You have probably heard the news reports of the miraculous story of Jaycee Dugard. She was kidnapped at age eleven, she has been found alive and she is now twenty nine years old with two daughters. She was forced to live in unthinkable living conditions and situations.
As I have shared openly on this blog, I have post traumatic stress disorder and panic/anxiety. Because I have these issues I have to be very careful of news, stories, or such that will cause a trigger. I know stories that have to do with abuse especially to women and children trigger me. I will confess though, they are sometimes a magnet. I am drawn to them because I need to hope there is going to be a good outcome. Usually there is not and then I find myself thinking of their situation and my mind fills with thoughts, fears, and anxiety about my own children or me. I try to use those thoughts as prayer pointers. Once they pop in my head instead of dwelling on the situation I pray for that person or their family and force myself to move on from there.
I can clearly remember hearing the news reports about Jaycee's kidnapping eighteen years ago. My heart raced with fear for her. I prayed for months on end for her and her family. My daughter was was two and a half years old at the time of the news, she is now almost twenty one. My heart cries out for Jaycee's mom who has missed her daughter for all these long hard years. My heart cries out for Jaycee for all she has endured. She IS a survivor. She and her daughters will have a long road of recovery.
I know over the past eighteen years her story has "popped in my head" from time to time and each time I would find myself filling with fear and then I would remind myself pray, pray for her and her family and then let it go, otherwise I would truly find myself wanting to live in a bubble with my children. The world at times can be so evil and I will never comprehend what gives another person the idea that it is ok to bring harm, torture or violence to another person. I know we live in a fallen world and there is truly nothing new under the sun- the things going on today are the same things as went on in Bibical times, the only difference is the world now is filled with a lot more people.
There are numerous other families and situations that have come in and out of my mind over the years and with each time I pray and try my best to have hope for their families. Because of my PTSD and panic/anxiety it would be so easy for me to get swallowed up in fear but I know God is bigger. I have to remind myself to let my mind dwell on whatever is pure, lovely, of good repute. I must cling to my faith in those times and pray without ceasing.
If you are anything like me, I encourage you to use your fears and anxiety for "good" and not allow them to control you. As soon as you feel your mind start to wander in the "fear department", pray for whoever or whatever that situation is, journal your thoughts, talk to your spouse or a friend, read your Bible or write out scriptures that will encourage you. While we can not let fear control us, we still must be wise in our choices, and we must pray for those who cross our path whether it is physically, through the media, through an email, or through a prayer request.
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.