Ever wake up with ALL THE THINGS on your mind? That was me this morning. I intentionally sleep without a clock in my bedroom so I can avoid stressing about how much longer I have to sleep, but after what felt like half an hour of tossing and turning, I checked my phone. 3:37. My mind was racing, jumping back and forth between news stories and tweets from this week. School shootings, unkindness, worry, heaviness.
I laid there and prayed for families in Colorado. I prayed for students who have entered into lifelong trauma. Families who spent the night in the hospital on a journey of injuries. A family whose heroic son lost his life for others. I prayed for my boys- that they would never know that heartache and fear.
I prayed for my dear Beth Moore who (wrongly) came under attack for preaching the Word as a woman. For those who can’t look past her gender and see the truth that she speaks and the lives that have been changed because of it.
I prayed for the mamas without babies. The sons and daughters without moms. The waiting, the hopeless, the hurting, the scared. All magnified on this Mother’s Day.
For nearly three hours, the cycle of prayer came. I wrote blog entries in my head. I scrolled through Facebook. I wrestled with my usually comfortable bed. I couldn’t make myself get up, so I stewed. When my alarm finally went off, it was almost a relief. I thanked God it was Sunday-a nap was in my afternoon schedule. I was grateful for my Mother’s Day breakfast- chocolate chip waffles, extra crispy bacon, and orange juice with a hint of pulp, topped off with hugs, flowers and a subscription to Magnolia Journal. And I didn’t have to lift a finger- just my glass!
The thoughts of dawn slowly slipped away and were replaced by shower schedules, little boys’ suspenders, Veggie Tales, and coffee. It’s funny how something can occupy so much of your mind yet so quickly make room.
Still, none of the problems went away. I gave them away to God. He brought light to my darkness, in both a tangible and metaphorical sense. Do they still exist? Yes. Nothing magically or miraculously disappeared. There was no time travel, no Groundhog Day repetition of a brand new day, no deleted tweets. But they were no longer my burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him, because He cares for us. He carries the weight. In my weakness– and let’s face it, 3AM Maddie is weak–He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).
He can deal with the heart of a heretic, the speech of a slanderer, and the mind of a murderer. He can bring clarity and justice and forgiveness and peace. He can heal the brokenhearted, the lost, the lonely, and the confused. I can let go of it and remember it’s not my battle to fight. He will do it, and I am to be still (Exodus 14:14).
I will proclaim boldly His goodness and His mercy. I will encourage my sisters in the faith. I will ask for protection and bravery. I will ask for the peace that only He knows how to give.
I’m praying for a more restful night. I’m praising God for an easy day. I’m still saddened over our broken world, but my heart no longer feels so heavy.
The Spirit of the Lord God is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify him. -Isaiah 61:1-3
Whatever is on your heart and mind tonight, know you don’t have to struggle alone. Try giving it to God and let Him bear the weight of your burden. Rejoice in His good promises.