Today was a not-so-good day. It started as I lay awake early this morning with a knot in my throat and ended this evening at the dinner table with a panicky, sad feeling in my heart.
I am scared. I am scared of the future. I am scared of leaving. I am scared of losing my stability.
There is really no reason for it. I know deep down inside that God will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I have had so many friends and relatives encouraging Toby and I as moving day approaches, saying: Things will be great. We will have new opportunities and new friends. Our ministry will expand and we’ll be so happy in our new home. I agree. I am looking forward to it. But what I am not looking forward to is the feeling that I am leaving or turning my back to every opportunity, every friend, our ministry and our home here. And that doesn’t feel good.
One of my favorite words is “peace,” but I don’t feel it right now. That is why I am scared. That is why I am panicky. I feel like I’ve lost my peace. What’s hard is that I have to go through my normal day, but not feel normal. I vacuum the living room but lament the upcoming loss of my beautiful home. I peel a peach to throw in the fruit salad for the kids, and wonder how I am going to get through the next few years. I stand outside the backyard and wish to God that I wasn’t moving away.
It has been a pusillanimous day.
Pusillanimous means timid; lacking in courage or determination; small spirited. I am definitely lacking courage today. And worse, I am lacking peace.
I think I know why, though. And it has been hard for me to grapple. I know that peace, true peace, comes only from God. I get that. But peace comes after we trust in the God who provides it. Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” The painful truth of my pusillanimous day is that I am struggling to trust God.
I don’t trust that this move is the best thing for us, because it doesn’t feel good. I don’t trust that everything is going to work out for the best, because I think I already have the best right now. I don’t trust that God has clearly prompted our hearts towards seminary. And because I don’t trust, I don’t have peace.
How do you get out of that place of fear and doubt and into that place of trust and peace? I’m going to have to change a few things. First, I am going to have to pray and ask others to pray for me. Second, in order to trust God, I’ve got to get to know him better. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” James 4:8 promises that if you “Draw near to God; he will draw near to you.” There’s that old bumper sticker that states, “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.
The opposite of pusillanimous is magnanimous. It means, very generous or forgiving; willing to face danger and actions for noble purposes; greatness of spirit. It is the kind of day I will have when my soul rests in the Lord. When I allow my spirit to be filled by his Spirit. When I give up my need to know the future and trust in my knowledge of Him.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8