Freshly graduated at 17, we prepared to send our daughter to Nepal and India for 8 weeks. At one point in the process, problems arose. Our missionary advocate relayed hesitantly, “She may not get through India customs with her visa.” Having seen this too many times, she knew the chances were slim.
I told no one but God, avoiding unnecessary anxiety. Pouring out my heart, I pleaded, “Father, grant her favor in the eyes of every Indian Embassy employee who sees her application.” One morning reading the Psalms, a verse jumped off the page as if it were written for my eyes alone.
Have you ever had this happen? The Holy Spirit illuminates Scripture, and you feel He penned it just for you in that moment?
I fervently prayed the verse, working to keep anxiety—ebbing and flowing in swells—at bay. A week later, I got the call. We had her Indian visa—God set her on a path with her destiny!
An undisclosed triumph and precious memory, my Father heard an anxious Momma’s prayers.
I realize this is a seemingly insignificant answer to prayer. Believe me, I’ve prayed more dire prayers: eradicate cancer, defend my marriage, heal my daughter; yet, this was a pivotal moment in my prayer life.
Why this answer? It was profoundly personal and intimate.
When I lived much of my life in contrived fear, my marriage was in a season of unrest, and my daughter had a chance to realize her dream, God took deep interest in my small, seemingly insignificant prayer.
He used this to reveal 2 compelling truths:
- He deeply desires intimacy—every aspect of it.
- His presence allays anxiety, relieving burdens as nothing else can. (Matt.11:28)
I’m learning—I don’t have to figure this out, control or coerce, or be in charge!
A well-known passage settled a little deeper into my soul:
Don’t be anxious about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ. Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t miss this. Read it again…slowly. Let the truths take root within the crevasses of doubt tucked deep within your soul—it’s OK—we all have them.
There’s no shame in doubt. The problem comes when we tuck it deep inside and ignore it.
We’ve all questioned God’s goodness—at least I have. Many wonder if He’ll answer yes, ever again. Few have not struggled with past “no’s.”
The issue isn’t doubt itself—it’s the anxiety rising from the tension between fear and asking.
I want to trust, yet His ways are higher than my small mind’s understanding… No one firmly fathoms the mysteries of God. Some seem to get “more” of Jesus, I believe because they seek Him earnestly. (Deuteronomy 4:29)
I want to be one of those people—so completely captivated with Jesus, I rest with Him, even when chaos swarms like an agitated beehive. So I continue to struggle with
looking for new ways to see His glory here. It’s the only thing sustaining me some days.
Yet, of this I am certain: He is faithful and deeply cares. (1 Peter 5:7)
Momma, this is true for you. Take your anxious concerns for your children—or any circumstance—to Him. Ask, trusting He hears and loves them more than we ever could, and then choose rest.
- Not because He’s answered other’s prayers in a certain way.
- Not because He’s a cosmic Santa Claus, waiting for us to be good enough to deliver.
He’s our good, generous, gentle Shepherd, carefully tending His flock, of which our children are a dear part. (Isiah 40:11)
Just as He tended my daughter’s desire to minister in India. Just as He heard my prayers for my children countless times—with wringing hands, torrents of tears, or silence—when words were lost.
While I fail daily in my attempts to abide in His peace—
Failure is a sign of pursuit.
How about you? What can you do to pursue Him in anxious times? Find time to slow your pace, allowing your soul to be nourished by His presence—relishing rest?
Cultivate presence, meditating on His Word and observing beauty in all its forms? Set aside time to get honest with God, speaking frankly about what generates anxiety, keeps you awake at night, allowing insecurity to creep in? Allow Him access to your deepest unmet needs, secret desires and heartaches.