Often, I wake in the middle of the night. Some nights I can go back to sleep. Most nights I can’t. Somehow, like millions of other perimenopausal women, I lay in bed tossing and turning for hours and learn to function on 4-5 hours of sleep every night.
And the frustrating anxiety or dread that I wake with or that develops after my morning prayer times, is like that false friend I just can’t ditch no matter how hard I try. Not sure if it is a physical symptom of menopause (some say it is) or a manifestation of some deep spiritual problem, but I think the solution is the same no matter what: taking my thoughts in hand and bending them to the will of Christ.
This is no easy task. They’re stubborn, pesky little things! Just when I think I’ve got them nailed down, they wiggle loose and begin to torment me again. But, I realized something this weekend while listening to a sermon on giving.
The pastor was talking about how giving (time, money, service) is an act of worship. What I realized was that fighting these demons, not giving in to them (falling to depression or anxiety), is also my act of worship to the Lord. It’s a conscience choice to be for the Lord – to put Him first over my feelings, my fears, and my ease (in a similar way to tithing my time, service and money). It’s a choice to put Him above these other idols in my life.
And I think that as I do this over and over everyday that it will become easier, and I won’t have to fight the battle so often until one day I will be free of these idols, at least. Because like the Lord promises in Malachi 3:10, as we give our tithe, or our worship in this case, we can test Him and see if He won’t “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be enough room to store it.”
Someday, I look forward to the blessing of living free from all fear and not having to fight so hard for emotional peace. Until then, I’ll turn my heart to worship, fighting hard for the blessings of a “peace that transcends all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV)