from Rachel: (God is Stronger Than My Struggles) With Stress/Anxiety

[starred for emphasis] “Yep, we can all pretend we’re doing fine with life’s stress, but the body will usually betray you and tell the truth.”

How about you? Do you have any little stressors in your life?

“Of course. On Monday (10/13/14) I drive to Macomb so that I can leave Chompers with mom and dad for nearly two weeks. On Wednesday I drive back so I’ll have a little time to pack and prepare to fly to Israel on Friday. And, yes, all the housework and homework are still there, too.”

[starred] In fact, God never intended for me, or you, to be strong enough on our own. We were made to need Him, run to Him, and surrender to Him.

[starred] You should know these words (Philippians 4:6) were not written as a suggestion or a nice idea to try when you’re having a good day. “Do not be anxious” is a command.

Take a few minutes to list your stressors.

“Most of mine are time related. I always have a long list of things I need to do, ought to do, want to do, hope to do, and have been meaning to do for weeks or years. Almost none of these things are in themselves a stressor – except when the technology items won’t cooperate (printers talking to computers or software installing, etc.) – it’s almost always the stress of cramming enough of each into the hours of my day.”

All kinds of things in this world promise to give you peace. What is the difference between worldly peace and divine peace?

“Worldly peace is often false and always fleeting. Divine peace is always still with us if we only remember to reconnect with it.”

One more time, read the last sentence of Philippians 4:9. What are we supposed to keep doing?

“‘Practice these things’”

How is God asking you to change the way you think?

“He wants me to turn to Him first, not when I have finally gotten tired enough of worrying on my own.”

How can you add God’s truth to your truth today?

“This to do list is too long.

“But God is able to give me maximum efficiency, if I’ll let Him and be willing to let go of some items.”

Fretting is sinful if you are a child of God. Get back to God by confessing that you’ve been thinking your circumstances are too much for Him.

“I beg to differ – perhaps too petty and trivial to bother Him about – or too much a mess of my own doing.”

Dearest Rachel –

There was a chapter from this book on temptation between loneliness and stress, but there were no long-form answers to speak of in it, so I passed over it.

This is one of the few cases where I can identify when this was written down; not only would the events leading up to our first trip to Israel give me a reasonable idea when it was, you actually put dow a date here, so at to give near-exact timing. It’s actually rather unusual for these study notes.

In any event, your admissions are much the same as in many of your other notes; there are so many things you need and want to do, but as they build up over time, you had difficulty ‘letting go and letting God,’ as the saying goes. Oh, I remember you driving Chompers down to your folks – indeed, I remember you driving down to see them nearly every month for a couple years prior to your dad’s passing, and throughout the time after that until your mom passed away – but I’ve heard about (and lived) your reluctance to get help with cleaning the house, for example. Jan would tell me about engaging you in conversation about your folks’ house – not even about ours! – and offering to ride with you to help, but I guess you saw this as a responsibility that was yours and yours alone to take care of.

I sometimes wonder where the neglected tasks fell on the scale of being ‘too petty’ versus ‘too massive.’ I’m sure there was a sliding scale between the two extremes, and stuff fell somewhere between one and the other, but where they belonged had to have varied.

At least you knew it was an issue, and thus, I could interpret these – along with so many other notes – as permission to go ahead and do what I’ve done. Of course, I wouldn’t have be allowed to were you still here – nor would I have dreamed of infringing on your ‘turf’ – but I want to think that you knew it had to get done, and would have approved to at least a certain extent.

If nothing else, the fact that I’ve been willing and able to enlist outside assistance has to count for something, right?

Anyway, take care until next time, honey. Keep an eye out for me.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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