Is Your Mama Heart Weary With Anxiety? Let Go: God’s Got This!
“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” — Psalm 27:14
Trusting God and waiting on His answers has always been challenging for me as a Type A recovering perfectionist mama. However, I have learned through navigating some fierce life storms how vital God’s instructions are to our heart strength and even physical well-being as mothers — especially when it involves waiting on Him and having courage in the process.
In 2012, I experienced a physical panic attack for the first time. This event snowballed into a year of anxiety-related health challenges that crushed me physically and emotionally. As the bad days rolled into challenging months of seeing doctor after doctor, trying to make sense of the disparate medical opinions and remedies being offered (and trust me, I tried it ALL), God placed a few key people in my path who helped point me toward a road to recovery. I began to accept that God wasn’t going to “take it away” overnight like I was pleading for in my prayers, yet He was right there with me every moment of those dark days — showing me His presence in other ways and leading me to the solutions I needed.
Although I clung tightly to the Lord and the life-giving truth of His Word throughout this experience, I had to be honest with myself about one revelation: There were still areas of my life that I was not trusting God to take care of.
Psalm 27:14 reminds me of two critical lessons I learned during this challenging year. First, I realized that I wasn’t willing to wait for God to answer my prayers. My mind swirled constantly with ideas and solutions to make things happen on my own — right away. After my evening prayers for direction regarding financial struggles, homeschooling challenges, and my health concerns, I would immediately turn my mind’s “lightbulb” back on to troubleshoot these problems myself. I wasn’t placing my concerns in God’s hands and actually letting them go. As a result, I wasn’t experiencing His peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Phillippians 4:7) at a time when I really, truly needed it.
Second, many of my actions at the time didn’t reflect “good courage” and trust in the Lord. Although I took on new ministry opportunities, such as starting the blog NextGen Homeschool and being a leader in my homeschool support group, I would not step out in faith in a direction that I didn’t think I could handle myself. I would hear miraculous stories of God’s provision from friends who acted upon God’s calling without a safety net, and I wished for their confidence. I was too afraid to let go and let God show up without my help.
Motherhood gave me many more things to add to my control list. Mysterious allergies and health concerns? I’ll just do more research and consult with more types of doctors until someone can lead me to an answer. Parenting philosophies? I’ve read enough parenting books to know what’s best, and when I have trouble, I’ll just read another book. Even though I prayed for direction, I didn’t really wait on the Lord to guide me through more time in His word. Instead, I relied on what made sense to me after reading more books, combing through more websites, and asking for more opinions from friends.
However, through my struggles with physical anxiety, I have learned that God is not just there for me, He’s there for my daughters as well. I might think I can protect them from all the things I fear by making rational and educated decisions, but the truth is we have no guarantees. I had to decide if I was going to trust God, wait on His direction, and maintain peace in the process — or continue drowning on my own.
As a mom, I’ve learned that the only way to experience true peace about raising children is to give them right back to God. I needed to acknowledge that all my reading, research, and rational strategies weren’t enough. Some things will work out, but some storms will wipe us out if we’re not mothering from a heart that’s surrendered to God.
Waiting on the Lord is all about trust. To this day, I still deal with some physical anxiety symptoms. Most days are good, praise God! Over the years, God has provided wise counsel and medical professionals that continue to help me address the symptoms that persist through nutrition, supplements, essential oils, exercise, and counseling.
However, my strength now comes from knowing in my heart that God is holding me in His very capable arms — and He’s got this. The constant pressure to “fix it” has been replaced with His peace that literally surpasses all my understanding. I’m trusting Him to strengthen me sufficiently for the roles He’s calling me to fill right now. And I’m listening to heart tugs from the Holy Spirit and His word, not just a good parenting book, to guide me as a mother.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” — Phillippians 4:6-7
What areas of motherhood have been particularly challenging for you to wait on the Lord for direction about? What parenting fears have held you back? Have you experienced any trust breakthroughs along the way? How do these verses speak to you about how God wants to meet you in the storms and strengthen your heart?
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