I was almost to work, turning down a residential street when I smelled a strange odor. You know how smells can invoke certain memories or thoughts? Well, this smell coupled with people that I saw standing outside an apartment complex brought to my mind a recent, local news story. A housing complex had been shut down after a leak had been discovered. A few people had been found deceased in their beds with carbon monoxide poisoning being the cause of death.
First, I guess I should tell you that my mind is a forest of tangled thoughts. It’s a Rand McNally roadmap of twisted tangents of mental madness. Call it over-thinking, call it a rabbit hole. My mind follows its own thought trail forever. I’ll find myself thinking about something off the wall and wonder how I got there. I’ll backtrack through it, how one thought led to another, and usually be able to untangle the mess.
Okay. Where was I?
So, somehow a smell led to a news story, which led to thoughts of an odd smell outside my RV since we started running the gas. This led to me remembering how I turned up the heat before I left that morning, which led to me thinking of looking at my sleeping family as I walked out the door. I ended up landing at the conclusion that my husband and daughters could be suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning at that very moment!
Yes, we had a carbon monoxide detector!
Yes, it was working the last time I checked it!
No, I hadn’t checked it this morning!
They could be dying right now!
They could be dead already!
My whole world gone all at once!
What would I do?!
Well, I wouldn’t lose faith in God.
I wouldn’t want a new family, though, God.
I like the one I have.
I wouldn’t get remarried.
I’d be so lonely, though.
God, please don’t let my family die.
This is silly, Brie. They’re not dead!
They could be.
God, are you trying to tell me something?
Should I call the police?
The feeling is so strong that something is wrong!
God! Help me hear your voice! Are they ok?!
My emotions wanted to skyrocket, but my spirit said settle down.
I trust you, Lord. I surrender this fearful situation to you. I know your plans are to prosper me and not harm me. No matter what, I’ll always trust in you. I know you hold my family in the palm of your hand. They are yours; you just let me take care of them for you here on earth. I release this to you and let go of my worry. I pray they’re ok, but I trust you in all situations.
I quieted my spinning mind, and at that point I felt the Lord impress this upon my heart.
You asked me to empty your soul.
And so I had. Earlier in my commute a worship song came on titled “Empty My Soul,” with the premise of being refilled by more of God. I had sung along, and as I recited the words, had spoken them as a heartfelt prayer. So when He reminded me of that I realized that one place that needed consistent emptying was my tendency to fear, my worry for things I couldn’t control, and my anxious thoughts.
This morning He had emptied those things out of me in a flurry, then He had shown me that He could replace the anxious parts of me with His sovereignty. Trusting in Him took up the spaces of my mind and heart where worry had resided. It was a good reminder for me, and as soon as He had spoken the words above to my heart I felt peace come over me like a blanket.
I knew my husband was fine.
I knew my children were fine.
They were warm and sleeping, and God was in control.