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Anxiety Swept Over Me

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Greg and April – December 2013

Upon deciding that I must stop the emailing portion of my ministry to wives last week, I experienced intense anxiety for a few days – unlike any I have felt in a LONG, LONG time. I so don’t miss that awful, horrible feeling! I used to live with that kind of anxiety every day when I was controlling and had SELF as god on the throne of my heart, trusting myself to make everything turn out “right” as if I were sovereign instead of God. That was a lot of pressure – trying to take on the responsibilities of God, when I am (very obviously) not God!

I have enjoyed living in God’s peace these past 5 years SO MUCH! What a treasure His peace and rest are!

As I realized that I needed to let go of the 100-150 emails per day and the 3-6 hours of emailing per day – I began to panic.  I could understand intellectually that spending 40-50 hours per week on ministry at this point was too much – the volume just kept going up and up and up. But I want to keep up with it, no matter how great the volume is. Every single wife matters to me and is very important to me. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want God’s work and miracles to stop! I want to be faithful to disciple those women God brings to me. So – this has been an excruciating decision. I started thinking things like:

  • What if I am making a huge mistake?
  • What if these precious sisters of mine feel abandoned?
  • I’m letting them down!
  • If I don’t minister to them personally in emails, what will happen to them?
  • Lord, am I really hearing You correctly?
  • Am I being irresponsible? I HATE being irresponsible!!!!
  • I’m afraid to let go of all of these women, will they be ok?
  • What if they need me?
  • Where does my responsibility end and Yours and theirs begin, Lord?

I wrestled spiritually and emotionally for a few days after laying down the email ministry. The anxiety would get pretty intense at times, causing such tightness in my chest. YUCK!!!!! I don’t want to go back to that awful place of anxiety anymore! I probably am grieving a bit, too, I am sure.

THANK YOU, GOD, for delivering me from the bondage of anxiety and worry!!!!!!!

Your anxiety-producing situation is probably different from mine. Maybe you realize you need to cut your hours at work, or tell someone “no” or make your husband a greater priority or begin to trust him more with the children. Whatever the cause of  your anxiety, I believe the steps out of spiritually-induced anxiety are going to be pretty much the same no matter what the details of the specific situation.

What did I do? Well, it took me some time to hash through the issues. I may still have more hashing through feelings to do as I get my bearings and wait to hear more direction from God and figure out exactly how to restructure things in the best way. That is ok. When there are big changes, we have emotions. That is not wrong. We just have to work through them and lay them before God and talk about them with people we love and trust. 🙂

1. I got on my knees and turned to Christ

I got out the old passages that I used when I began this journey – Philippians 4:4-8 and slowly, conscientiously walked through each step of

– rejoicing in God for all He has done and for who He is

– giving thanks to God for all the blessings and gifts He has so generously lavished on me and my family and this ministry

– laying my petitions before Him for my husband, myself, our children and all of the women who read my blogs

– focusing on the good things about every aspect of my life

– embracing and receiving the gift of God’s peace, welcoming His peace into my heart

I laid all of the many hundreds of women I am concerned about before Jesus and placed them at His feet – knowing, they are actually His, they are not mine. Then I have to leave them there and not pick them up again.  That is something I have definitely learned to do many times in this ministry. I cannot carry the weight of other people myself. Jesus alone can do that. This is all about HIM, not about me. He is ABLE to take care of His daughters and His lambs.

2. I immersed myself in God’s Word

I focused on God’s sovereignty and I looked at many of God’s servants He has used to shepherd His people in the past and the example they left for me.

I know I am going to need a LOT more time with God in prayer, Bible reading and study. That is very clear to me. I cannot crowd out my time with God and be prepared to be the wife God desires me to be or minister to others if I don’t take the amount of time I need to get recharged in Christ myself.

3. I focused on thanksgiving and praise and God’s truth 

I sang praise songs to God. Loudly. At the top of my voice. I worshipped God. I humbled myself before Him. I thanked Him for all He has done, all He is doing and all that He has in store. I rested in His love, protection, leadership and wisdom and in Greg’s love, protection, leadership and wisdom.

4. I looked at my hidden motives and expectations

This was REALLY key!

What did I expect of myself and why? I had to write all of that down. I do better if I write things down – then I can see more clearly and tease out all the little hidden ideas, thoughts and sin that may be infiltrating my thoughts. When I feel anxious, I know that there is sin in my heart of some type. Usually, I have some kind of unbiblical expectations or I am trusting self more than God about something.

Some things I wrote down and contemplated:

  • Do I think people need ME more than they need Christ? I have to guard against that like the plague!!!!!! There is NO ROOM for any of my pride to rise up and contaminate my soul here.
  • I am not the key. Jesus is the key. God’s Word is the key. Jesus must greatly increase and I must greatly decrease.
  • God is sovereign. These are His women. He can use me to bless them, yes. But ultimately, they are His, not mine.
  • I am not the Holy Spirit. God may speak through me to people, but it is His Spirit that opens people’s eyes. I cannot do that.
  • Am I trusting SELF more than God here? What a dangerous place to be! I have got to be sure my trust is only in Christ alone!
  • God is able to speak to people without me! I have to remember that this is all about Him, not about me. I am not indispensable. God is. I was so amazed, last Friday, the day I announced I wouldn’t be able to do the emailing part of my ministry anymore, God gave me such a gift! He allowed me to see a dear friend for whom I have been praying for a LONG, LONG time. She was completely regenerated by the power of God’s Spirit. I had not spoken a word to her in weeks. But God convicted her of her sin, brought her to complete repentance and brokenness and was speaking to her clearly every day for the past few weeks. She was listening and obeying Him fully – without any input from me at all. 🙂 WOW! What an amazing God we serve! He really doesn’t need my “help!” 🙂
  • Greg has been asking me to cut back on emailing. God leads me through Greg. I want to cooperate with him. He told me that he and the children are going to enjoy having more of my attention. I have to keep my priorities straight!!!
  • My anxiety about letting this thing go shows that there is probably sin in my heart. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to examine all of this.
  • I had a couple of rough days, and a lot of tears. But I know that I have to hold all of these things loosely. I don’t need to have control here. God does. If I am not in control and am not personally emailing every wife, God is still so powerful, so sovereign, so loving and so good that He is still able to minister to each of these women personally. He DOES talk to each of us individually. And, He can raise up more godly mentoring wives to meet the needs. He is also able to give me wisdom and to pour His Spirit through me and through other wives to accomplish His purposes in whatever ways He sees fit through the blog posts and comments.
  • The worst times for me were when I was sitting doing “nothing.” I tend to feel like I need to do something “productive.” I am pretty horrible at relaxing. And I am awful at moderation and balance. I am wonderful at doing something 110% or not at all. Balance just gets so tricky! But, God blessed me with some very sweet times of intimacy with Greg and some real rest. I have not been sleeping well for a LONG, LONG time. Usually, I only sleep from 12:00am-ish until about 5:00am almost every night. So, a lot of times, I work on the blog way before anyone gets up – and while Greg is at work and our children are at school. Then I would often work on emails after the kids were in bed and I would sit beside Greg in bed. But – I NEED times when I am doing nothing. I don’t like it at first. But I need some down time. It was wonderful to go for a walk at the River Walk with Greg on Friday afternoon, then he took me out to eat at an Italian restaurant. We had a relaxing bath and lots of time to talk and intimacy. It was so beautiful to just slow down and enjoy my husband. I have been enjoying him. But – not as much as I need to. I see that I NEED this. God will show me the way.
  • Greg is VERY low maintenance. But – are there ways I can be more available to him that would greatly bless him that I am missing sometimes? We need those times of just relaxing together and joking and talking and even times of not talking but just being together where I am completely available to him.
  • What are my expectations of myself? Are they biblical? Are they from God? Where do they come from? Are there some expectations that I have that are not healthy that I need to drop? These are questions I need to ask any time I find myself getting anxious or overwhelmed. I think we will have to do this kind of “spring cleaning” in our souls on regular intervals, just laying everything bare before God and allowing Him to show us what needs to go.
  • Where is my security? Am I finding any of it in ministry instead of in Christ alone?
  • Where is my identity? Am I finding it in ministry instead of just in Jesus?
  • Am I willing to live in obscurity if that is God’s will?
  • Am I willing to give up anything that God ever asks me to give up? I want to be able to say, “Yes!” anytime God calls me to give up or start anything.
  • Am I seeking affirmation or the approval or attention of others?
  • God is still allowing me to do the blogs. I am so excited about that! I can still minister to women and bless them and be available to them. But I need to balance things in a more godly and healthy way. I cannot continue to spend 40-50 hours/week on ministry. My goal is to spend about 20 hours/week now.

I was walking through Wal-Mart this morning – and it hit me:

I think some of the biggest causes of my anxiety would be that I want do much to please and obey God. I don’t want to fail Him. I know His commands to go and disciple all nations and for the older wives to teach the younger. I want to obey Him and please Him so very much!

That is not really a “bad” reason for anxiety. For me to long to please my Lord. How it grieves my heart to imagine failing Jesus!!!!!! 🙁 I almost started to cry in Wal-Mart just thinking of that!  I am so acutely aware of just how much work is left to do in this world! I don’t want to stop working for even a moment. I don’t want to let any opportunities slip by that I don’t take advantage of. But – I can lay this down and trust Him to give me the wisdom, power and strength to do all that He calls me to do. That has to be my focus.

5. I will continue to be still and listen to God

He spoke to me through some David Platt sermons, through our Sunday School lesson on Sunday, through the pastor’s sermon, through Greg and through His Word and many of the wives here on my blog.

I don’t like changes and transitions! But I want to be flexible and able to hear God and respond in obedience to Him when He calls me to do something new. I will continue to seek Him with all my heart and to strive to hear His voice. I will continue to seek to be filled with His Spirit and pray that He might pour out His Spirit through me to speak to many women’s hearts for His glory.

  • This has been humbling.
  • I have had to let go of some control.
  • I have had to acknowledge my limitations.
  • I have had to see sin in my heart and am so thankful for the opportunity to shovel it out and repent of it.
  • I have found peace in finding shelter in God’s wings and also in finding protection and cover under my husband’s authority and leadership.

I am so thankful for God’s familiar and calming peace flooding my soul again. THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!!!!

I still have MUCH to learn!!! I can’t wait to see all that God has to share with me and with us.

Thank you for being on this journey with me!  I appreciate your friendship, love, support, encouragement, prayers, updates, stories, questions and sisterhood.

SHARE:

What causes you anxiety in your life?

How do you deal with anxiety?

How has God healed you?

You are always welcome to share updates, stories, questions, concerns, prayer requests and what you are learning! Thank you for this incredible community of women – for the love, concern, compassion and encouragement you give to each other.

If you would like to share what God has been doing in your life as a post, you are welcome to share your story with me, and I may be able to use it as a post to bless many other wives, as well.

Much love to each of you! 🙂

RELATED:

Spiritual Causes of Depression and Anxiety

Healing for Hopelessness

Contentment is in Lordship of Christ

Is Your Ministry for Christ Destroying Your Marriage?

Empowering My Husband’s Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

Insecurity

Security is in Christ Alone!

65 thoughts on “Anxiety Swept Over Me

  1. April,

    You have been an inspiration to me and so many other woman. You have planted seeds on good ground. We have enough rich and powerful emails to help us on this journey of becoming a more respectful and responsible wives. When I was at my lowest point, You emailed me and through that, I began to trust that God really does love me and care about me. I felt the spirit through your emails and I saved it and pull it out often. My husband wanted to divorce me and I thought it was the end of the world but through repeating
    the prayer you sent, I am strong and he did move out but I love him and God is dealing with him without my help. I am happy because I trust God so….Thank you for letting God use you to help us and now it’s up to us to stand on the promises of God. We are to use what we have been taught to encourage one another to become sold out for Christ and to be the woman he has called us to be despite what is going on. God has your back! If your family needs more time, than the time is now. This is what you would tell us women.

    I pray that God will give you total peace and that his love would encompass you and your family and that you will rest in him because he cares for us and he cares for you!! He would not want you to become burnt out and a strain to be caused on your family due to ministry. We look to him, that is where the focus should be.

    God bless you April…..I love and appreciate you and Greg for allowing us to benefit from what God has taught you through your marriage

    Take. care….Christine!

    1. Christine,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and love and prayers. 🙂 I am so glad to hear that you are living in God’s peace now. I pray for God to work in your husband’s heart and draw him to Himself and to you – for His glory.

      Sending you the biggest hug, my sweet friend!

  2. Hi April,

    This post comes at such a right time to me… Despite all our good works still we are just dirty rags…. And all we need is only Jesus!!

    I’ve been seeing so much of change in me, quite BIG and Significant.. I have a question, last night I was deeply in pain for was crying in my heart for my parents and their deeply hurt marriage… I was so anxious and this morning on my way to work, my mind was hovering over my broken relationship with my father-in-law. I had so many thoughts, thinking about ways I could apologize to my father in law and how we could reconcile…

    Is this anxiety? Or is it the work of the Holy Spirit…

    I have this problem of thinking too much, thinking of solutions and this leads me to setting myself as the solution… And this causes a lot of anxiety in and this leads me to make mistakes.

    And because of all the past mistakes, I want to be very careful in this area of life… Where I tend to think I can change my family’s solution..

    1. Vinodhini,

      That is a great question! Sometimes the Holy Spirit does prompt us – and if we do not do what He calls us to do, we can definitely have anxiety. I know I had to go to everyone in my entire extended family and apologize for my disrespect and control.

      I pray God will give you wisdom, my precious sister! I pray for restored relationships in your family and most of all for God to bring your parents and in-laws to Himself and bring great glory to His Name in each of these lives. 🙂

      You can ask your husband what he believes would be best to do with his father.

      Yes, it is REALLY important to depend on God to do the changing and healing, not ourselves. Sometimes it can get a bit blurry for us where our responsibilities end and God’s and others’ begin. I pray God will make that very clear to you.

      Much love!!!!

      1. April,

        Ohh April, the scene on my mind this morning in the cab was, at my daughters birthday celebration next month, where all my extended family on my husbands side will be present, I will apologize to my father in law…

        Well, as you said I need to allow God to work through me and not my thoughts or my blurred vision..

        My husband is not in talking terms about what I can do for his parents from all the mess I’ve created… He still needs time to trust me in that area.. Hopefully my change will speak for itself..

        Thank you for all your prayers dearest April

        Love
        Vinodhini

        1. Vinodhini,

          I can understand that you may not be able to talk to your husband about this at this point. I am sure God will give you wisdom!!! I am thrilled that you want to apologize to those you have hurt. That is a very much needed step to move towards healing for everyone. 🙂

  3. Kelly,

    You are most welcome! I love having my time with God in the mornings, too. I want to increase that time a good bit – there is so much I want to learn and absorb from Him.

    I’m very thankful for this community of women – for the love, friendship, prayers, support, encouragement and unity here. 🙂

    You are a blessing to me!

  4. Proud of you April for having the courage to wrestle with the anxiety instead of accept it. Especially the way you were able to get to the bottom of your motives. As always, wonderful insights and example. Keep hanging in — cause I agree, I strongly believe God is going to provide situations to serve Greg and the kids in ways you never even saw before, and strengthen your family before your book release. You know the persecution is coming — this is a time of strengthening and pressing those roots deeper and deeper in Him as a family. And God IS faithful to direct those women to another person if they need some one on one talk time. Your posts are very specific and provide plenty of food for the Holy Spirit to do His job. Love ya girl!

    1. Kayla,

      That process of being able to write down all my thoughts, concerns and motives was SO important for me to learn. I pray it will be a blessing to other wives to see an example of those things spelled out. You can’t take thoughts captive if you don’t know what they are! 🙂

      Yes, I am excited about this new chapter and about learning more ways to bless my family. I am also very excited to have more time with God.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I am so thrilled about what God is doing in your life, my sweet friend!

      Love you right back!

      April

  5. “I do better if I write things down – then I can see more clearly and tease out all the little hidden ideas, thoughts and sin that may be infiltrating my thoughts. ”

    I am the SAME way. Whenever something is wrong, I opened an empty Word doc on my computer and get to the bottom of it. Usually I end up getting answers that I NEVER would have gotten if I just thought about it.

    Thanks for your honesty, April. It’s encouraging to know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes and it’s possible to fix them!

    Maria

    1. Maria,

      I love how you write it out on the computer! That is a great idea. Yes, there is no way I could see what I am actually even dealing with as long as the thoughts are all swirling in my head in a big jumbled mass. I have to really examine each thought.

      I want very much to be honest and transparent. When I have struggles, I make sure to share them. I am human, too! 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement, Maria!

  6. Kelly, I need my own quiet time in the morning, too, before the noise of the day begins. It’s the best time for me to read, reflect, pray, and write. Being alone is when I hear best what God wants me to do, and when I ask him for the strength I need. It’s also when I read this blog and draw strength from all of you. Alone time is also great for writing. I agree with April that writing things down really does help us know ourselves much better. Being able to read and comment here is such an enormous blessing to me! Every one of you are so encouraging, just to know you’re trying hard, like me, to please God. Thank you, April, and my other sisters, for making this possible, and for your priceless companionship.

  7. EXCELLENT Post and yes, you are making a wise decision!! You need to do what the LORD wants!! Thanks for the site !!! God Bless you sister

  8. April,

    I love this post! As someone who struggles daily with anxiety it comforts me to remember that there is never a reason to worry because God is in control of all things!

    It’s so encouraging to see another woman who LISTENS when the Lord tells her to something she doesn’t necessarily want to do.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. You poor girl LOL I can feel your struggle. I went through this when I cut back my hours from 60 hours a week down to 20. I didn’t know what to do with myself and nothing made me feel as fulfilled as helping oithers as I did in the nurseing field. But over many months I began to relax with the anxiety and see it as something that had always been there but I had distracted myself from it by being busy. I learned ,for me, that my anxiety was from needing to feel like I mattered. God is still healing me of this and I have taken up quilting and sewing,things that I love doing FOR ME. I began to act “as if” I did matter and began to do the things that made me happy which created bonding with my family. Everything I do doesn’t have to be productive. I no longer am trying to prove my value or worth. I can just have a simple peaceful life. When the anxiety rises up I remind myself all is well and this is my right to have a simple peaceful life. Peaceful Life…Peaceful wife 😉 Marie

    1. Love that, Marie…”Peaceful Life…Peaceful Wife”!!!! So easy for Type A people like myself to wrap my identity in what I do, or feeling needed, or what people think of me, when in actuality my identity is in Christ alone. That gives me rest and the freedom to help others as the opportunity arises, but it is not a ball and chain to me because who I am is not wrapped up in the doing, but the resting in Christ.

        1. Jessica, Ohhhh it has taken me a LONG time to learn this! …and I am still learning! I can so easily jump right back on making what I DO for Jesus my obsession. Instead, Jesus Himself is supposed to be my biggest passion! 🙂

  10. Anxiety is a struggle for me too. I’m trying to work through it by giving it to God. I can see its definitely something that happens when I feel out of control of things. In my family, I’m the go-to planner of everything. When we are going to have visits or vacations, everyone looks to me to coordinate. I love it and everyone in my family appreciates that about me. In my husband’s family, its obviously not the same. I’m always left out of the loop. So that is one thing that sends me into anxiety and it happened last night. Ugh. My husband was talking with his family about possibly planning a trip and I was so frustrated that no one tells me anything and the fact that he was planning with his sister and not me. In reality, they were probably really not in actual planning, more like hoping, but for some reason this just panics me. He wanted me to drop the issue and I had a really hard time letting it go. Then later, I realized that he was actually taking initiative on something and I squashed it. Ugh! What if he planned a trip? Would that be so terrible? What if I just went along and didn’t have to figure everything out? That would be actually pretty awesome right? Yes. I’m glad that I’m at least at the point where I can recognize that. A month ago, I wouldn’t have seen it that way. Its still not easy and I’m still tense about it now. I think a fear is that since things are kind of rocky that he was going to plan it without me and leave me home. I can’t jump to that conclusion though and must think the best of him.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I am the other Elizabeth! My sign is blue (or purplish on some monitors. It’s nice to have a sister-in-name here. 🙂 My middle name is Ruth. Maybe we should use that, too?

  11. April, Oh, I am so sorry that you were going through that! You are a special person and God is using you in a great way! Here is another thought I had as I was reading. I suffer from anxiety too. I think it is often the enemy’s way of making us doubt what God has told us to do. God has told me to stop participating in some Christian sites on the internet and focus on my husband, my child and my house. Just this week, I was feeling anxious and worried and felt like I needed some answers…that really I did not need. I spent way too much time on the site talking and ignoring what God had told me to do and then yesterday it hit me. Now I feel MORE anxious! I immediately renewed my commitment to what God told me to do. I get up, spend a few minutes on your site and then I am off the computer and focusing on my day. I am SO glad that God did not ask you to give up your site. BUT, I wonder if He would have if I continued to spend too much of my day emailing you and seeking wisdom instead of taking your daily blog and praying that God would show me what I needed to do. Thank you again for your willingness to share and to teach! You have been such a blessing for my life!

    1. DaisyMae,

      I probably need parental controls on the computer to set my limit per day and then shut the thing down when my time is up! 🙂

      Thank so much for the encouragement!

      I want more than anything to please God and to do all that He desires me to do in His power for His glory and for the edification of His body.

      But – I do need to be still and not be so busy! I cannot hear Him properly if I cannot be still before Him.

      Much love to you!

  12. I was walking through Wal-Mart this morning – and it hit me:

    I think some of the biggest causes of my anxiety would be that I want SO MUCH to please and obey God. I don’t want to fail Him. How it grieves my heart to imagine failing my Lord! I know His commands to go and disciple all nations and for the older wives to teach the younger. I want to obey Him and please Him so very much!

    That is not really a “bad” reason for anxiety. For me to long to please my Lord. But – I can lay this down and trust Him to give me the wisdom, power and strength to do all that He calls me to do. That has to be my focus.

    1. Whichever way you spin it, we are told not to worry. We shouldn’t try to rationalize our worry. If Yahweh told you to stop email, THEN STOP. Truly, I’m only speaking out of love and gratefulness for all of the wisdom I’ve seen here, but I am praying for you about the amount of attention/grief you seem to be giving it. LET. IT. GO. He has already absolutely shown you He can work in ways you never imagined. Trust that, my friend.

      We women are getting (have always been) very good at sugarcoating disobedience. Like cute, whiney little girls who, with a pouty lip and big crocodile tears, say, “But Daddy, I don’t want to!” We think it’s okay to approach The Father this way. The truth is, if He asked you to stop and you keep it up, the results could be extremely dangerous to you, your family, or those of us who participate. None of us would want to see you walk outside of His will for you!!

      I love you for all you’ve done for me, and I truly hope this wasn’t too coarse, but I feel it has to be said very plainly and openly.

    2. April,
      I really think I know how you feel. Sometimes my husband says, “Honey, I think you should relax a little more; just don’t try as hard as you have been” (to be a good wife). He told me that just two days ago, when I was quite distressed over failing to show complete wifely respect for him in a discussion that turned into an argument. I am so determined to GET IT RIGHT that I fail to make allowances for my own human shortcomings, and then when I fall short, I tend to “beat myself up” for the failure. He doesn’t see my “failing” nearly as seriously as I do, and wants me to adopt a more realistic, balanced attitude about myself and what I’m trying to do.

      If you are worrying similarly about something you believe you should do (spend more time with your family) but are experiencing severe feelings of loss at the same time, maybe you should know that this is normal, very human. Give yourself permission to grieve this loss of the joy you experienced helping others via email (“more happiness in giving that in receiving”) and recognize that grieving the loss of anything in a transition is normal, and not a sign you have wrong motives, etc. Sometimes we give up a job to stay home and raise small children, and grieve the loss of daily contact with friends at the workplace, etc., but it doesn’t mean we are any less committed to parenting our children in the best way possible. I hope this perspective helps a little.

  13. I don’t know if you would find this helpful, April, in helping you to find balance in your life and ministry, but I am the same way as far as difficulty with moderation between giving 110% or nothing at all! I have started reading a book called Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. It is helping me see where my responsibilities end and where others’ responsibilities begin. I critically thought this book would promote selfishness, which I would not agree with, but so far this is not at all the message. Although I have not read even half of the book, and cannot say for sure at this point whether everything the authors say is in agreement with scripture, it is already helping me with understanding that healthy boundaries are very important not only for my own well-being, but for the health my relationships with others.

    Hopefully, limiting your ministry will allow you to begin to learn to relax and enjoy down time. I know the drive to go, go, go…and it nearly destroyed my health, sleep and sanity! 😉 But, this past year, the Lord has impressed upon me the importance of being still. Sitting on the porch on the rocking chair just quietly enjoying being in His presence, etc. This has become the sweetest time, and I am a much calmer person now.

    You likely already have a group of sisters in Christ with whom you have friendships, but if not, I’m not all that far down the road from you. So if you ever want to meet for coffee or something, just let me know! 🙂 I count you a dear sister in the Lord and am very thankful for your website and ministry!

    Much love,

    Heather (HisHelper)

    1. HisHelper,

      I actually read that book about 15 years ago. Probably need to read it again! 🙂

      I have got to be still before God. I need more time with Him. Like -LOTS and LOTS more time with Him. Not just 30 minutes per day.

      Ooh!!!! How wonderful it would be to be able to get together! That sounds like a fabulous idea to me!

      Much love to you, Heather! You are precious to me!

      1. Like the Love and Respect Book, I learned of the book Boundaries on the Dave Ramsey Show (Oh, I have learned so much more than facts about money on that program!). I read it (Boundaries) just a few weeks/months ago and it is indeed one of the best books I have ever read.

  14. Dear April

    I came across your blog a few months ago and I can not even begin to tell you what a blessing it has been and what a major change it has brought in my life.
    I had a divorce 16 years ago after 4 years of marriage and after that I’ve had 2 relationships which both lasted about 1 year.
    I’m not going into all the details but about two years ago I met a man and I thought he was really special; he was loving and caring and full of understanding. He was also 32 and I was 46 and I had just begun to feel symptoms of the menopause which made me feel so confused and OLD!! I thought this could never work, so I told myself and him we could be just friends… I really believed I was better off alone anyway!!! We would meet and write regularly and we both tried to fight our true feelings. But after 1 year he asked me if I wanted to be his girl… GIRL?? I’m 47!!! Can’t you see?? You don’t mind?? Well, he really doesn’t mind. I finally said yes! 🙂
    In no time I found myself responding to him exactly the way I have always responded to my ex-husband!! I really, really thought that over the years I had learned a lot from my mistakes and that I had become a lot more loving and a lot less judgemental, and partly that IS true… But I learned very quickly that that was true as long as I was ALONE, with no one around to push any buttons! But all my fears came alive again the moment I said Yes and let him in.
    After a few months I felt we were growing apart already; he wouldn’t share his thoughts with me like before and he withdrew a lot, which made me even more insecure. I cried out to God for help. I knew that something in MY behaviour was so destructive and that this relationship would end too sooner or later because of it!! Of course, God answered my prayer!!
    I don’t even know HOW I came across your blog but when I started reading about your journey and all the ways you had been disrespecting your husband in the past I thought: OMG… this is ME she is writing about!! I did and said ALL those awfull things when I was married, and even though I have learned so much in my walk with the Lord, I am doing it all over again to the man I am with now!! Especially the video-message on ‘showing disrespect in a non-verbal way’ was an absolute eye-opener and very convicting!! I realised that even though I always try to be loving and respectful with WORDS, inwardly I’m full of judgement and even contempt and thát is what a man can feel!! I didn’t even know!! I had no idea I was sometimes verbally, but even more non-verbally disrespecting him, hurting him, emasculating him, causing him to disconnect and withdraw…

    My journey started right then and there, when I first read your blog and I could totally relate!!!
    WOW!! Step by step God is leading me now, and showing me how pridefull and judgemental and selfrighteous I really still am!!
    Dear April, God is using your blog and your journey to teach me ‘the new and living way’ and to show me that there is no way I can do this without HIM!! I am absolutely convinced that, had I not found your blog, I would have had to face another broken relationship and again wonder what on earth I have been doing wrong?!
    It is such a relief to let go of all the control and suddenly be able to see all the wonderful things about my partner and to understand him more. It’s a joy to be able to see how I can be a blessing to him, how I can encourage him, how I can appreciate him more for who he IS!! It’s so weird that the things I had started criticizing and judging him for, are the same things I loved about him when we met!! I’m starting to love and appreciate them all over again, and I started telling him that! I started thanking him for the wonderful person he is and all the wonderful things he does and I apologized for all the times I couldn’t see.
    I can feel he is opening up to me again. He is letting down his guard now and then and let me come close. I love that!! What I love most though is that, even if he doesn’t ‘give me what I think I need’, I’m learning more and more to relax, to drop my expectations, and to turn to God for all my needs. HE is my source!!

    The reason why I’m writing you all this is to encourage you that, even if you have to limit or stop your emailing, your blog can still bring about such a change in women’s lives!! There is so much information, so many subjects, so many tools!! God can and will continue to use this!!
    I know how hard and confusing it can be to give up something that God Himself has given to you. But right now Abraham comes to mind, how God gave him a son and then asked him to give him back!! God knows what He is doing, and He will take care of all the women you have to let go for now!! You have been a blessing and you will not stop te be a blessing!!
    Your sharing with us is an absolute blessing, but your obedience is too!! You are setting an example this way that God truly is in control and that it is all about HIM and not about US!
    Love and blessings to you and your family, dear sis!! 🙂

    By the way: I live in The Netherlands and I was surprised to see that so many women across the world are reading your blog and are taking this journey. Very encouraging!

    1. Sylvia,

      Aww!!!! Thank you for the update! I am thrilled to hear about all that God is showing you and doing in your life. And I appreciate the encouragement, love and support so very much, my dear friend!!!!!

      Thank you for writing to me!!!

  15. You are exactly right to get your priorities in order and give up a small slice of your ministry that became too big and overwhelming, so that you can minister to your family first. Your blog is a huge ministry without all the emails.

    Please don’t fall into the trap of answering every comment here, either. Don’t answer mine! That will end up becoming too much, like the emails. Let us, your readers, minister to one another, too, in the comment sections. You should only step in where God leads you and where you see we are wrong. You take away our opportunities to be a blessing to others, if you don’t back away some and let us readers work with one another here.

    I don’t say that to be mean, but God has really put it on my heart that you need to do less here. Your blog messages are wonderful, and I’m thankful for ministry in them. I see your blog will only grow, so comments will grow in number,as well. You can’t get into a habit of answering all of them.

    Maybe others disagree with me, but I only want you to take care of your family before us. Your day has only so many hours. I pray God blesses you richly as you have been a tremendous blessing to your many readers.

      1. I agree Kimberly…

        Peaceful wives was a gift we all found and where we found each other. Thanks to Amanda for putting it here and for her to see that her work with God is still moving forward even without her. May Amanda always sleep peacefully knowing that!

  16. Thank you April,
    Reading your blog, reading the comments, just brings an inner joy and peace to my soul. Its so much peace here, cant wait to pray tommorow, on prayer day, I love seeing how you fight through battles, lets fight through them and overcome, the sin in our hearts. Also Im glad that you are giving your family time, that is our main ministry, and we will be judged on this. Thank God your husband is leading you to peace and joy. Thank you Lord. Sometimes ministry can turn into an idol, and people choose that over God. God first, then ministry, we have to seek Him, His will, and His way above anything. I pray that your Led by His Spirit.

  17. April Put everything in God’s hands, you seeking to do the best for God is great, but dont over anylyze things, and please dont respond to every comment, you dont need to, relax, God got’s this girl. Proverbs It can turn into SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS intstead of the true righteouness of God.
    Eccles. 16 Do not be overly righteous,
    Nor be overly wise:
    Why should you destroy yourself?
    17 Do not be overly wicked,
    Nor be foolish:
    Why should you die before your time?

    Thanks for serving and being an example.

  18. Hi “Superwoman” April! 🙂

    What you are about to do, or are already doing is totally the Spirit’s Doing! It’s amazing to watch and witness! 🙂

    I know that you are, like me, not good at moderation, so it’s all or nothing too for you. You really want to give all of yourself to the ministry and then some, but you are listening to the Lord when He asks you to “drop” it. That’s really hard to follow!

    And yet you will follow Him .Wow. God is truly amazing and you are setting a fine example for all of us on how to really lay down all your dreams and joys before Him — that this is all about Him, and none about you.

    Hugs, April! 🙂

    Love,
    Nikka

  19. April I must admit I had a little “separation anxiety” because I wouldn’t have you readily available should I have a “crisis” but what you are doing is making me call on Jesus instead of April! Yes, it is nice to have a human friend here on earth that understands my feelings that I can email when I am having a meltdown, but it’s even nicer when I am forced to call on the Lord and know he sees the tears of a broken heart and he knows all the answers. He knows what it is going to take to mend our relationships and marriages and He is able to speak to us in that still small voice and it’s very easy to understand…if you are quiet and listen! You have given all of us enough of your precious time and you have taught us how to respect our men the way we should and now it is time for us to help other wives. I believe your new book will be a huge resource to those of us that are starting small women’s groups within our churches and circle of friends.

    You have been such an inspiration and help to me. I don’t know where I would be right now had I not found this blog. I’m so thankful to God that He blessed you with this ministry. I still have most of your emails saved and read them from time to time when I need help with something. One of my biggest problems is not seeing all the little things my husband now does to make me happy or show his love. Things that he had totally stopped doing for a year. I get selfish and want more and want it NOW and I HAVE to learn to accept God’s timing. I have to remember that He is working in his heart and that can be a slow process…after all, look how long it has taken for me to let Him work in mine and I still have a long way to go.
    Now it’s time to cut the apron strings and tie on to the hem of His garment and let you slow down so you can spend time with your family. (Have you ever thought about your own “Talk show” on TV? hahahha…Praying for you always and if I can ever do anything to help you in any way, please let me know.
    Much love and hugs to you sweet sister!

    1. “Yes, it is nice to have a human friend here on earth that understands my feelings that I can email when I am having a meltdown, but it’s even nicer when I am forced to call on the Lord and know he sees the tears of a broken heart and he knows all the answers. He knows what it is going to take to mend our relationships and marriages and He is able to speak to us in that still small voice and it’s very easy to understand…if you are quiet and listen!”

      I think what you said in your comment, LearningToLean, is the KEY!!!!!! April has gone above and beyond, from every possible angle, to give us the tools we need to do this here on her website. It’s time for us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to take wings and fly! The easier thing for us to do is to go to a human being for an immediate, audible, spoken answer to our questions. It often takes more discipline, patience and perseverance to seek the Lord–but there is NO comparison to the benefits of going to the Lord, in whom we lack nothing!

      1. That’s what happened with me too. I was having an issue with my husband and I vented in an email to April about it asking what to do. As soon as I sent it I sat on the couch to pray as I waited for her to reply and GOD spoke loud and clear to me to not send April emails or ask advice but to ask him! Whoa I was like wow your really there GOD LOL. He told me to discipline my flesh and not to wait but do it right now. I repented for putting April above him and he showed me insight into the issue I was having and because of Aprils blog I knew where my sin was and what I needed to change in me. Her blog points to Gods word. I needed that saturation to have wisdom. But God gives insight when you seek his presence. April cant do that and we cant put her in those situations. Its very unfair to put that burden on her and she will fail because she cant know every persons dynamics. We don’t even know ourselves most times only God can show us our hearts. Be Blessed Marie

  20. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. Colossians 3:4

    It is always better for the flesh to be unknown but for the glory of Christ, He will make us light of this world and His Spirit cannot be hidden.

  21. Thanks so much for all the prayers and love everyone!!! I spent about 2.5 hours with God today, it was exactly what I needed. I feel like I am getting my bearings. And had a great time with our son while Greg took our daughter to choir rehearsal. I had a wonderful long talk with Greg tonight. I am feeling at peace tonight and know I am going in the right direction. 🙂

  22. I have anxiety about certain aspects of my life when I feel not in control. This is once in awhile, but when it happens it is the worst feeling! I just pray to God and go inward, close my eyes, and release whatever thoughts or feelings associated with those thoughts are and just release them to God. He knows whats best and knows all things. seen and unseen. I have to submit to his will not mine because whatever is, is good for me. It’s strange but when you let go and allow God to take over you feel joyful and happy. Sometimes running or exercising helps too release anxiety too. You release control of the situations/outcomes that could/would/do/do not happen and gain instead control of your ability to handle with grace any situation that comes your way. When I’ve had an anxious day, moment, stressful or bad day I have to let it out and cry. It is the best therapy to rely on God as your best friend and soother when you are sad. I sometimes expect my husband to be there for me and get upset that he can’t be there for me like God can and sometimes we have these prewired expectations of our husbands, but we have to let that go too. It is true when we can’t be happy in silence or doing nothing, we know it is time to go inward because our minds are filled not with God but with other stuff or his creation. His creation will always let us down, give us anxiety. But God is much more fulfilling and will never let you down. His love is the ultimate. We are only human and can only do so much in a lifetime, but it is truly God who can change a person or reveal to them what they need. You are his vessel and am so grateful for finding your blog. It has given me realistic ways of incorporating God into my life more. Thank you:)

  23. April,
    Thank you so much for writing this! I am very sorry that you have been dealing with anxiety…I know how draining that can be…but it is so wonderful how God used your anxiety to inspire others through this blog post!
    I had tears in my eyes as I read this…your words will be a very useful tool to help me handle my own anxiety attacks!
    I am so happy that you have more time to just relax, and enjoy the company of your family. We all need to slow down sometimes and savor God’s blessings!

    Paulina

  24. Im 17 and I’m not even in a relationship but this blog inspires me so much! I hope to grow up into the woman you describe on this blog, the woman Christ wants me to be. When you asked yourself if you were finding your identity in ministry or in Christ alone I had tears of joy in my eyes because I realized I’ve been finding my identity in how I please my youth pastors, small group leaders, and Christian friends instead of just Jesus! I can’t explain the relief I feel knowing I don’t have to do that anymore! I can be sooooo prideful and the idea of falling into obscurity for God is so humbling, I NEEDED that! Plus I need to be respectful to please and attract God, not to please and attract a Christian man. Jesus is indescribable!!!

  25. Even Jesus himself had to flee to the wilderness once in a while to get away from the press of the crowds.

    If the Son of God needed an occasional break, then, well…

    Don’t beat yourself up too much. I’ve been there too with people I’ve been helping. Besides, if you let yourself or your life get too run down or distracted, you’ll be less effective anyway.

    Paul (I think) said that in his own weakness, Christ was glorified. If we could do it on our own, we would not need the Lord.

  26. Now I know why you didn’t respond to my email. I totally understand. I’m sure it’s very time consuming. There’s a blog post recently that one of my friends posted on Facebook. It was the Matt Walsh blog. I think the post was on feb 22 about your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect. Just wanted to share with you and your readers.

  27. Thank you for this post April. Thank you. I really needed to read this today, as yesterday my husband told me to cut my work load significantly to leave time for resting, taking care of myself (I am 12 weeks pregnant after two miscarriages) and my dream of writing a book.

    He is a truly good man and I want to follow his advice. I have always felt that I have to earn as much as him in order to “pull my weight” (what my feminist mother taught me) and still do all the housework etc. My husband tells me this is not true and I am relieved. But still it feels hard to say no to work that is offered (I am an entrepreneur).

    So thank you.

    1. Maria,

      You are most welcome!

      I have SURE been enjoying a greatly reduced ministry workload. Greg asks me to rest with him in the afternoons on the weekends and try to take naps sometimes. We all went as a family to the River Walk Saturday evening and had such a great time watching the kids playing on the rocks and enjoying the beautiful weather. Greg took us all to the Family Life Center at church last night and we shot basketballs together. We had never done that before! It was fun! I even sorted through all the kids’ clothes yesterday and got ready to give away the things they have outgrown. I have had more time with God.

      This was a really hard thing for me to do – but MUCH needed!

      How thankful I am for our husbands’ wisdom!

      I pray you will enjoy resting and listen to your husband and slow way down during this precious time.

      Much love to you!
      April

  28. One thing that you can know is actually that guys acquire stress concerning getting close to and also my stress concerning speaking with hit-or-miss girls swept in excess of me personally once again.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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