Why are we changing the rules? Did something happen when I looked the other way? Why do things feel different? Are we ok?
This is what anxiety sisters do when the applecart is upset. We ask a lot of questions, rapid-fire. We wait a good 1.5 seconds for answers. When they don’t come, we know this is a sign of the apocalypse.
I’m going to give you a moment to send blessings on my husband. Especially since most anxiety sisters are of average size and turn into Category 3 hurricanes at the most.
Not me. I am six feet of Category 5 coming at you.
The last seven days have been stormy in my house.
I have a child in a new school through no fault of his own. Because he came from me, he also hates change. And now he is the new kid. Again. In the middle of the school year. Again. He doesn’t know where the pencils are. Again.
Plus, when you’ve been bullied repeatedly over a long period of time, you may come out of that with some anger. You may have a really short trigger when you think people are not listening to you. You may even feel guilty that all of this is somehow your fault.
Then, it was Thanksgiving. We do it small but still. There’s shopping and parties and 3 year olds who run fevers right before the whole world goes on vacation for four days.
To call the pediatrician or not call the pediatrician? That is the question that will spin a tropical storm mama into a Category 2.
Then on Friday after dinner my mom was crying into the phone. I think the number of times this has happened in my life is less than the fingers on one hand. My dad—who’d had surgery ten days before—was experiencing a complication that required another emergency surgery. They’d been up since 4 am, sitting at the ER since 10 and my dad was so hopped up on pain meds that he was barely awake as they rolled him away.
WEATHER BULLETIN: Hurricane Mama is now Category 5 with winds in excess of 200 mph and a 100% chance of precipitation. All humans living within the affected area are directed to take shelter immediately. And STAY there, for the love of God.
It was a dodgy 12 hours. I activated every prayer chain I know, and women all over the country called down the power of heaven to be with my family.
My dad came through surgery like a champ and is on the road to recovery. My mom got some sleep and her feet back under her. Gabriel came home from school with an invitation to a birthday party. Some might even say that things are looking up.
Hurricane Mama is not so sure. Or maybe it’s that the stress of it all seems to linger. Why these things seem to come in clumps, I’ll never understand. I am grateful for the calm after the storm, I truly am. I revel in it.
But it takes me a minute to get there.
If you have an anxiety sister in your life, can I make a plea on her behalf? This is a tough time of year. Chances are, she’s had it planned out in her head for months, but life happens, like last week. She’s going to need a minute to reorder it in her head and her heart, and there may be wind and rain before she does.
Tell the kids to take shelter, because we don’t need to add guilt to the storm. Then help her by doing something, by taking something off her list. The fastest way to calm the storm is by controlling the things that are easy to control. I can’t explain why, but it makes the big, out of our control things seem so much easier to bear when the little things are going right.
It will pass and she will be your uber-competent, joyful wife-daughter-sister-friend again before you know it
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)