“Have no anxiety…” (Philippians 4:6)
I started a new job this week so I am in a period of transition. For me, anxiety comes with the territory, along with uncertainty and second-guessing. Did I make the right decision? How will things work out? Will I be able to…? and on and on.
One morning, in the week before I started my new job, St. Paul’s words came to me, “Have no anxiety….” I love St. Paul for his directives. I love his certainty and confidence.
Have no anxiety. Trust. Let go.
My new job is at a support and resource center for people who have been touched by cancer, so perspective on my anxiety came fairly quickly. Talking with someone who is facing cancer helped me remember what really matters and what is worth my time and energy.
When Jim was sick and someone was worried or complaining about something that seemed trivial to me, I would ask, “Is it brain cancer?”
That was my standard—brain cancer. Anything less than that seemed utterly manageable. Perhaps it was not a fair standard to apply, maybe even a bit harsh, but it was my frame of reference at the time.
Now I am surrounded by people who have been touched by cancer. Some are in treatment, some are survivors, some are walking beside family or friends who have cancer, and some are grieving.
All week, memories from my experience with Jim and his cancer have been stirred up. I remember the difficulties of that time, and I also remember how Jim and I laughed every day and were grateful every day. I have been thinking of all the people who helped us and supported us. I remember how generous people were to us. I am deeply aware of how blessed we were and I am.
It was an awful time and also a graced time, a reminder that every curse has a blessing.
Anxiety? All I needed was a different frame of reference. I needed to look through a different lens. My anxiety has been replaced by gratitude and a hope that my experience with Jim and others I have known who have been touched by cancer will help me to be compassionate to those who come to The Lake House seeking comfort and support.
I thank St. Paul for his advice: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”
Instead of anxiety, gratitude, trust and hope.