I’m a teacher, so I have June and July off. That could be either a blessing or a curse, depending on my frame of mind. I am glad to be relieved of the pressure of meeting curriculum guidelines and the new Common Core Standards, but I tend to obsess about things when my mind isn’t occupied. It was the last week of our school year when I heard that my son had relapsed and been arrested again. I love teaching, but the end of the school year is one of the most stressful times of the year for most teachers, with the pressures of completing assessments and report cards, end-of-the-year paperwork and duties, and kids that really just want to be outside having fun instead of sitting in a classroom, it’s just pretty hectic. I’m sure the only way I made it through that week with even a thread of sanity left was through the grace of God.
The light at the end of the tunnel after the last few stressful weeks is that I get two months off to relax, sleep in a little, and refresh my mind. Here’s the really crazy part. Have I been relaxing and enjoying my time off so far? Well, not so much really. Instead I find myself obsessing over my son’s relapse and it’s consequences. The simplest thing can trigger my obsessive thoughts, a song or a band we both liked, a Bible verse we talked about, a man wearing the exact same shirt that I bought my son for Christmas. The insanity of these thoughts that keep invading my peace is that there isn’t a single thing I can do about my son’s dilemma. I can be there for him emotionally to encourage him and pray for him, but the decision of the judicial system is out of my hands. What’s done is done. However, my mind doesn’t take kindly to powerlessness, so it fights back. I’ve been praying that the Lord help me stop thinking I’m in control, leave my worries with Him, and surrender my son completely into His loving arms. The only time I find true peace is when I can accept the situation, and trust that the Lord will bring good out of what was meant for harm. The Lord is good and is leading me inch by inch to surrender. He keeps leading me to scriptures that speak of the futility of worry, and how He wants us to live peaceful, joyful lives. So, I read them, and I meditate on them, and each time I do, a little bit more of His wisdom and strength seep into my thick skull. I know He’ll be patient with me until I get where He wants me to be.
My mom calls my tendency to worry “stewing and fretting.” So aside from praying a lot and reading scripture I’m trying to keep my mind occupied. I’ve been organizing closets, cleaning out junk drawers, and reading a mind-challenging novel. Something else that is helping, as I’ve mentioned before, is when I slow my thoughts down long enough to find things to be thankful for. In the midst of this storm, I still have much to be grateful for. My gratitude list for today:
- · God’s unending grace, mercy and forgiveness for my human weakness and tendency to “stew and fret”
- · My health
- · My son is alive, I know where he is, and he’s in recovery (even if it’s forced, it’s still recovery)
- · My supportive husband who has patiently put up with my recent mood swings. Really, he’s practically a saint.
- · My daughters, who love the Lord, and are beautiful inside and out
- · My Alanon group who help me keep things in perspective and give me hugs
- · My fellow POA bloggers, who understand, and whose insight and wisdom give me great comfort
- · Having the time to sit on the deck in the mornings, drink my coffee, listen to the wind whisper through the trees, and the birds sing their morning “cheer up” songs to me
I found this the other day, and it’s definitely food for thought. I have my work cut out for me as far as doing everything on this list, but progress not perfection, right?