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Calm My Anxious Heart

Some days I feel like I play hookie from work. Nursing is hard and as many of you know, this viral season has hit the kiddos and the pediatric nurses harder than at other times in the pandemic. And it seems to have finally hit me as well. On Monday, at 4am, I found myself awake for the 5th time that night— I literally woke up every hour from the anxiety of having to go into work bright and early at 7am. I said a quick prayer and called out sick.

I’ve often struggled with calling out sick for a “personal” or “mental health day”. I seem to do it more and more the longer I work at the children’s hospital. As I lay in bed afterwards, the familiar wave of guilt washed over me. I rolled over and tried to fall back asleep. Didn’t work. So here I went: first to social media, then my emails, then a book, back to YouTube—anything but the obvious thing that would probably fix my anxiety: reading the Bible, then prayer. It’d been a few weeks since I’d prayed this early in the morning. Normally, it's a quick “Please help me to keep them alive” in the car as I drive to work. I sighed, started my audio Bible in Habakkuk (that’s where we are in BSF) and then started to pray. I can’t tell you what I prayed about or for how long or even what I heard from Habakkuk. All I know is that I finally fell asleep. When I was doing my DTS (Discipleship Training School), I developed the discipline to wake up by 5:00am and be ready to sit with God at 6:00am. Every day. Someone once described these times to me like this: having a standing date with God—for how can you grow in your relationship if you don’t spend time with one another?? The more I participated in these standing dates, the less anxious I felt.

I was able to continue this for quite a few years after coming home from missions. I’m not sure when or why I stopped. What I do know is the discipline of spending that much time with God calmed my anxious heart. I could rest knowing that my hope for the upcoming day is in Him. I think I need to resurrect that standing date. God’s calling me to that discipline again. I feel blessed to be able to say that I could probably plan my day around my time with God. Would you join me in doing the same?

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NASB

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