As a mother sits and rocks her sick, feverish toddler, he cries out with discomfort. Her heart is heavy and, while she knows she must be strong for her child and create a soothing and loving environment, inside she fights back tears and anguish. Is someone you love suffering from an illness? Maybe it is you that must juggle several health issues. You try to keep a good attitude but many times, this proves to be too difficult and you give in to worry, anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, health issues are a part of our life. More than likely, all of us at one time or another either have to deal with serious health issues, care for someone with serious health issues or know someone dear to us with serious health issues. What stress and sadness this brings to our very soul.
You pray and ask God for healing. More often than not, you are left wondering why God continues to let illness plagued your life. Some of you will blame God and this is understandable. You are human and it can be oh so difficult to remain faithful when your whole world is full of such emotional and physical pain. You are, most likely, trying to keep an optimistic perspective and be strong for all those around you. However, those people around you are likely doing the same thing. The result? You quit talking to each other and keep the stress all inside which creates threatening levels of anxiety and depression. Alone, you feel forsaken. It is at this very state, that you begin to lose hope, and this puts you in a dangerous condition. So, what do you do?
“My son, give heed to my word and incline your ear to my words, that your fountains may not fail you; guard them in your heart; for they are life to those who find them and healing for all their flesh. Keep your heart with all watchfulness, for from these words are the issues of life.” “Let your eyes look straight forward, and let your eyelids assent to righteous things.” Proverbs 4:19-22, 24
In April 2018, I found myself faced with what appeared to be unbearable circumstances and I lived each moment knowing that there was a real possibility that my son was going to lose his fight and I would soon be preparing for his funeral. You can read the details of this story here. In those first days after finding our son clinging to life, I remember being so helpless and sad. At some point, I remember surrendering it all. I knew that it was more likely that we would lose our son and rather than praying for healing, I prayed for strength, guidance and unbreakable faith for us all. I did this often throughout the day as I sat by my son’s hospital bed and waited for whatever was to come next.
What happened next is hard to put in words but if it has happened to you, then you understand. It was as if I was placed in a safe, emotional bubble where I knew only love lived. I knew that whatever was going to happen was out of my hands and, somehow, I would get through it as long as I kept my focus on God’s love and direction. My body relaxed and I was not afraid, not one bit. I had no anxiety and no sadness, only love. It was an unfamiliar state of being, but I cherished it. I stayed in this state for over two months, until our son came home. Rather than praying by his bedside, I was focused on figuring out how to create a new normal as we looked to a long recovery ahead. I was out of my bubble.
Being razor focused on something over a period of time, means that significant changes are taking place inside you. In the Proverbs verse above, “Let your eyes look straight forward…” means that you are mindfully concentrating on one goal. When that goal is prayer and asking for guidance, you “let your eyelids assent to righteous things” meaning that your focus is righteous verses focusing on the illness of your child and all the bad things that could happen. “Keep your heart with all watchfulness…” means to stay disciplined in keeping yourself in this state of prayer, faith and surrender indefinitely. You get to live in the bubble when you “give heed to my (God’s) word and incline your ear to my words, that your fountains may not fail you”.
God then tells you to guard His words of guidance in your heart being mindful to resist any temptations that would knock you off your focus “for they are life to those who find them and healing for all their flesh”. I was taken out of my bubble when I got back home and quit focusing on prayer, faith and surrender. I still had times during the day I prayed and looked for guidance, but you get out of life what you put into it. Making the shift from worry, exhaustion and a heart that hurts for your sick child is difficult if you do not know how. My message is to “Find your Direction in Your Quiet”. I can show you how to effectively make this transition.
Take a few minutes for yourself. Go in your bedroom, car, outside or even your closet. Close your eyes and do some deep breathing. Focus on relaxing your body, one section at a time. Just become jelly. Then focus on gently asking for guidance, remembering to stop after each prayer to listen to your heart or intuition. This is the guidance you are praying for; you receive it by getting a calm feeling of direction. Each time you do this, it gets easier, clearer and you get more direction, so think baby steps. When you are in a crisis, and going through this exercise several times during the day and being mindful to keep your body relaxed and your mind free from negativity, wonderous change takes place inside you bringing you to a place of acceptance and faith.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott
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Until next time, Find Your Direction in Your Quiet.