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Girl Interrupted

Hi, I am girl interrupted. This is how my day typically goes. I finally get back to sleep, after multiple wake ups from my son, just to be interrupted by a little voice demanding we go down stairs and start the day. I scuffle down the stair and start breakfast, only to be interrupted by the screams of two alpha males fighting over the couch, pillow, show, or car (fill in the blank, they will find something to argue about).

When breakfast is ready, I call the boys to the table. This meal, like most, will be interrupted by more fights and distractions. If my husband is home, we will barely be able to finish a sentence without having to stop to address some desperate need from the kids, that according to them, just can't wait.

This theme carries through my day. My schedule is interrupted by unexpected twists and turns like sick kids, fights breaking out when I just sat down to read my Bible, or cries for help when my hands are deep in the dishwater. My list gets easily side tracked by more pressing issues. My peace derailed by the latest change in the current pandemic, my health, or finances. All which will inevitably end up changing one of many plans I had hoped to have.

Some days I want to scream in frustration, "Why can't things just be simple? Why can't anything go as planned? I'm so tired of being interrupted by life!"

For a while I thought girl interrupted became my new name when I became a mom. But as I look back over the years this has always been a common thread. Life interrupted by my alarm clock, a broken nose, ending of important relationships, cancelled plans due to sickness or bad weather. So many things I planned, never actually ended up the way I thought they would be. And I know I am not the only one stuck in this struggle.

Arguably one of the biggest interruptions the world has ever seen is the current pandemic. So many things on hold. Including our breaths as we wait for whatever way the pendulum will swing next. If we aren't careful, we will end up swinging with it. Our peace and sanity upended multiple times a day.

I wish my type A personality let me roll with things more easily. Unfortunately, I am the "make a list for your list" kind of person. Keeping my cool and composure when things aren't in my control is a battle I fight daily. It's easy for me to cling to peace when life goes my way, not so much when it doesn't.

I can't help but think there must be a common issue surrounding our need for control and our panic when we feel as if there is none. It might seem small and insignificant, but might I suggest fear? Fear that if we lose control, we won't be able to predict, prepare and maybe even evade hard times. The ironic thing is, we never had the control in the first place. Things like my to do list, carefully kept calendar and proper hand washing are things that give me a sense of security, but the reality is, the only sure rock-solid security we will ever find is in Jesus.

Since Jesus is not tangible that makes this truth so difficult. We want security we can see and feel. From the home security system, to the cleaning routine, we want something that quiets the fear, if only for a few moments so our weary hearts and minds can rest. After years of chasing this exhausting pursuit, I still catch myself walking these same patterns. Reaching for security in whoever and whatever I can find. So often its ruthlessly snatched away before I can even grab hold of it. And so, I find myself off chasing the next promise of health, healing and peace. None of them every stick.

It's not till I am on my knees in desperation that I remember the only one who has, and will, ever keep me safe has been sitting next to me this whole time. While I might not be able to physically see Jesus, I can see his hand over my life. Every happy, sad, terrifying and out of control moment, he was clearly there. Too often, in my busyness, I just see the things that disrupt my peace as circumstantial and annoying. But I'm beginning to see that every interruption is an opportunity for me to slow down and hear his voice calling peace to my heart. A moment in time for me to allow God to take back control of my day and write a different story.

I can kick and scream against the change. I can fight to keep my hands in the mix so I feel confident in my false sense of control. Or I can surrender all I know and want, for everything he promises me. Joy. Peace. Healing. Grace. Forgiveness. A hope and a future. But if I really trust God to take care of me, then it will change my response to all the interruptions I may face. Big or small, God cares about each one. God cares when I feel terrified by the unknowns of life. He sees my tears and frustrating days. He feels my pain. He understands my weakness. And therefore, I know that he is always working something good. Even when I can't see it. His power is more than enough. And no amount of my human help can add to, or alter, the truth that he has complete and total control of the universe.

If I have always been girl interrupted, then God has always been LORD - The creator or it all. The great I AM. God with us. In control before our first breath and still in control far after we are gone. In each of my future interruptions, I pray that I will take a moment to breathe. Refusing to rush into panic mode and fix the pieces to align with my desires. But instead surrendering it all to God and asking what he would want to do with my day and my plans.

He holds the whole world in his hands. He never makes a mistake. And he has, and always will be, good. If there is ever a security system worth investing in, its Jesus. Our refuge in the storm. Our peace in the panic. Our healer in the pain. Our rescuer. Our friend. Our father. Our Savior. Our King. The only one who can guarantee he will never break his promise to you. Rest in his safety. He won't ever leave you or forsake you.

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.

Zephaniah 3:17

Photo Credit - Julia Costanzo Photography

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