is not exactly what’s in store for us.
“We must let go of the life we planned to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~Author Unknown
John Chancellor said, “You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” He was a news anchor I watched every evening while growing up in Wisconsin in the seventies who succumbed to stomach cancer in 1996.
I watched the news to hear the weather report to make sure no destructive tornadoes came to flatten our house or send it spinning in the air like in The Wizard of Oz.
That’s when I first learned what anxiety meant. The first day of third grade I told the teacher I was sick. Mom came for me just because it rained and I didn’t know if the school had an emergency plan for when a tornado struck.
Yet home didn’t help because we were the only family in Wisconsin without a basement. Believe you me, the sight of the first rain drop had me running for the nearest house with a basement. My escape plan was to bolt when the Severe Thunderstorm Watch beeped loudly on our television.
A watch is not the same as a warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado but one hasn’t been spotted. That beeping sound scared the crap out of me. Imagine playing with dolls and Lego’s on a sunny day and a BEEP BEEP BEEP wakes you out of your smiling Ken and Barbie enjoying their drive along the beach in the convertible.
A crawl reads SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR THE NEXT 6 HOURS. To a kid it might as well read TAKE SHELTER NOW OR ELSE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE GONNA DIE! BUT YOU GOT NOWHERE TO HIDE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO BASEMENT! THERE’S NO HOPE FOR YOU! KISS YOUR BUTTS GOODBYE!
I stored Ken and Barbie safely under a bed in my Barbie Townhouse hoping they wouldn’t end up pile-driven into a maple tree after the storm. I walked over to our neighbor Mrs. Garcia’s house. She let me in, no questions asked, and let me sit in the kitchen while she baked pies. I didn’t tell Mom because I knew she’d say no, then she couldn’t find me. My worry turned into her worry.
This proves worry is genetic. My oldest daughter had ear tubes implanted when she lost her hearing from fluid build-up. One time she got some water in her ear which caused a lot of pain but more importantly, fear. Now she’s afraid to wash her hair, so I try to help calm her fears by helping her in the shower. I say “try to” because I’m not always successful.
I now understand my mom’s frustration with me as my worries and fears popped up every time it rained. I can’t plan my days hoping what causes fear and worry to never happen. I can only learn techniques to deal with that worry to lessen fear.
God said don’t be anxious for tomorrow because tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. God won’t give us what we can’t handle. No matter how many storms come our way.
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