It is pretty easy to see that a lot of my anxiety comes from my lack of control. When things stray from a schedule or plan, my anxiety starts rising up slowly, and then stress mixes with it to create a mixture more explosive than Mentos and Coke. I am perfectly reasonable in the sense that I realize I will never be able to control everything. I totally get that. Things will rarely go as planned. We will always leave later than scheduled. I cannot control other people...I am no puppet master and as far as I know, I have yet to meet a living marionette. I am working on not letting these small things cause me anxiety.
But the problem really lies in how deeply I care about certain things and people. Sometimes my heart feels so heavy with the misfortunes of this world and the pain I feel for others than I just cannot stand it. Many times I have literally dropped to my knees or curled in a ball and poured out every fiber of my being through tears in prayer. I tell God there is so much wrong in this world...I hate this world...I wish I could do more to help. I want to change things. The issues are right at the tip of my fingers, and yet I cannot reach them. I thirst to hold them in my hands and change it all to pixie dust. But I can't. I cannot alter the way people treat others. I cannot erase the evil, the struggle, the temptation. I just don't know what to do.
I ask God to show me how to help. I ask him to guide my words and my actions...
I feel so inadequate...as though I am never good enough and I just don't know how to be. By that, I mean, for God. Am I as good as I could be? No...but will I ever be? Am I doing all I can to bring as many people to God as possible? No!
Yesterday, a second grader at work asked why I leave early on Wednesdays. I told her it is so I have enough time to get ready for church. "What do you do at church?" she asked. So, I explained that we sing and pray and study the Bible and that I teach a children's Bible class. Her little eyes widened and what she said next took me way off guard... "Will you tell me one thing about God?"
ONE thing? I wanted so badly to tell her EVERYTHING....when in reality I could tell her nothing... unless I was willing to put my job at risk. I wanted to tell her that God loves her more than she could ever know and that with Him she is never alone... I wanted to tell her that when you're with God, things don't seem so bad.... But I could say nothing. Her attention was redirected when another kid came up and asked her to play. I was just sitting there, with my mouth agape. My heart is always heavy with how much I care about those kids. I hate seeing them and knowing that there is such a big chance they are not being taught God's word. I worry about the decisions they will make as they get older and I reprimand when they say things no 6 year old should know, let alone be able to describe in detail. I worry about them all the time. They are in my every prayer, because I love every.single.one of them and I want their souls to be safe. All I can do is be an example. If that is all I can do, then I work so hard to be an excellent example. I WORRY about what kind of example I am to them. I WORRY if I am saying or doing the right things. I WORRY about if I'm actually helping them.
I am overcome.
Sometimes, I wonder if I am really cut out to be a teacher. The one thing I've wanted to do my whole life. The thing I was sure I could make a difference with. If I cannot handle not being able to save every student, how can I be a teacher.
Yet, I push those thoughts away and I thank God for the experience my job is giving me and I work. I know I am a teacher...I know I can make a difference. Even if I cannot change the world. How I wish I could change the world...
My point is, the amount I care about things causes me more anxiety than I can describe. I care about these people, but I cannot force them to make the right decisions. I cannot change their minds. I cannot take them away from pain and misfortune.
If I am to make a difference I cannot let worry and fear overcome me. If that means I have to crumple in prayer every ten minutes asking God for His help, I will. I have to be as strong as I try to be appear, and yet as weak as I really am.
Savior, While My Heart Is TenderSavior, while my heart is tender,
I would yield that heart to Thee;
All my powers to Thee surrender,
Thine and only Thine to be.
Take me now, Lord Jesus, take me;
Let my youthful heart be Thine;
Thy devoted servant make me;
Fill my soul with love divine.
Send me, Lord, where Thou wilt send me,
Only do Thou guide my way;
May Thy grace through life attend me,
Gladly then shall I obey.
Let me do Thy will or bear it;
I would know no will but Thine;
Shouldst Thou take my life or spare it,
I that life to Thee resign.
May this solemn consecration
Never once forgotten be;
Let it know no revocation,
Registered and confirmed by Thee.
Thine I am, O Lord, for ever
To Thy service set apart;
Suffer me to leave Thee never,
Seal Thine image on my heart.