For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Though a Floridian all my life, I was either too young or have blocked from my memory participating in the drills brought about by the Cuban Missile Crisis and Florida’s proximity to Cuba. Then, schoolchildren learned to duck and cover underneath their desk. The Floridians that I have talked to who remember those days say they felt nervous all the time worried that an explosion would strike suddenly killing their families and leaving them orphaned. For the last few weeks, I have also felt a gut wrenching anxiety about youngest son’s future. It is hard to reconcile my deep belief that nothing will come to him that is not from God’s Hand with my motherly fear that he will not get the things he most desires from life. I think it must be a little like schizophrenia. While I don’t mean to make light of that disease, I limp along one moment confident and sure and the next in despair. Remembering that I promised you transparency, I will confess that a few months ago I went to the doctor thinking I was having an asthma attack. He told me that there was nothing wrong with my lungs, but that my esophagus was swollen. Then, he asked if I was worried about something. You know how when overcome with emotion, we feel like we have a lump in our throat? It is because in times of heightened fear, anxiety or sorrow, our throats really do begin to close. I was embarrassed and relieved at the same time but didn’t fill the prescription. Through prayer and scripture, I have overcome the anxiety without medication, but the combination of work related problems and the stress of all youngest son’s paperwork for job and mission trip have been pushing me closer to my own missile crisis. Yesterday, I rushed around at lunch time to get the mission trip money and application overnight mailed. Today, I worked on his job application. The paperwork is not available on line and his handwriting is so poor that I typed it for him on an old electric typewriter at work. I was in the middle of it when I spotted a dot of blood on one page. I started looking and almost every page had a bloody thumbprint on it. When it is cold my hands crack and bleed, and I did not notice my thumb was bleeding. While I scrubbed it off or covered it with whiteout, I thought to myself how appropriate that a mother’s blood would be on her child’s job application! There might as well be tears, too. I feel better now that all that paperwork is done, but can’t stop thinking about those red spots on that bright white paper. If I really truly believe that Jesus loved me enough to shred His blood for me, then, why don’t I act like it? Fifty years ago, it was missiles. Today it is earthquakes and the economy. But, God’s Hand never waivers nor fails.