“Is this for real?”
“Wait! What? I don’t understand? Everything was fine, now it’s not?”
I have heard these questions asked many times before, however I am usually the one providing reassurance and education. As a nurse, I was asked similar questions by patients and family members several times a day. Being the caregiver, you are responsible for responding to your patient or patient’s family member with care and guidance to calm their fears with expectations and a plan.
That is what I am looking for with my questions, but my fears are not calmed. I am sure many of my patients and their loved ones felt a similar during the conversations we had.
“Great words. But no guarantee.”
Guarantees are not given because the world is not absolute. Words like always, all, never, complete are words used carefully in the medical field because factors exist that are not controllable or foreseen. Have you ever signed a “Consent for Treatment?” The verbiage used in those contracts specify that fact. There are limits to the control.
I want a definitive answer.
A this is right and this is wrong.
An absolute guarantee.
I am putting faith in the answers of people to calm my fears and anxiety. I will not find this reassurance in people and their explanations or plans. However, when I adjust my focus to God, I do find reassurance in Him. And God does use absolute words like always, all, never, complete.
“It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me in your right hand.” Psalms 73:23 NIV
“All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV
“Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” Psalms 9:18 NIV
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever come to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV
“So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:4 NIV
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:19 NIV
God is in control of absolutes. My anxieties settle as I am reminded of this.
The fears will rise but instead of looking to people to give me reassurance, I will turn my attention to God who settles my soul because he is already on the other side.
Restlessness comes as I strive, in all of my limits, to work my disappointments away or pretend they doesn’t exist. In these moments, I lose focus on the greater purpose of my life. I am no longer intentional about by day to day responsibilities. The responsibilities that don’t stop because of the uncertainty of the situation.
I have 3 young daughters. These girls need love, food, and care. Their needs do not stop. Actually, their needs seem to multiply in times of stress. As I allow all the distractions to share space in my mind and divert my thinking, the stress and demands increase. Instead of my mind being disciplined to focused on what must be accomplished, I am thinking of that plus what I am feeling, the current situation, tomorrow, next week, … TEN YEARS from now! All the things! I have no physical control over most of things I am thinking. My brain is overloaded. I am distracted from the present.
Rest comes to me as I remember that I was not created to be in control but instead I was created to love God, who is in control.
Fear, anger, sadness, hurt, confusion are all real feelings you may be experiencing. I know I am. Paying attention, giving names to the feelings will help bring awareness to our actions and reactions. This awareness allows us to filter our thoughts. Filtering gives us the ability to control our thoughts and our focus. As we discipline our thoughts can continue to make intentional decisions in our daily lives. Making decisions intentionally creates a life of freedom.
“A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I am naming my feelings and sitting with uncertainty of this world, I will discipline my thoughts to focus on the certainty of God.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” Psalms 23:1 NLT