weddings & thoughts on worry

This past weekend was a whirlwind. Fast paced, exhausting, joyous, and emotional. One of my closest friends got married, and anyone who knows me knows that I have been to a lot of weddings. 18, to be exact, with two more on the way in 2016 (I just counted). Some of those have been my best and dearest friends. I had a very specific feeling on Elizabeth's day, which took me by surprise: it was hard for me to give her away. I know that's not even my right or responsibility. But, as Elizabeth comically printed in the program by my name, I am a "momma bear". I care for my friends so deeply. I could not just let her go to any man-- he'd better be a good one! Luckily, James is a great guy and I love him like my own brother, so I was 100% on board with Elizabeth marrying him. But I still found myself struck by how much I love this sister of mine and how emotional I felt about releasing her to James, in a sense. I know we are still going to be super close and that won't change. I guess I just don't take it lightly when my friends get married! Is there such a thing as too much love in a friendship?

While we're being honest, I'm going to throw this out into the universe: I started therapy a couple of weeks ago. It was time. I often say I should have started going when I was 15, so I'm only 14 years late to that party! I have struggled with anxiety for far too long on my own, and I finally realized that I can't fix it by myself. The other side of that was thinking I didn't need to seek help because I'm a Christian (I know how stupid that sounds, trust me). If I put all my hope and trust in the Lord, I'll be healed, right? Doesn't God know more than all of us and could help me more than any other person on Earth? I believe that faith does help my issues a good amount, but I had to eventually give in to this simple fact: there is no shame in talking to someone who is trained and equipped to supply you with wisdom to better your health. Key words: " no shame". This also goes along with a thought I often have in my head when talking to non-believers: "Putting your faith in God can't hurt you. It can only help you. You have nothing to lose by trying." The same concept applies.

I was reading through Job the other day in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. Some might think that book is depressing because the whole thing is about Job's suffering and lamenting. But I have so many highlights in that section of my Bible because it not only showcases Job's perseverance, but that it's okay to suffer and struggle. We aren't meant to be in a good place 100% of the time. We are, however, meant to seek Jesus both in good times and bad:

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made one as well as the other." - Ecclesiastes 7:14.

While reading through Job, I found this verse: "Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored. (Job 22:21)". One of the problems with feeling anxious is that I completely forget to give my problems over to God. I am so short sighted during those times that I don't even think about stopping to pray-- I just keep worrying. Jewel said it best: "worry is wasteful and useless in times like these" (man, I miss the 90's). But unless I give it to Him, the worry will not only continue, it will increase.

I started thinking about the "be at peace with Him" part of the verse. Aren't I usually at peace with God? Well, not all the time. Sometimes I wonder why life has to be so hard, we all do. But unless I seek Him, I won't get remotely close to finding an answer to that question. It goes hand in hand: submit to God, only then will you be at peace with Him. And as I continue to do that, I believe my heart will start to change into less worry, more hope. Cheers to that concept.

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