"Your blood pressure is a little high. Are you under stress?” My doctor recently asked me this question. Let’s see, I drove down 280 in the morning to get to your office. No, no stress there. I had to get completely naked for my exam, no none there either. I know what you are going to do, so no. Then I get to go down the hall for a vice device treatment. No, no stress. (And after getting the results back, I get to experience that vise-grip treatment again tomorrow. Adding to my stress. Repeating a mammogram is a little stressful, obviously they saw something that requires a closer look. Please be in prayer for me. Fear is running the show right now.)
So, I started making trips to the grocery store to get my blood pressure checked. “Insert arm in cuff”. Great, the machine talks to me. Your blood pressure is ready. Repeat to see if it is better. Not much. I could just hear the announcement over the grocery store speaker, “Clean up in isle 12, call the paramedics while you’re at it.” No, no stress going to the grocery store for my blood pressure check.
I had a target date that I had set up high on a pedestal. It was the Sunday of the weekend that Florence came ashore. I prayed that God would weaken the storm and that he would change its direction. He did. Unfortunately, by weakening it, more issues were created. By changing the direction, it affected where I was going and how I was getting there. But Proverbs 31 Ministries rescheduled the event. Disappointment set in, making me ill.
How do you handle stress? Some suggest exercise. I started training for my half marathon race coming up in February. I have had a lot of advice thrown my way. One person was very honest with me, she told me I was going to hurt. Enter in my lack of exercise for a while now, my weight and my arthritis, logical conclusion. My stress started here. The pressure I put on myself has led to hip pain that is incredible. No, I cannot back out because I have paid the money and made a promise and commitment to do it. (For the record, not running this race. I am walking.)
Then add to my low level of stress the pressure I feel, at times, to be a community group leader. My language is an issue and I don’t measure up. My standards are pretty low; however, God’s standards are pretty high. I feel I have failed. I am not a teacher. Our class is small, but I really like that fact. I feel close to my group. But our class is small, and my fear is that we will need to be absorbed into another class.
Absent from this blog would be family. The judgement that comes from others because of things I have shared with them prevents me from explaining too much here. Let’s just say “You are right, I failed as a Mother.” I want to be as honest as I can, but there’s only so much judgement I can take. So, let’s just say there is stress here that I am not willing to discuss with you. Families are difficult, but I have discovered friends’ judgement make things worse.
So where is God? I have not left Him out. He is the one stable thing in my life. Consistent is a good way of describing God. Our God never changes. Malachi 3:6, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore, you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” So why then am I stressed. Simple, because I allow my circumstances to change who I am. Because I allow my circumstances to take my focus from God.
Recently I wrote about Eve because I was studying her. The serpent tempted Eve. He shifted her focus from what God said to desiring to be like God with the knowledge of God. I can relate to Eve. I want answers but am not patient. (Yes, you just coated the computer screen with your coffee I know.) Satan is crafty at doing that, shifting our focus from God and doing what God asks (or asked not to do). When God asked Adam and Eve “Where are you?”, I feel a stabbing in my heart. I feel as if God is asking me that right now. Except I am not hiding behind a tree, covered in fig leaves. I am hiding in my focus on my problems.
So, I am going to leave you with 2 verses. These are my meditation for today.
Isaiah 40:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
This isn’t about trusting others with your problems, this is about trusting God with them. It is believing that God is bigger than whatever we are going through. It is all about your faith in the Everlasting, Unchanging Creator.