being anxious, and in every situation use prayer, with thanksgiving, by giving it to God, He freed me in those hours. I began to see beauty all around me, perfect strangers helping each other, showing love for one another, the pure white snow He provided, He created. I also noticed birds. Sounds a little weird, but I saw them everywhere as I was creeping on the highway. Even once I returned home, the next day we saw them all in our yard, though out the day.
The birds were not even phased by all that was going on around them, actually seemed to not worry at all. My ultimate message from God, "Chill out Coleen, I've got this!" :)
Matthew 6:26-27 Look at the birds in the sky. They don't sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?
Matthew 6:33-34 Instead, desire first and foremost God's kingdom and God's righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.