I try not to ever ‘claim’ that I am stressed. Namely because I used to believe in the whole ‘name it and claim it’ movement of if you ‘claim’ you are stressed, then you will be stressed.
I didn’t ‘claim’ this
I stopped believing in this movement sometime ago, but after 2019, I really had to let it go.
In June of 2019, everything came to a head when I had to have a hysterectomy because my gynecologist found abnormal cells on my cervix, which turned out to be pre-cancerous. So in that case, hysterectomy was the best option. I received this information in mid May, and by June 28th, I had my surgery. Let’s back up a few months to April, right after Easter. My hubby and I just finished an extreme fast for lent, and it was time for me to see our family doctor for a routine checkup. My doctor found that my white blood cells were low, and sent me to see an oncologist. Her reasoning was that, it could possibly be leukemia.
So from April to June, I had been poked, prodded, and operated on. This caused an internal stress which I had NEVER once in my life… to my knowledge, claimed. I normally worked out 3 to 4 times a week, played around with our kiddos, really was just all around active. We ate well, drank lots of water, all of the things we're told help us stay healthy, and here I was being tested to see if I had cancer, and removing organs because they were pre-cancerous. This internal stress snuck up on me out of nowhere. Never claimed stress, yet found myself stressing about an awful lot. I stressed about if I had cancer or not, what would we do if I did? Would it take my life? How would my husband deal with it? How would our kids deal with it? Then about the hysterectomy… would I be the same after? Would my body go through changes for the worst? Would my hubby and my sex life be altered? Would this, would that, stress, stress, stress!
To be honest, I never really had much empathy for people who ‘claimed' that they had stress and anxiety. I felt as if those people didn’t claim to have a sound mind, or trust God’s word, or they brought this stress on themselves. Well, the Lord quickly helped me to realize that wasn’t the case at all. Internal Stress (worry) can cause anxiety, panic attacks, cancer, and a whole slew of health issues.
My result was a major case of being pessimistic (when I was a normally optimistic person) and having 5 to 10 min panic attacks throughout the day starting from the time I woke up in the morning.
My doctor prescribed 3 prescriptions, which I opted out of. Call me crazy, or call be brave, but I just didn’t want to feel like I did when my doc put me on anti-depressants after our son passed away.
So, I did the next best thing… I read scripture, I quoted scripture, I listened to scripture, I listened to worship music, and none of that seemed to help. Then the ‘name it and claim it’ came back to me and I now thought that I was to blame. My faith must have been null and void. But, today, I don’t believe that at all!
He uses pain to grow us
Ok, just so we all understand, I am nowhere near ‘grown’. I believe that God used this ‘stressful’ time to cultivate the growing process in me. Job 23:10
One very important truth that I was reminded of was God’s sovereignty. He can use whatever He wants to humble us, grow us, or make us stronger. Doesn’t Paul say when I am weak, then I am strong? 2 Corinthians 2: 9-11
It was this truth that I was and still am resting in. The truth that God’s plan is good. Even if it doesn’t look or feel good to me, its good.
I say ‘still am resting in’ because the aftermath of my hysterectomy has been difficult. I am not the same me as I once was. I now have these moments of feeling off balance, like there is a wave in my vision. Sorta like the feeling of being on a boat. I am no longer as playful with our kiddos, with concern of an off balance ‘episode’, that causes a panic attack. I have to sit and rest more than I’ve ever had to. Actually, I most likely never really did. I’ve gone to see the cardiologist, the neurologist, and still see the oncologist, with no answer as to why I have these ‘episodes’. Yet, what I continue to rest in is the truth that God is sovereign, and He knows exactly what He’s doing.
Our stories were written before time existed
My thought is that stress is a real thing, and yes, can sometimes be brought on by factors that take place in our everyday life decisions. However, some, and I’d say most, are brought on by situations that we did not ask for and are out of our control. Those are the moments we must remember that nothing is ever out of God’s control, and He is the One who actually wrote our story to begin with Psalm 139:16.
Yes, some of our stories seem worse than others, and more painful for sure, but God knew that they would be. God also knew that the stress that you dealt with would lead you to His throne room of grace, where He would comfort you and be your strength.
Your stress is not a punishment because of a lack of faith, it is a tool to build up your faith for your good and His glory. Romans 8:29 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Sister, hear this - you are faithful, not faithless. God is doing something in and through you for your good and His glory! Trust His process to grow your faith in this season of stress. Remember that He is sovereign in all things!
Be Faithful, Be Free