"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, April 23, 2016

This Disease is Killing Us

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I treasure those beautiful moments when you are speaking truth to a friend and, it seems, the Holy Spirit is simultaneously nudging and whispering, "Are you listening to this?"  Like a mirror reflecting an image, your own voice bounces back and you hear yourself...  or you hear His voice in your words.

It is that very moment when the words of truth pouring out are the very water my soul needs.   Pouring out and drinking in, all at the same time.

I was speaking with a friend who was sharing her new diagnosis of a long-term illness: an illness I am very, very familiar with.*  She was sharing with me her fears and her anxieties.  Of course she is afraid!  Of course this is troubling.  It sucks!  I hear you, friend.  I hear you.

After listening and empathizing with the frustration, sadness and "suck-ness" of her situation, I heard these words slip out of my mouth, "I have had this disease for 30 years.  And, I promise you--- I promise you!--- the worry and fear, through the years, has robbed FAR more from me than the disease has ever done".  Yes, disease robs and steals.  But, worry and fear rob far more.

Worry robs more than reality.  Every time...  

Worry robs more... 

Always.  It is just the truth.

I have been reading a lot about the brain recently and we know, even scientifically, that worry is a future oriented thought process.  In order to worry, we have to be thinking of the future---not the now. Not the real, right-now reality of our lives.  Worry is the "what ifs" and "will it?" "will they?" and the "how will I?", "can I?"...  The worry isn't real.  It isn't true.  It is make believe.  Always.  Tomorrow may truly never come.  Tomorrow isn't real, or true.  Worry about tomorrow, according to brain experts, is simply a waste of important energy.  Unfortunate, unproductive (even damaging) and a wasteful firing of neurons.

(Funny how science eventually catches up with the Bible... Matthew 6:34 and James 4:13-14)

This 'make-believe' we play in our heads steals and robs from our today.  In fact, it is literally physically killing us.  When we worry and fear, our bodies release a powerful hormone; one that can throw off the balance of all our body chemistry and has detrimental affects on our health and well being when it is regularly released.  Worry is deadly.  Worry and fear steal from our minds, our bodies and our souls. They do very little to help us.  (...the occasional need to run from a bear or escape an earthquake are the rare times that we are grateful for this hormone released from worry or fear!)

I have learned through the years to stop and prayerfully ask myself two questions:  First, "what story am I telling myself?"  and, secondly,  "What is real? or What is actually true, the mere facts, right now?"

Answering these questions brings grounding.  While grounded in the now, I can connect to the real of Jesus here.   Him here today.  Now.

I am learning.  I see it.  And, I am grateful.

I don't know if my friend was able to take-in the testimony I was sharing...  "the worry and fear have robbed more than the disease".    I'm not sure it was for her that day.  I think it may have been just for me.   A good reminder.  I need not worry about tomorrow.  I need never be afraid.

I heard it, Lord.  I hear it and choose again today to trust You.

*If you are curious and would like to read more about my health, healing, and physical journey--- you can read here, here and here (and many other places on this site...)

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