Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ZENITH (04/21/16)
- TITLE: My Altar
By Taryn Deets
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I am a recovering anxi-aholic.
This week having five teenagers and one pre-teen on Spring Break, I feel like I am walking a mine field. Every decision I make seems fraught with discord and disagreement. I wish I could just walk down the path and not worry about the fallout. It would certainly be easier, and definitely more peaceful (if I live in the now) to simply give in to their every whim and avoid their wrath over a needed but unwelcome discipline.
When they were young and in diapers, that phase of life in which every day was a seemingly endless stream of feeding, changing, wiping away tears, putting bandaids on boo boos, laughing, and loving, I thought that season of life would never end. And now it is hard to believe that in a blink of an eye, they are teenagers.
I want to enjoy this time instead of wishing it away, but the minefield I am walking through makes that somewhat challenging at times. Thankfully, this past year I have acquired two amazing tools to survive anxiety attacks: creating an altar of remembrance (Joshua 4:1-9) and taking my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Yesterday, paralyzed by anxiety, I decided I must first choose to turn around and walk away from it. So, I grabbed the leash and took my dog with me.
As I walked I tried to turn my mind to whatever was pure, lovely and of good report (Philippians 4:8). Thinking about the early coming of Spring, noticing the green all around me, my thoughts drifted back to a time when weíd visited Monetís garden in France. I could picture the green bridge covered in ivy, lily pads floating on the water below. I raised the eyes of my memory and saw myself standing there with my young children, all smiling and happy.
Like a fingernail scraped across a blackboard, my thoughts jarred back to reality. Discontentment spread as I remembered that idyllic trip. Oh, those were the days! That time was the pinnacle of Godís goodness towards me and I wished, oh how I wished for the relative peace of those days.
But as my mind returned to my list of complaints from this morning, the Spirit nudged, and I tried harder to turn my thoughts, take them captive, turn the discontentment into obedience.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I unpacked my altar of remembrance and began with my list. It is long, and as I rehearsed each act of kindness, every provision, every miracle God has given us, my heart was turned to thankfulness. Now I could look back and see that the time we spent in Monetís garden during that trip to France, wasnít really the apex of our lives. It wasnít the best of the best times.
The best time is right now, even though I feel like I am walking through a minefield some days, this is the best He has given us to date. Struggles though there may be, God has changed me in so many ways, such that I donít wish for the old me. And even though I long for His return, and the road ahead is often treacherous, it is still good, because He is good. I just need to keep walking carrying my altar around in my head and keep my mind fixed on Him.
And when I got home? Well there were a few more minefields, but not as many as before, and I could walk more confidently, knowing that the Lord would show me the way between the mines or how to repair the damage if I stepped on one.
So, today, I add one more stone to my altar of remembrance: I am an ex-anxi-aholic.
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