My day was not getting off to a good start. I had not been thrilled about the early 8 AM appointment in the first place, although I was pleased that I had managed to arrive on time. However, the confused look on the receptionist’s face after I presented myself didn’t bode well.
It turned out that my appointment was scheduled for later that day at 2 PM. Now my face was the one looking confused.
Okay then. All’s well that ends well, right? The doctor managed to squeeze me in anyway so at least I didn’t have to return later.
The next stop on my schedule was my book club meeting at the cancer support center. Only I seemed to have forgotten my book. Sigh… you know, the one I had carefully placed by the door at home.
That’s alright, I mused. There was plenty of time to have a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading at home before the group started. After doing so, I headed off to the cancer center.
I checked in and wandered down to the conference room with a hot cup of herb tea only to find an unfamiliar group of women in the midst of a meeting. Whoops! Our group must be in a different room today. Uh, not so much.
It turns out that I had the date wrong. Book club is next week.
What made it it worse was finding out that my phone calendar also said the meeting was next week! I had somehow managed to get confused by the email that had arrived the day before reminding me of next week’s gathering.
Even more embarrassing was having not one, but two different women come up to me to tell me that I was… confused. Oh, they didn’t say, “confused,” but their gentle manners and concerned looks implied it, at least to me.
I headed home in a funk. “Why on earth do I keep on doing this,” I wondered. I felt like such an idiot! Two schedule mishaps in one morning. That was bad, even for me.
Half kiddingly I ran through a number of possibilities… chemo brain… fatigue… permanent loss of gray matter due to multiple pregnancies… early onset dementia… the list could go on forever.
No matter how hard I try, I keep making mistakes.
My mind went back to the previous week when I had been frustrated by my inability to push through desk work relating to the running of this blog. Eventually, after making zero progress, I decided to get out of the house to clear my head.
As I began trudging through the snowy landscape I felt myself begin to calm down. I’ve always loved the challenge of walking in the cold. Something about pushing myself in the chilly outdoors after being holed up in a cozy house has a bracing effect on my mind and body.
However, I realized that I didn’t want to just feel better. I wanted to know why not being able to accomplish a task was often so upsetting to me. “Jesus, what’s going on?” I went on, “I know that your word says that I am complete in You. I don’t have to prove or save myself, but something in me still responds emotionally as though I have to.”
“Or save myself”… that was it!
There is an underlying belief that I must somehow, or someway save myself from anything bad that could possibly happen… especially failure, pain, and disappointment. And every time I make a mistake, even a little one, the message I receive is… “you can’t prevent disaster from coming…”
More specifically, “I can’t prevent a cancer reoccurrence, or public embarrassment, or you-name-it… no matter. how. hard. I. try.”
And despite the fact that I try to laugh it off by telling myself that it’s a good thing I didn’t become an air-traffic controller or surgeon, it’s not all that funny because I try really, really hard… all the time. Hmm. Maybe that’s why I occasionally battle anxiety?
This compulsive urge to prevent the bad things from happening was instilled in me in my childhood. Like it or not, it’s there, and only Jesus is capable of seeing, revealing, and healing me from it’s soul-freezing effects, which go far deeper than I realize.
I’ve been around this particular mountain before, or at least one very similar. At times that’s felt discouraging. But I’ve experienced enough healing from Jesus to know that I probably have many mountain ranges ahead of me. And that’s okay, because that’s what this lifetime is for; to go through the process of being daily sanctified by the Father so that I can become increasingly more like His son, Jesus.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:14-15 ESV)
I want to stop falling back into fear of… anything. Even if that means I have to spend the rest of my life slogging around more mountains… with Jesus, my fear-slayer.