As if you didn’t already know- this blog is a very vulnerable place for me to be, but it’s been such a tool of support and therapy. This post is no different. This post is so vulnerable that I even wondered if I should post it. How would it be received? What would they think about me? They’d probably laugh at my silliness and think ‘wow, and I thought I was bad’! Well, no matter, my vulnerability could be somebody’s sanctuary. Like so many others, anxiety eats at us daily. Feeding on our happiness, bringing us down into the depths of doubt that sometimes it feels impossible to rise above. Some days, I just want(ed) a plateau.
A plateau in my finite mind would appear to be a wide area of flat elevated land lying amongst mountainous ravines and canyons, uninterrupted by hills of earth or rivers of water. Just land- falt- with a big beautiful Montana sky sitting atop painted with pretty pinks and bright sunset oranges. A pretty picture certainly.
How about this though?
“I’ve hit that plateau,” Amy said. “I can’t seem to loose this stubborn ten pounds!” she wails.
How many of us have heard this from one of our friends embarking on a weight loss journey? Or maybe we’ve said it ourselves? (Guilty) Probably all of us, and used in this way, carries a not so pretty, negative meaning. (No matter how true a thing it is, let’s face it- there IS a plateau in weight loss). Now, let me show you a positive meaning of “plateau”.
The last year, anxiety has reared its nasty head like a bull, waiting to charge at my weakest most faith-less (is that a word?) moments. I hate to say, but it has been successful in taking my joy, taking my thankfulness.
Loss, no matter who the person- or what the situation- is, is loss. Loss is pain, loss is forgotten regret, loss is wishing you could go back in time with the knowledge that you have now. Loss is also finding blessings and happiness in the people or things that are left in the aftermath. For me, that is my son. Of course, I’m blessed to the bone with a loving husband, family, and wonderful encouraging friends. But when I think of my loss (and because of who (children) were lost), when I think of how blessed I am- my son immediately comes to mind.
I swore when I had him, I’d never be one of “those parents”. Helicopters. I would not hover, wrap him in a metaphorical bubble, and let him live his life inside a glass case full of gluten-free everything and absolutely ZERO junk food! Oh, how I’m eating my words. Why? One of my littlest blessings in the form of a child (one of the desires of my heart) could very well be my only one. I wanted to protect him, keep him from any and all harm, put him in that glass case and only let him out for school and church! I realized not only as a counselor, but as a living breathing person, that THIS IS NOT GOOD. I began thinking of things that happened in the past, a bump on the head while playing, germs, our recent purchase of a trampoline, riding with other people than myself even though I’m not a stellar driver, and the bull charged.
Worry consumed me. Did he get hurt from that fall a couple of months ago, and I missed it? Could he hurt himself on his new trampoline? When will they be home from town? I was full to the brim of thoughts of protecting my only living and breathing mini me. From then on, I was up and down. From fear and sadness to “going with the flow” and finding joy in moments with family and friends. My life was full of angry waves. Cresting high with a beautiful life that may be a little marred at the moment, but full and blessed none the less, to the trough of uncertainty. I began to feel tired of the ups and downs even though that’s what we say life is full of. I would say, “God, just let it be. Whatever IT is, just let IT be.”
So, I searched for a plateau. A flat piece of land where my body and soul could rest from the rising and falling of my emotions. A plateau of contentment. Where I found my worry, I also found my peace. My son. I began taking each day we talked and carried on normal four-year old conversations about Hot Wheels and Honeytree, each time he asked me to rock him, each wonderful moment he laughed and said, “Momma, you’re trippin’ ” (I blame you, Nathan!), and I placed them in a jar where nothing can remove them. There they light up my life, driving away the shadows of doubt and fear. I am content. I am living (at least trying to) in my present, not the regret of the past, not the fear of the future. Besides, it’s proven (or said) that 90% of what we worry about doesn’t even happen. It’s also written in God’s word to you and me, “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
As I’m writing this, my son comes running into the bedroom, and I hear music playing in the kitchen. Sliding in on his socks (I’m keeping myself from telling him to stop because he might fall!), he giggles and soon his dad comes barreling in behind him. A good game of chase is occurring, no doubt. I stop and listen to it. The loud exuberant sound of both laughing and enjoying life, and I realize in this moment I am content. And when- not if- worry seeps in, I will seek refuge in His word and in time with Him asking for Him to smooth my plateau, to get rid of the hills and mountains of anxiety because He is the God of faithfulness.
Are you content? Or is constant worry filling up the space in your head where you should be storing memories of your blessings, creating mountains from mole hills in your plateau of contentment. If so, find relief in knowing that God’s word is final and infallible. He will place you in contentment, and guide your anxious heart to its answers and furthermore its peace.