Worry and anxiety keep trying to take over this week. Anxiety over someone else’s’ choices. Anxiety over his choices that I cannot control. Why? Because I love this person to my core and he is hurting. He is my son. In his pain he lashes out at everyone trying to help him. My own anxiety builds as he piles his stuff layer upon layer on top of my own worry and self-doubt. This pile of dog do-do does nothing to help either one of us nor does it serve God’s purpose. “Let go, Let God!”, you say? It is that simple and yet not that easy for me. I do let go and give it to God…and then I take it right back again without even realizing it. Think about how helpful it’s been in your past to ease someone else’s worry by simply saying, “Oh honey, don’t worry.” Did it work? Not likely
I need a strategy.
Farrrel, Jones and Dornacher break it down so well in their study Finding Joy in Philippians and bring to real-life Philippians 4:8. The list below is taken from this book page 178.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise dwell on these things. Phil 4:8
What is true? God will work all for my good.
My son’s struggles are his struggles and my feeble efforts to help will somehow be brought around to God’s will for his good and my good.
What is noble? Put other’s needs first.
This is noble. This is tough. He is verbally mean, resists all my efforts to help and redirect him to healthy choices, and sullenly takes, takes and takes. I pray for wisdom to see what his needs are at his core. And not to shut down inside from demands, entitlements and ingratitude he throws at me hourly. (I know some of you are saying…”Where are her boundaries?” keep reading.)
What is right? Trusting God
I trust God with my son. After all, he is His son! He entrusted his birth mother to give him life and me to mother him since the age of 3. I haven’t been perfect. I haven’t always done the right thing. AND, knowing all of this beforehand, God still trusted me to be his mom.
What is pure? Avoid selfishness and conceit
Again, this one is tough. When he is mean I want to curl up and protect myself. I want to shut down. While it is right to set boundaries it’s hard to walk that fine line of healthy boundaries while not shutting down. He doesn’t respect the boundaries that I set and I’m not yet willing to kick him out. So, I need to guard myself from becoming hard. I need to stay open to my son. God heals my wounds and protects my heart faithfully.
What is lovely? Our eternal dwelling place that’s free from anxiety
I love this one. His choices and his behavior are illogical. He makes choices that hurt himself and take him further from where he says he wants to be. Focusing on my eternal home where everything will make sense and there is no worry or anxiety gives me peace. I have a picture in my minds eye right now and it makes me smile.
What is admirable? Standing strong
I do this. I stand strong in my fierce love for him. I stand strong to fight for him. I stand strong in Jesus who is the healer for us all.
What is excellent? The character of God is working in me
This IS excellent. I know, confidently, that all that we are going through is used by God to work for good in me. I look to Christ for answers and He is faithful to grow me to be more like Him each day.
What is praiseworthy? God’s loving care
I praise God for his loving care of me and of my son. I have seen God’s loving care work miracles in my life and in my family many times. He is holding me and my son, right now, in His loving care. Every minute. He is faithful
Dwell on these things. That is my strategy.