The last week has revealed to me just how dark some of the corners of my heart can be sometimes.

How’s that for the opening sentence to a blog post?!

Seriously, this last week has been a whirl-wind, and has shown me a lot more about myself than I cared to know.

Within the last seven days, I’ve learned the following:

1) My mom has breast cancer, and will be having major surgery in two weeks.

2) Tanner’s work schedule is already booked for vacation time the week of mom’s surgery, and it will be impossible for him to take off any time to help out with the kids.

3) My due date is fast approaching (6 weeks!), and my doctor is not certain that he’ll allow me to carry full-term.

4) Tanner’s ever-increasing responsibilities at work have increased even more…yet another major change is slated to take effect within the next 8 weeks. This will mean INSANE amounts of work, as well as crazy long workdays…right at the time our baby boy will be joining us.

Processing all of the above has just about driven me crazy. How am I supposed to be the daughter I want to be as my mom faces the biggest challenge of her life, all while birthing a new baby and caring for the two kiddos I already have? Oh, and be an encouragement and helper to my husband who will be under immense pressure at home and work.

My default button has been set to STRESS, and I have found myself being swallowed up by it.

But, God in His special and unique way, knew that I needed to hear exactly what I read in the chapter I was reading in One Thousand Gifts. Here are a few parts of these chapters that showed me just how superficial and ignorant it is to stress rather than to trust.

Stress isn’t only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin.

Trust is work. The work of trusting love, intentional and focused. Sometimes, too often, I don’t want to muster the energy to trust. Stress and anxiety seem easier. Easier to let a mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead. Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?

Without trust in the good news of Jesus, without trust in the good news of God’s saving work even in this moment, without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all-sovereign, all-knowing God, how can we claim to fully believe?

I was hit hard when I realized that indeed my soul has been too lazy to trust. I’ve let myself be consumed with my sinful, natural tendency to worry and fret. I realized just how long and hard I’ve tried to protect my life, my comfort, my joy….

My own wild desire to protect my joy at all costs is the exact force that kills my joy. The secret of joy’s flame is to humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control…let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials. Leave my hand open and be…be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will.

God has asked me to unclench my controlling fists, and to let Him choose not only my path, but the paths of those I love dearly, as well. And so, even though it’s hard to let go, I have found great comfort in letting go. The realization that I can do absolutely nothing to change God’s sovereign plan was at first overwhelming, but has become comforting at the same time. I have known these truths for years; however, it has become so real to me these last several days.

Proverbs 16:9  “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

A HUGE thank you to all of you who have encouraged my family these last few days. Continue to pray for my mom’s health, recovery from surgery, and any further treatment she may need. And, if you would, please pray for me…pray that I will JOYFULLY choose to serve all those whom I am called to serve during all these upcoming changes.