I have always been one of those that “know that I know that I know” type of people. No matter what has happened in my life, be it my divorce, my friendships, moving, jobs, kids, car troubles, whatever — I’ve always just “known” that things would be okay. It’s not because I don’t want to think about the bad stuff, it’s just that I know that regardless of what happens, that God has my back. I have faith (sometimes as small as that mustard seed!!) that God knows what’s in front of me, and that’s all I need to know.
There have been times (like last year when Miguel lost his job) when I’ve completely freaked out and spent nights in tears wondering what was going to happen, how things could possibly turn out good. But you know, after that freak-out session, it hit me just as it always does – it will be okay. During the time Miguel didn’t work, God provided. And I knew He would. And in a weird way, if He left it up to us to survive, I still knew we’d be okay. 🙂 (Good thing He never left us!)
Same when I quit work when I had Macy. This was not something that was in my mind – EVER. I’d been a working girl since graduating high school and I wasn’t planning on quitting then. But God kept it in my mind so much that I knew I just had to step out on that faith. It was a huge, HUGE change for us, and we really didn’t know how it would work out. But all I knew was that it would. That’s just how I work. Things will always be okay. I work out our budget months and months in advance and even seeing the numbers that we’d be left with after one less paycheck each month was enough to scare anyone into going back to work immediately. But again, that mustard seed of faith stepped in and I just knew we’d be fine. And for 2.5 years now, we’ve made it. Struggled, MOST DEFINITELY. Had car troubles and no credit cards or funds to pay for them, yes. But every single time, it’s worked out.
I have always had to remind Miguel of this… how it will be okay, no matter what. He has faith, of course, but I’m definitely the one laying back saying “hakuna matata” while he’s having a migraine and not able to sleep due to the stress of the situation. 🙂
God has really shown His face in my life these last two years… I sit and think bout how in 6 short months, we’ll be having another baby, and at the same time, I’ll be losing my part-time toddler that I currently keep (other than a few days here and there). And I’ll be recovering from a c-section for several weeks and unable to take on another kiddo. So having one kiddo starting school (hello school supplies!), one about to have her 3rd bday (who I’d LOVE to get into a 2-3 day a week MDO program but HA that’s not an option in our budget), and another one just arriving, on top of the medical bills and such…. yeah, that’s another thing that would have someone stressing and freaking out. But really, I’m okay with it. I have NO idea what we’re going to do to make it work, but I do know that it will work out. I will look for a job if need be (but then paying two childcares and an after-school care would take care of that paycheck!), and eventually I will find someone’s kiddo to keep from my home again if need be, but honestly, I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it. Crazy way to think? Maybe. But there’s really no point in worrying about it now!
In my mind, I wish everyone had this way of thinking. I struggle with that a lot – with trying to understand why it’s so hard for people to not just trust and believe that it will all be okay. Now, I’m not saying I am totally cool when our car completely dies in the gas station lot at Walmart – cause I’m not – and I’ll sit and cry and bang my hands on the steering wheel wondering why me and have that brief freak out about what we’re going to do. But then God shows up and we push the car to a parking spot overnight and the next day we’re able to deal with it — and it always works itself out. Or, rather, God is there.
He’s always there.
Now. Anxiety. That’s always there too.
Strangely enough, you’d think that with all this faith, that I’d have no anxiety whatsoever, right? Sure, even I think that! But it’s just not true. Anxiety is not my friend.
When I was pregnant with Andrew, I’d never really experienced anxiety. Then I went in at 3 weeks before my due date, and we were to have an ultrasound to determine his size and to plan the date for his c-section that was to happen in a weeks time. Well, during that ultrasound, they saw what they thought to be a knot in his cord. This didn’t panic me really — not sure why it didn’t, as it sure would if it were to happen now! The doctor immediately sent me to labor and delivery and told me to settle in for the night, that they were going to monitor him and me and do a few more tests. They didn’t want to send me home and have the knot tighten and cut off life to the baby inside of me. I called my work to let them know I wasn’t coming back for 8 more weeks (I was supposed to return to work after that appt!!), and we called all of our family. After painful tests (the amniocentesis is something I will NEVER have done again – the most awful thing in the world) and monitoring us both, the doctor decided that Andrew needed to come the next day. I was still pretty okay with this fact.
Fast forward to the next day at 4pm-ish. Family had been arriving and were coming to me, telling me how excited they were, etc… the nurses were prepping me for surgery… things were starting to get really crazy. I suddenly decided that I wasn’t able to do this. I couldn’t go into that room and have them cut me open and take this baby out of my body. I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. They found a chaplain to come in and pray with me. Then my doctor came in to see how I was doing, right before we were to get started. I told her I couldn’t do it. I was crying and just not at all wanting it to happen. She assured me that things would be just fine and that if she did this just 5 months ago with her twins, that I could do it with Andrew. I’m not sure when I calmed down, but they had to take me in. I was SO anxious. Through the whole thing, I could just not take my mind off of what they were doing to me. I didn’t feel anything at all, which was probably good. Miguel was awesome and held my hand the whole time and told me what they were doing as they were doing it. The guy who gave me the good drugs was behind me making sure I was okay the entire time, and my doctor was also talking to me during it all. Then I heard them talking about how sweet Andrew was and then he was out. I cried upon hearing his cry and after that it was just all so fast. I didn’t do well in recovery – I shook so hard and was so sick and cold and the nurse was very uncaring and mean. Luckily that all moved pretty fast too and then I got to be with my family and baby. But that’s the day the anxiety began.
For about a year, I was fine. Then Miguel was scheduled to go to Las Vegas with his job, so I wanted to go with him. We began planning. This is when the anxiety hit full-force again. I started thinking about who would take Andrew if something happened to us. Then that got me thinking about maybe not going on the trip, because if something happened to Miguel, at least I’d still be alive for Andrew. But then I got worried that something would happen to Miguel. Then we were buying plane tickets and I had the option of choosing which seat I wanted in the plane. Which meant I started googling what was the best location to sit in case of a crash so that I’d have at least a chance of survival if we crashed. I was literally scared to death of something happening to us. Then what about leaving Andrew back home with my family? Would he be okay? I wrote out a letter, leaving passwords, account numbers, phone numbers, etc., and left it hidden in my house in case something happened to us while we were gone. It was terrible.
We got off to Las Vegas okay and the flight was good and uneventful (though traveling over the Grand Canyon does provide a bit of turbulence which was not so good), thank goodness. Things were fine, we were having a good time, and then two or so days into it, my sister called to inform me that my dad had had a heart attack while playing softball and that they were all on their way to the hospital. Cue panic mode once again. We book flights and Miguel loses his phone in the taxi, mine is running out of battery power, and then we have to drive two hours in the middle of the morning to the hospital after we land. Worst anxiety of my life, wondering if my dad was going to live or die. I hope to never experience that again. From then on, I didn’t want to ever leave town again.
It was also around this time that I couldn’t sleep at night. I was constantly wanting to be aware of what was happening around me. I wanted to make sure no one was going to break in or that nothing was going to happen to my family in the middle of the night. I was diagnosed with insomnia and given sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds. These all helped, but because I wasn’t able to find the right medicine for me (all had whacky side effects), I weaned off of them after several months of being on them. Things seemed to look up from there and my anxiety wasn’t as bad.
Now I have two kids. Both of their rooms were on the opposite side of the house from our room, and a year or so ago, I decided that I couldn’t sleep anymore at night due to this fact. So Miguel and I moved into one of the smaller bedrooms next to the kids rooms. I slept so much better once we made that change. Just knowing I could get to them quickly if I needed to helped my anxiety tons. But then things always have to change, and we ended up moving Andrew into the bigger bedroom (where our room was previously) so that I could have a photo “studio” in the front bedroom. This meant I was now rooming by my daughter but a long distance from my son. So I found myself either awake all night, or sleeping on the couch a lot of times, which was in the middle of both kids.
Not to mention the anxiety I had/have about bridges. Hate them. Do not like driving over them. When we went to Gulf Shores for a vacation right before Macy was born, we had to drive over this LONG bridge on top of water. Hardest several minutes of my life. I have a fear of drowning, but now that I have kids, I have a bigger fear of them drowning in a car or something. I know, not healthy. But it’s my blog and I have to be honest.
This just touches on the anxiety that I live with.
I’m not on medication for this anymore. I don’t have panic attacks. I actually don’t have near the amount of anxiety as I once had. But it’s still there. And while I know God is there too, just as I talked about above, I also still deal with this terrible “disease” that I truly believe Satan uses to distract me from the truth and peace with God.
I know how to talk myself down from feeling anxious, at least most of the time. I even talk to other people who feel anxious, coaching them to lean on God and to know that it will pass.
So why is it there? Why can’t I have that FAITH so strong that it takes over during those times of anxious thoughts? It seems like with such a strong faith, that there would be no anxiety. I wish that were the case.
And that’s what I have to work on. Reaching deep within, grabbing that faith as small as the mustard seed inside, and hold onto it when I feel scared, fearful, and/or anxious, and get to that point where I know without a shadow of a doubt, that all will be well and that God is still there and that He knows what’s ahead of me (and my family) and that it will all be okay.
IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. Know that, friends, or whoever is reading this. Whatever you’re going through, we all go through it. You’re not alone. It’s okay to be anxious – but God doesn’t want that for us, and know that He is there, providing a way out.
Thanks for reading my randomness.