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Clear Mind

July 23, 2007

Two days ago, I took off on a trip to North Carolina. (I’m going to live here someday, by the way).

For the past year, my mind has been so clogged up with anxiety, stress, frustration, and plain ole’ garbage that I have not been able to think clearly about ANYTHING! It’s been one glorified mess and I was sick and tired from having a clogged up mind. The only thing I can “liken” it to is being trapped in a thick fog and trying to feel my way through it. Very scary and very debilitating on the front end … but then again, a test of faith to realize that you are totally dependent upon God to bring you through.

Two weeks ago, what seemed to me a break in the fog took place. Suddenly, I could see where I was and got a glimpse of where I was going. After holding my breath for so long, I was finally able to breathe. Unless one ever experiences it, one might not be able to conceive how disabling and hopeless stress, anxiety and most likely depression can be.

I had not even fully realized that this had lifted until two days ago. I was sitting in a Cracker Barrel waiting for my food. Like many do, I began to work on that little golf tee puzzle that is placed on every table. In all my life, I think I have only solved the thing one time … and it was quite randomly. However, on this particular day, I solved it again.

I was taken back by this accomplishment and thought, “Well, I wonder if I can do it again.”

I solved it again. Then I solved it again. And again, and again and again. I solved it ten times in a row before my food was brought to me. Now to some that might not seem like such a feat … but sitting there doing this I knew that God was showing me something very important and very special.

I said to the Lord, “My goodness. What’s going on here. Am I suddenly able to think more clearly or what?”

I could almost hear Him say, “Carole, why is it that you always think you have to know ‘what’s going on?”

I do think that. Not just to be nosy or in the know, but somehow I think that I’m supposed to have things figured out and know what to do next.

A long time ago, my uncle Cooper said something to me that was a bit insulting, but thinking on it right now, I find it humorous.  I was and really enjoyed being involved in politics. In fact, I even thought I might pursue some area of elected office. My uncle, who was the Trustee of Polk County and involved in politics all of his life, said to me, “You think too much to ever make it in politics.”

Hmmm?  Interesting concept. I thought that thinking was a good thing, but in recent history I guess I would have to agree that those who think less go farther … at least in politics, perhaps.

But maybe I do tend to try and figure things out too much. The need to have all the answers all the time does seem to defeat the need for faith.  Recently in my prayer journal, I finally admitted to God that I just could not think any more. I could not come up with a suitable plan and quite frankly I was tired of trying.

Again, I bet He let out a BIG, “Whew! Maybe now we can get somewhere.”

As it turned out, after months and months of frustration, disappointment, headache and stress — with nothing happening, no answer, and lots of well-meaning advice about how God is in control and has a better plan than I can ever conceive —- I can see that all my efforts at knowing and having some kind of control were in vain.  His plan is better and it does come at just the right time.  Now hear me letting out a BIG “WHEW!”

I’ve come to NC to pick up Jack. He’s been with his sister for a month. I’ve used that time for respite, re-evaluation and revival. Prayer and just sitting with the Lord, prayer journaling and yes, even some crying … have brought me to this place today.

I won a $100 gift certificate and we decided to use it to come on over and sit on the beach for a day or two.  Since Christie has lived in NC, driving to the beach has been more accessible and affordable. Even so, amidst all my efforts to try and figure out life … I’ve been distracted from the things one should enjoy on the beach.

Yesterday, we went to the beach with no PRE-preparation at all. No tanning lotion, no lounge chair, no cooler, no writing pad or pen, no IPOD, no radio, no book to read … just a towel on the wet sand — and a  little boy chasing and running from the waves.  I watched my precious son run down to the water and immediately make new friends with two boys and for two hours they frolicked in the ocean waves.

And I said to God, “This is the best thing about the beach. I’m glad I don’t have to think about anything else today except the smile and sound of laughter coming from my son. ”

Oh the blessings of a clear mind.  Thank you, God.

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