Dealing with STRESS!
Several weeks ago I went through a time that was very difficult for me. My sister had two bad falls, and as a result, had 2 badly sprained ankles; one of which showed up as being broken, on the x-ray! She lives alone (except for her dog, her cat, and her new puppy) so she needed LOTS of help-which meant I was going back and forth to her house and helping her with things that needed doing; taking care of her, the pets, daily household chores, running errands for her- along with my part-time job as dispatcher at the fire department. Blessedly, I have a wonderful husband that took care of things at home (meals, dishes, washing clothes) so I didn’t have to worry about that. Still, I was tired, stressed, overworked, getting about 4-5 hours of sleep a night…and not sleeping well when I did sleep. As it turned out, my usual “support system” of friends each had their own issues to deal with during that time; one preparing for her wedding coming up in the next couple of weeks, while also working overtime. One was preparing for the soon to be birth of her first grandchild. Still another was in the final days of a divorce, AND in the process of moving her mother “back home”, across 3 states. And on and on it went; everyone I felt I could turn to had their plate full…so I didn’t turn to them. Having my usual support system “gone”, though, forced me to relay on God, and also to learn that I had another friends that wound up being very supportive, giving great advice, and, more than once, even letting me “cry on their shoulder”- from over 1000 miles away! I learned that my friendship with this person goes far deeper than I had ever imagined; and for that, and for just being there for me when I needed it the most, I’d like to say “Thank you!” You will never know how much it meant to me…ever. Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Things seem to be slowing down a bit now- my sister is healing nicely, and becoming more independent, and my time spent at her house is now much more productive.
As it turned out, Satan took the opportunity of me being stressed out to play on some of my greatest doubts and fears. But isn’t that just how he always operates? Attacking us at our most vulnerable areas when we are at our weakest. As the Bible says in I Peter 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” This is why a good support system is vital, along with a daily walk with God. I will admit, my walk with God was pushed to the back burner, due to time restraints but that is EXACTLY when I should have been leaning on Him more, talking with Him, and reading His word even more diligently! Ok, lesson learned…I hope! “Dear Lord, remind me, when I am stressed, that I need you even more! Remind me that it’s those times when I need to draw closer to you. And thank you, Dear Lord, for wonderful friends, who are there for me…when I need it most. Amen.”