Thud. Thump. Thump. Thump.
My eyes popped wide open. It’s just William turning over and hitting his head on the wall, I thought. Or he’s got up to get some water. But it was too late, my eyes were open now. My mind started racing.
What if there was an intruder in the house? What if he meant to harm my son? What if it was another noise, something that had caught on fire? Then my mind raced to the “how?” How would I get him away from an intruder? What if they had a gun? How would I escape this house with my daughter, and how would we get to William if the stairs going up to his room were on fire?
Stop, Courtney! I thought to myself. Everything is OK, you do this every night. Just give it to God and go to sleep!
OK, just check the monitor already. Yeah, he’s OK. He’s backward on his bed, but he’s OK.
Give it to God and go to sleep.
But then my mind was on to other things. What would I do if my children got COVID? What would we do if we got COVID, who would take care of the kids? Do we like where we live or should we be back in Montana? Do I want to go back to work after COVID is over and put my children back in daycare? Do I even want to go back into HR when I do go back to work?
All this worrying, and in my mind, yet I know, God is in control. It’s his plan, not mine, that will become complete. He’s the author of my story.
I’ve always been a worrier, really for as long as I can remember. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety at the age of 19, and looking back, I’m not sure what I worried about then because motherhood has brought me far more worry and fear.
At night is when the worry sets in since that’s when I have the most time to think.
It started whenever my husband traveled for work, I started worrying that an intruder would come in and hurt my babies. I would lay awake all night long in a panic attack, unable to close my eyes. Recently, after witnessing the two houses next door to us on fire, I’m now worried about fire, especially since my son is on the second floor and we’re on the first floor.
So how is someone with anxiety supposed to cope? Every. Single. Night.
I’ve done medication before (and probably need it again), but when I was pregnant with my first, I had to get off it and have not been on it since. Lately, I’ve leaned on scripture and read what God has to say in regards to fear. There are so many passages that address fear, hundreds in fact. This one (at least on this day) stands out to me the most: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
But of course, grabbing my Bible in the middle of the night to start reading probably won’t help me get back to sleep anytime soon.
So what do I do? I pray.
And it’s the same prayer He’s heard a thousand times before, and it’s the same prayer every mother says before she goes to bed, “God, please keep my children safe, healthy, and happy.”
I was recently watching Jane the Virgin just to pass the time when I was sitting in the rocking chair, feeding the baby. And there was an episode where Jane’s son, Mateo, is wanting to pray over and over again for his sick Abuela. Mateo believes if he prays constantly, God will heal her and take her cancer away. His dad, Rafael, knew that if her cancer did not go away and she was to die, they would then have to explain to Mateo why God didn’t answer his prayer causing the poor child to turn away from Him.
Rafael explained to Mateo that just because we pray for something, doesn’t mean it will come true to which Mateo responds, “Then why do we pray to God if he doesn’t answer every prayer?”
Rafael then responded with, “Because it gives us strength.” (An impressive response from Rafael who is not religious or Catholic like Jane.)
It gives us strength. He gives us strength.
God gave me a father who was a cop, so yes, I fear criminals breaking into my house to harm my babies and me. But He gives me strength.
God ensured that night that our house did not catch fire like the two next to us. He woke us up so we could respond and make sure our neighbors were safe. His plan was at work and He gave me strength.
And while I may install a security system and a few more smoke detectors in my house, He gives me strength so that when the night time comes I just need to remember this phrase: Give it to God and go to sleep.