Before my son, Cooper, was diagnosed with leukemia, I struggled a lot with anxiety. I worried about everything – the weather, illness, the future. You name it; I worried about it.
When he was diagnosed, I was forced to figure out how to cope, or I wasn’t going to make it.
Looking back at those tough days, I think God was pouring out His grace and peace. Time after time, God taught me to let go of the anxiety and embrace trusting Him.
I wrote about all these lessons in my book, Forty Days, but today I want to share one of my favorites. It’s a lesson I still go back to when I notice the worry and fear creeping back into my thoughts.
This chapter of Forty Days is called Just Enjoy the Snow:
I started to notice that repeating simple phrases helped me calm down on days when the anxiety was really bad. One day my husband, Justin, was planning to go coach district basketball finals in a town a few hours away.
It had been a beautiful day all day. Then, to my horror, an hour before Justin was going to leave for the basketball game, it started to snow like crazy. It had been sunny one moment and the next it was practically a blizzard.
With the typical panic that ensues when bad weather and driving collide in my life, I pulled up the weather on my phone. On the map, it looked like just a tiny weather system that would pass quickly, but when I looked out the window, it was a blizzard!
I tried to calm myself down, rationalizing that God had taken care of my baby, as sick as he was, and he would take care of my husband. Then, between deep breaths, I realized that I had never seen the snow fall from 6 stories up. A feeling of awe came over me as I noticed how magical it was. I watched as each snowflake floated to the ground like a leaf blown in the wind.
For a moment, distracted by the beauty before me, I was able to quit worrying and just enjoy the snow. You could see every snowflake as it brushed the glass like angel wings. With my nose close to the glass like a 4-year-old, I focused on one snowflake after another, following its slow journey to the ground.
Then, just as suddenly as it had come, the snow suddenly stopped. It was warm enough that it melted quickly, and Justin was safely on his way to the game. From that moment on, whenever I start to get intimidated by the blizzard of illness circling around us on Cooper’s long road to health, I would remind myself, “Just enjoy the snow.”
With childlike abandon, I would try not to worry about what was going to happen in the future. Instead, I focused on the immense beauty of the moments at hand.
Sometimes that was harder than others, but I started to understand that if I could master the skill of “enjoying the snow,” life would be filled with more joy and less worry.
There is a Bible verse that says it perfectly:
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)