I heard on the radio a few months ago that all babies are born with two fears: the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. All other fears are learned. I don't know about you, but I am afraid of more than loud noises and falling. Somewhere between infancy and now, I acquired a few new things to be anxious about.
I used to say that I hate change. I was talking to Parker the other day about something I was anxious about and again spouted off that I hate change. He quickly pointed out that isn't in fact true. He told me that I didn't actually mind change. I just didn't like the unknown. I sat there and stared at him. He was exactly right. I embrace moving to new places and enjoy meeting new people. I don't mind change if I know it's coming. What I don't like is the unknown, and that is my biggest fear.
For example, Darla is now the fourth member of our family and has quickly made her way into our hearts, but those who know me know that I was so anxious about getting her. I knew we were helping out a friend, but Darla represented a big fat pile of unknowns. Would she adapt? Would Jenny like having her around? Could we train her to obey our rules? Was it possible for me to ever love her as much as I love Jenny?
There are just so many unknowns in this world that I will never be able to control, and it scares the heck out of me. More than anything, Parker and I want children one day. Will we get that opportunity? Will Parker be protected as he goes on deployment and finds himself in harm's way? Will bad things happen to the ones that we love? These are real fears, real anxieties. The reason I feel anxious about each of these things is because there is a real possibility that each of these fears could become a reality. Church this week was about anxiety, and I was listening with everything I had. This verse is one I know by heart, but it's also one I need to repeat every time I let fear in.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."- Philippians 4:6
Let's look back at the Darla situation. It's been a month since we took her in, and life is just peachy perfect with her around. Jenny loves having a built in buddy. Darla loves having people to love on her. We love seeing how happy she is here and how happy she and Jenny are together. If you've read the story of Darla, you know that I firmly believe she showed up on our doorstep in Florida 2 years ago for a reason. I think there was a reason we were supposed to be a part of her life, and I think God knew all along that we would be taking care of her while her mom is away. Looking ahead, I already know it is going to be so difficult to give her back in a year. Had I just trusted that God had a plan and knew what He was doing, I would have avoided all of the anxiety and lost sleep and arguing I caused.
That's just it though. I like to be in control. I like to know exactly what is going to happen and when it's going to happen. The thing is, when I give God control, He makes the situation more beautiful than the way I imagined it. We now have more love in our home thanks to Darla. The unknowns in the Navy that have seemed discouraging or disheartening have actually turned into huge blessings, and we wouldn't trade where we are or the plane Parker is flying for any other path. God had a plan bigger than our own. All we had to do was trust Him.
I don't know why it is so hard to trust God, but He continues to give me hundreds of chances to do so. Romans 8:28 is probably the verse I quote most often in my head. "For we know in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose". God is working for us. He is on our team. All we have to do is trust Him.