I am afraid of a lot of things. Everything, if I am being honest.
I am afraid of the news, so I stopped watching it.
I am afraid of world events spilling into my Facebook feed, so I stopped checking it. The nightmares it would give me. I wake up crying. Imagine that, night terrors for an adult?
I am afraid when I step outside and get into the car, for fear of an accident. My husband works over two hours away. Silly me, I feel like I am under a protective Teflon coating when he’s home.
I am afraid when my husband has to travel on a plane.
I am a mother and I fear for my children, their future, the future of this country and the future of our political choices.
You must be thinking, how does this woman get out of bed? Make it through her day? Her fear must affect her children and her marriage?
I am sure it does. I am sure that my kids double and triple check every lock when we shut down at night, because of me. I am sure, that my husband texts more than he normally would to assuage my need to be sure he is ok. I can even go so far as to say that my youngest, who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, gets it from me. That’s a lot of fear in my house. I struggle with it and wrestle it to the ground, every moment of every day.
I take each pang as it comes and pray it into submission as best I can with a third or fourth rosary for the day or a memorized scripture verse, repeated over and over, until I drive the fear out. You know the ones:
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. Psalm 138:3
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Humble yourselves, then, under God's mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
But, it wasn’t until I went to confession last weekend, that I was given another tool to help me. One that was right under my nose all along. Isn’t that always the way? After I made confession, my priest said:
Sometimes, you can only pray. Everything else is up to God. And you know what, Cristina? You’re in the right place. You came here. Cleave to Him, wrap your arms around God and He will not fail you. Keep praying, Cristina. Don’t stop.
You see, in my fear, I feel like I need to do more. More than pray the rosary, novenas, chaplets, litanies and repeat memorized scripture verses. I feel that I need to intervene somehow, or make others intervene to assuage my anxiety. Interject, help, change, redirect, something, anything to prevent the fear, to stop it in it’s tracks. I don’t have that power. I do have the power of prayer. My prayer. I forgot how strong that was.
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My prayers are enough. My 7th rosary before bedtime is enough. In those moments, I am cleaving to God. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, but I am wrapped so tightly around His ankles in prayer, eyes shut tight, that I didn’t think it was enough. I forgot that my strength lies in the praying. The ceaseless praying.
Everything else is up to God.
Copyright 2016 Cristina Trinidad
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