Tuesday, February 22, 2011

giving Him control; a leap of faith

After staying up late to study, God woke me up early Tuesday morning. I was filled with joy from reading His Word and from all He had done the day before. I studied for awhile and took the Developmental test. After and during the test, anxiety was trying to control me. I was worried about my teacher thinking I plagiarized my paper! I didn't, but as I had glanced over it before handing it in, I thought it kind of appeared that I did... I just kept giving that worry to God over and over.

Between classes I started studying for the Personality test I had the next day. My friend who had struggled with suicidal thoughts the day before still hadn't texted me back to say how she was doing. This brought me anxiety. I kept giving these fears about her to God. "He's in control, He's in control..." When she wasn't in class (and she had said she was coming), I was sick to my stomach with anxiety. The anxiety spread to be about everything. I was worried about my Personality test the next day. I hadn't studied or finished the reading yet because I was trying to focus on one test at a time. I felt sick to my stomach. I had class all the way until 4:30, and I still had to shower. BLEH. And should I eat lunch? Would I ever get time to read and study at the wellness center? I was worried about the anxiety that tries to consume me most: time. I was filled with worry about my friend and with all these incredibly stupid and selfish anxieties. I kept praying and giving them all to God.

Finally, I couldn't take it. I was so worried about my friend. I stepped out of class to read a text from her. She had slept in. Sigh of relief!!! I gave all my other stupid anxieties to God again and again. But they continued to attack...

After my classes I took a shower, praising the LORD. The anxiety over feeling like I know nothing for my upcoming test and wanting to study until I feel like I know the material kept attacking me. The desire for control over tests and school work has been a giant anxiety trying to consume me (and truly consuming me a lot) since middle school. It is so hard for me to surrender control of this area to God. On top of my desire to study as hard as possible for my upcoming test, I was really wanting to get to the wellness center to ride the bike while studying.

I knelt to the ground and lifted up each thing to God, giving Him control. It was HARD!!!! I wanted control over my time and test and wanted to exercise so bad!! But I gave them to Him. I love Him so much more than those things!!! I gave God control, telling Him,"Lord, I want to love You with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I am giving You this test. I don't even care if I get to study tonight or not. Do Your will. Use me the way You want. I give You my desire to exercise, Dear Lord. I don't want that to be an idol. It is not important. You are. I don't care if I get to exercise or not. I don't want to ever care about that any day. I want to let You have control of my bod. To do Your will and Your work. I don't care if I go to the wellness center or not tonight." And I gave Him my time. "Dear Lord, use me as You desire. I don't want to be so selfish anymore. I don't care what happens tonight or tomorrow or any day to come!! I just want to love You and show Your love to others."

After that all the weight came of my shoulders. I felt free!!! I was suddenly filled with energy instead of being tired. And, praise God, I was hungry!! For the first time in days, I was finally hungry!!

The Lord led me to Matt's room first to talk with, love, encourage, and listen to him. After that I went to supper. As friends talked with me I was tempted because of selfishness. I had to fight off anxiety about time like crazy! I kept praying for patience, and I thank the Lord that He filled me with it. I hate how selfish about time I am naturally. I stayed at supper a lot longer than I would've selfishly wanted, but as always, when I gave God control, His plans were so much better than mine!!! I am thankful for all the friends I was able to listen to and for all of God's love we poured out to each other.

Since I had given God control of everything that evening, I was filled with more energy than ever! God blessed me with enough time and energy to still go to the wellness center and study on a bike. However, I didn't get as much studying done while there as I wanted to. Studying was going very slowly, it was getting late, and I had a lot of reading and studying left to do, but God was good!!! God played a Christian song and some uplifting songs while I was there, to remind me of His love. Also right when I needed it, Kelsey sent me some really inspiring text messages, reminding me that loving God and others is so much more important than studying.

Normally I am filled with anxiety while studying for tests. That has always been the cause of the once a month times earlier this year where I gave in to binge eating to "help" me study. But this time I kept praying and was determined to live in faith not fear! God would help me on the test even though I barely studied, and He would help me as I studied. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and God's peace and joy. I still had two chapters left to read and hadn't even started most of the studying. It was midnight. I noticed our textbook said we could go online to take practice tests. I knew our teacher writes his own tests. It didn't seem likely they would help with the test, but I felt like the Holy Spirit might be nudging me to print off and study those practice tests, so I did.

I went to Matt's room to keep studying. In years past when I had tests, or lots to do, I didn't want to be around or talk with other people. I was too anxious. I just wanted to "get r done, get r done, get r done..." It took completely relying on God's strength Tuesday night to sit and listen to Matt. Selfish anxiety about studying was attacking me, but I kept praying for patience, asking God to change my heart to one filled with patience and love. I really enjoy listen to Matt!!! He was talking about God and loving others, and God and loving others are most important! Looking back, it is amazing how much patience God filled me with to listen to Matt. I would've never had it without Him.

I was really tired as I stayed up studying, but God helped me study without using food. I was tempted! But God's joy was my strength. I went to bed knowing I barely knew anything, had tons of studying left, and knowing I was not at all ready for the test. Instead of being consumed by fear and anxiety like I would've been in the past, I knew God was enough. God's love is all I need! And God would help me! I was completely filled with faith and not fear!!

"Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. 'How did the fig tree wither so quickly?' they asked.
Jesus replied, 'Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'"
-Matthew 21:18-21

"You must
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

Well, maybe
Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I'm finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough

Cause I'm broken
Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
Strong enough"

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