I stood by my friend’s grave on a warm winter day. I could hear the birds twittering in the trees and the faint roar of the cars from the nearby road. She has been gone for ten years and I visit annually to bring fresh flowers and to update her on the children that she did not see grow up. I shared with her how that little six year old girl is now a 16 year old woman with a boyfriend. I told with her that the bright eight year old boy with autism was now 18. And as I shared with her the amazing news he was now driving and that he attends college on a scholarship, it was as if I untapped a well of emotion. Unexpected tears burst forth. I sobbed at her graveside as I shared how God had done the miraculous with that sweet autistic boy.
Guilt. Shame. Worry. We all struggle with something. I’ve been walking with God for over 20 years, and these are some of the things that I still struggle with. But worry is my vice. I think of the book Pride and Prejudice, where Mr. Bennett says that Mrs. Bennet’s nerves have been his “constant companion these twenty years.” For me, worry has been my constant companion for my 44 years.
There is one area of fear and worry that has stuck around as I have grown and matured. It comes around once a year, right after Thanksgiving. It is the fear of shopping in the month of December. It is the fear of leaving my home on Saturday’s in December, or going out AT ALL the week of Christmas. Especially Christmas Eve, when throngs of people are doing last minute shopping and are clogging up parking lots and roads. My heart beat is speeding up just thinking about it!