now_panic_and_freak_out__by_jweinstock-d3hvgozHey friends —

My last post ended after sharing the craziness of the night fireman, EMT’s, and my first born son Jake filled my bedroom in the middle of the night just two days before Christmas (recap here).

What did I learn from this late-night adventure? Was I an inconsolable frazzled mess? Did I completely freak out and embarrass my husband and son?

Before I fill you in, some brief history. (Stick with me, this should all make sense–promise.)

First, if you know me, you know I typically freak out big time when it comes to things like this.

Sarah hospitalGiven the tragedy I’ve endured in the past, my mind easily goes to worst case scenario. If John is home twenty minutes late, I’m already planning his funeral and wondering if I still fit in my black dress. Remember when Sarah choked on chicken? I thought the doctors were going to have to admit me into the hospital for evaluation.

I’m (usually) good with believing God in the midst of day-to- day stuff. I absolutely know and believe God can deliver and redeem and restore and heal and set free and provide.

BUT, when my loved ones are hurt–triggers and funny buttons and sirens go off all over the place for me.

It’s not pretty, friends. It’s not pretty at. all.

This past fall, I spent months crafting a new Christmas message to share at my holiday speaking events. After studying, reflecting and praying like crazy — I realized afresh the first Christmas was not “Pinterest perfect.” The first Christmas was lonely, stinky, disappointing, dirty, messy—and our lives will be too.

But the good news—God is with us in our mess.

Will you go back and read that last statement out loud? Good news, right friend?!

I wanted to leave women with a simple, practical way to help experience Jesus, our Prince of Peace in the midst of the mess, and after much prayer, I came up with the ABC’s —

A – Always start with Jesus

B – Breathe

C – Choose Peace

Little did I know, I was writing the ABC’s for me.

When paramedics overtook my bedroom, my firstborn is unable to breathe, my husband is holding Jake’s hand while whispering, “Breathe, Jakie, breathe,” my obnoxious dog is a barking fool with all these late-night strangers in our bedroom, and I thought I could pass out any second from the craziness and messiness–

I suddenly remembered God was with us in the mess.

I could completely lose control and get swept up in the wave of panic and anxiety, or I could apply the ABC’s that I’d been reflecting on for the past six months.

Instead of freaking, I thought of A —

A – Always start with Jesus.

I stopped and asked Jesus to invade my bedroom with His presence and peace, and to show Himself strong on behalf of my son and my family.

B – Breathe

I asked God to help me with my breathing. As I inhaled, I asked God to fill me with His peace and strength and comfort and power (knowing if Jake’s mama started freaking out, it wasn’t going to help him or the situation), and as I exhaled, I asked God to help me let go of the stress, worry, anxiety, fear, and “worst case scenarios” that were trying to invade my thoughts.

C – Choose Peace

My mentor taught me when my fiance was killed we always have a choice. Y’all know I absolutely believe this truth in my innermost being. We always have a choice.

And I had a choice. I could go down the “crazy talk” paths in my mind and be overtaken with fear and panic, or I could stop my frightful thoughts and choose peace.

Friends, it worked.

I made it through this stress-full, panic filled night without having a single moment of meltdown. Even Jake asked me the next day how come I was so calm. Jake said, “Weren’t you a tiny bit afraid, Mom?”

I responded, “Absolutely, Jake. Can you imagine how I felt while the paramedics were in our bedroom, or sitting in the front of the ambulance with you in the back getting an IV? It was horrifying—wanting to help, but knowing there was nothing I could do. My panic was deep, Jake–but my peace was deeper. That’s what Jesus will do.”

Now, please know I am not trying to sound like some super Christian. I’m so not. Y’all know that, right?  And if I had freaked out and even made the news or Youtube due to my fit of frenzy, it wouldn’t mean I love Jesus less.

And I am not promising I won’t have major freak out moments again. Given my track record, it’s a good possibility.

But this I know is true — God is with us in our mess.

imagesCAPHO3K0When we invite God in and ask Him to help us to choose peace over panic, He will help us. He really will.

And lest you think our life is now non-messy, it’s not. My family may be healthy, but goodness knows, we still have some messy parts of our lives that need some tending to. And soon.

Friends, are you faced with a mess today? Are there parts of your life that are lonely, stinky, disappointing, or dirty?

Do you need a reminder that God is absolutely Trustworthy and True? I’d be humbled to pray for you. And what if we both committed to —

A – Always starting our day with Jesus

B – Breathing in peace, and breathing out our frustrations, disappointments, and broken expectations  

C – Choosing Peace

Despite our circumstances, let’s allow Peace to rule and reign our thoughts and lives. I’m willing if you are!

How have you experienced peace in your messy moments? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by *She Sparkles* dear friend! May your weekend be filled with oodles of peace, joy and non-life threatening moments!

Sweet blessings,

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