Apart from not being wired for them (I’m a night owl), and my body having a more difficult time in the morning, my mental capacity in the a.m. also leaves little to be desired. He who knit us all into being knows this about us so there’s much to say and is said about meeting with Him in the morning, in scripture.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
There is a biological component to difficult mornings that has to do with rising and lowering hormones and other chemicals in our body, that can (and will!) affect our moods, thoughts and the way we process. If you are a morning struggler, recognizing and accepting that it is what it is and allowing ourselves permission to let things roll through, is the first step to releasing the morning turmoil and tension. I take nothing too seriously in the mornings anymore.
Some days are better than others, but this morning I woke up cranky and twisted in knots; for no reason. (Sometimes I forget this whole morning routine, which is funny [not haha] because it is so frequent. One would think I’d get it by now, but I allow myself permission to be human and forgetful. His mercies are new every morning. 🙂 ) I am here by myself and there’s been nothing to catapult, trip or trigger my cranky save opening my eyes. I paced for a little bit and my head spun off its top with all the less than stellar thoughts that accost, and I felt very anxious in my body. I felt like I needed to DO something to de-escalate, to decompress, to release the tension inside me. But I was equally paralyzed to DO anything; which made the sensations and feelings and thoughts more intense.
So I went into my prayer closet.
My ‘closet’ is actually a bedroom that has my library of books and has surprisingly morphed into this safe and peaceful place to step into when I’m all tied in knots (which lately has been a lot). This is now my sanctuary – my safe place. [I encourage you, my fellow anxious and tense morning sufferers, to create a safe place inside your home for you to go when you are tied in knots.]
When I step into this space, I allow myself not to DO anything, but sit quietly. Close the door. Pay attention to where the tension is carried in my body. I usually squeeze my middle, my diaphragm when I am stressed or anxious; so I consciously relax my middle. Sometimes I close my eyes; sometimes I don’t. But I always say, “Please help me, Lord.” That is all. No elaborate prayers. And then I just sit…in the silence.
This room has my books, as I mentioned, and journals. I always have a pen and journal handy, but I do not force myself to write anything. I just listen. Sometimes I will receive a word and feel led to write right away, and sometimes a word will come later.
Today it came a little later.
After spending time in here (back in here now to write this) and when sufficiently calmed, I was able to busy myself with a few things in the kitchen, no longer stuck in my head, feeling twisted in knots, or paralyzed to do anything. While tootlin’ in the kitchen, a little vision of walking on water appeared.
Peter and his friends were in a boat on a lake and the winds were strong and the water choppy when they saw Jesus approach, walking on the water. They first thought He was a ghost, but then Peter said, “If it is you, Jesus, tell me to walk on the water.” Jesus answered, “Come.” So Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. But when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, paid attention to the winds and choppy waters, he began to sink and was frightened. Jesus then challenged Peter, questioned his faith and pointed at his doubt. Faith decreases and doubt increases when we divert our eyes from Jesus and focus on the storm, the winds, the choppy waves, the discomfort, and instability of the moment.
…the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6
But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, when we allow Jesus into our boat, He calms the storm.
Whenever I get twisted inside, spun up, spun out, tilted, sideways, I think I need to DO something to untwist myself. But the only thing I need to do, is walk into my safe space, my sanctuary, and fix my eyes on Jesus.
“Lord, please help.”
And the storm calms.
And now I may productively go about my day.
May you, too, find sanctuary in the One who calms the storms. ❤
…and He will be a sanctuary… Isaiah 8:14
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Exodus 25:8
A wise woman builds her house… Proverbs 14:1