The other night, I woke up at 4 am, wide away and overcome with a sense of anxiety. It wasn’t a panic attack, but my heart wasn’t buying my head’s coaxing that everything was fine and to go back to sleep.
Finally, I tossed off the covers and retreated to my quiet place. Opening the Psalms, I started reading in the last place I had left off and just prayed that the words would soak into my insecure soul. The enemy was feeding me lies: You’ll never be enough. You’re not doing a good job.
A personal story
Transparency moment: I’m an easy-going person who finds pleasure in life’s simple joys. I never realized how much my personality would clash with all the expectations people place on weddings. Truth be told, I don’t care if there are pew flowers or if my dress would be picked on a runway. I’m surprised and not sure how to respond when I hear that people are talking about who’s getting invited to my wedding and who’s not. (Seriously, we’re just trying to keep this simple!) However, the result is that I’m left feeling “less than” or if something is wrong with me, and then I worry I’m disappointing someone.
Of course, I want my special day to be beautiful just like any other bride would want. Yes, I hope those who celebrate with us feel special and appreciated. But what I desire far more is a Christ-centered marriage. At the end of the day, I don’t care about impressing people. I care about loving my future husband well and honoring God through our commitment to each other.
Yet in a culture that obsesses with the external, I often feel out of place and inadequate. Maybe that’s a good thing.
When you feel anxious
Perhaps you’re not stressing over a wedding, but there may be something else keeping you up at night. May I share some of the verses that brought me comfort?
- “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” (Psalm 34:4-5 ESV)
- “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5 NKJV)
- “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear …” (Psalm 46:1-2a NKJV)
- “For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:26 NKJV)
A better solution than sheep
I finally crawled back into bed around five in the morning, closed my eyes, and started whispering over and over, “God cares for you.” That promise was my takeaway from God’s Word. God cares for me. He cares for me so much that He promises to direct my paths and never lead me astray. He cares for me even when other people misunderstand me. He is my good Shepherd, my good Father. He cares for me.
Friend, He cares for you too. If you can’t sleep, find refuge in His Word. Don’t try to count sheep. Latch onto His promises and remember He cares for you.
God Cares for You – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)