I came home on Saturday from a writer's conference and had an anxiety attack. It wasn't a real anxiety attack, just a moment (actually two days) worth of--
"OH MY GOSH! HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE! I'M HAVING A BABY AND HOMESCHOOLING AND I'M TEACHING A CLASS AND I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME OR ENERGY! HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE?"
Then because I always like to keep the drama high and tight up in here, I thought about my to-do list and broke out in hives:
1. Finish ordering books for the school year.
2. Buy school supplies.
3. Organize and label school supplies per child.
4. Write syllabus/parent letter/lesson plans for the high school grammar class I'm teaching.
5. Write my own children's lesson plans for the school year.
6. Buy cleats, shin guards, and water bottles for the four soccer teams.
7. Make a yearly calendar with important school dates/activities/sports, etc.
And this was just a list of school related stuff. I wasn't even thinking about the bomb of a house we live in or the (dirty, dirty, dirty) laundry or the foodless pantry or the amount of stuff overtaking my house or the lack of organization in every room!
So I did what I do best when I'm stressed, I started yelling at everyone, which did nothing to help the situation and only made it worse. After about 24 hours of my stress-tizzy, John suggested I stay home by myself to get some things crossed off the list while he took the kids to Sunday morning Mass and a pool party.
(I think his actual words were, "I really don't want to be around you right now. You are not fun. Stay home. Work. Get it done.")
Like a petulant child, I listened to him, got my laptop, and knocked some things out. Even with the several hour reprieve, I still barely made a dent. I feel so... pinched.
This morning, when I woke up, I snuck downstairs and I opened my Bible. (This, by the way, was probably the first mature thing I've done since I rolled back into town on Saturday.) My eyes fell upon the story of the hemorrhaging woman who was completely healed when she touched Jesus' cloak (Mark 5, I think). After I read the whole passage, I pictured this woman, who must have been in a great deal of physical pain, crawl up to Jesus amidst a throng of other followers and reach a shaky handy out to grab his cloth. Then I thought about what it must have been like to have His healing energy zoom out of His body and into hers. A minute before this woman was bleeding to death and the next, her health was completely restored.
No more hemorrhaging!
No more health worries!
No more physical suffering!
The Bible says when Jesus felt his healing power go out of him, he looked around, saw the woman and said:
"Your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free of your suffering."
Just by touching His cloak, the hemorrhaging woman was made well and freed from suffering.
I thought of my crazy to-do list that seems so insurmountable and I realized the list seems insurmountable because it is insurmountable, especially when I try to do it by myself. Unlike the hemorrhaging woman, I'm not on my knees crawling towards Christ. I'm not begging God to help me, to heal me, to make me well. I'm off in the corner pretending I'm SUPERWOMAN and I'm failing miserably. Just like Camille, my two-year old, says, "I do it myself, Mama," I say the same thing to Christ.
"I got it, Lord. I'll just do this one by myself."
And like the good and gracious God He is, He lets me.
This morning, the hemorrhaging woman reminded me what I really need to do is get down on my hands and knees and crawl to Him. Instead of acting like I've got everything covered and Am In Control, I need to go to the only Helpful Source I know. I need to crawl and reach out my hand and touch His cloak.
"Why don't you have confidence in me, your creator? Why do you rely on yourself? Am I not faithful and loyal to you? Redeemed and restored to grace by virtue of the blood of my only Son, man can then say that he has experienced my fidelity. And, nevertheless, he still doubts, it would appear, that I am sufficiently powerful to help him, sufficiently strong to help and defend him against his enemies, sufficiently wise to illuminate the eyes of his intelligence or that I have sufficient clemency to want to give him whatever is necessary for his salvation. It would appear that I am not sufficiently rich to make his fortune, not beautiful enough to make him beautiful; one might say he is afraid not to find enough bread in my home to nourish himself, nor clothing with which to cover himself."
--The Dialogue of St. Catherine Of Siena, taken from Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Jacques Phillipe