Frazzled By: Barbara

Which one of us has not been frazzled at one time or another? Can any of us honestly say they have not found themselves in this condition. I sure can’t. A number of the meanings of “frazzled” are: the state of being emotionally and physically exhausted, nervous fatigue, stressed, frayed at the edges. I’m almost humiliated to say I found myself in this state of mind many a time. The truth is being frazzled is a form of anxiety. The Lord tell us we are to be anxious for nothing. If Jesus tells us this and we know that Jesus in not a liar then we have to believe in faith that this is feasible. How do we get to this place where we do not become frazzled? Well I guess the best thing to do is tell you the circumstances that had me frazzled and then explain how the Lord dealt with me.
The first two testimonies coming under the meaning of “frayed at the edges,” nothing major but a nuisance. Years ago, I had a bit of road rage. Mind you, I never got out of the car screaming at anyone but I was incredibly fluent in the one finger sign language, and spewed out the vocabulary that went along with it. To answer the question you may have, yes I was a Christian at the time but as the saying goes “God was not finished with me yet.” I remember one particular summer night, I was on my way to a Bible study. On the seat of the passenger side of the car was my big black Bible. The windows of the car were wide opened and I was approaching a fork in the road. It was two lanes, drivers had the choice of either bearing to the right or going straight. The driver in front of me obviously could not comprehend which lane he needed, as a result, he was weaving in and out between lanes and he really had me frazzled. Bellowing at the top of my lungs, I screamed “would you make up your blank blank blank mind!” Instantaneously, I heard the booming laughter of a group of teenage boys in another car. To say conviction came upon me is an understatement and I came to the opinion that I was the biggest hypocrite that ever lived. I put my Bible on the floor as I would be utterly mortified should anyone see it. Sadly, I didn’t understand the concept of Grace* back then so I beat myself up needlessly.
Tailgaters were the most frazzling. I would put my windshield wipers on to spray water on the tailgaters windshield. Seeing the driver putting on their own wipers to remove the sprayed water made it a little less frazzling and oh the satisfaction that came with it. The Lord began to work on my heart about this and He convicted me in a loving way, whereas I felt no condemnation just a desire to change. The Lord provoked me to ask for His help and I did. Tailgaters are now a dilemma of the past. One of three things happen and it is almost immediate. The driver will either pass me, make a turn onto another street or last but not least, right before my eyes, I see them backing up at a safe distance. What is nothing short of a miracle is that this has been going on for two years now, each and every single time. All I say is “Lord, please get them off my tail.” I can’t help but wonder what is going on with the person that is backing up. Is the Lord telling them to back off or are they seeing fire or something coming from the car? When I say a safe distance, some of them back up about 2 and 3 car lengths if not more. One of these day I hope to be able to get out of the car and ask them why they backed up so far. I no longer get mad and I will ask the Lord to bless the driver. A relapse occurs now and then when a driver almost causes me to have a accident but I am no longer using sign language nor spewing out obscenities except possibly to call them an idiot but again I feel the nudge of the Lord and once again His perfect peace comes and I pray a blessing and a prayer of protection over them and of course thanking the Lord for His hedge of protection over me.
The next testimony comes under the meaning of ” being emotionally and physically exhausted.” My husband, Lou, lost a very good job through no fault of his own. The company was fighting the unemployment benefits even though it was his right to collect. The battle was going on for weeks and there was no way my income would see us through. There weren’t many times I was able to put into practice the words of the Lord, “be anxious for nothing” so many times my nerves were shot and I found myself imagining all kinds of horrors if the benefits did not come through. A lawyer was consulted and his fee was three to five thousand dollars and that was even if he did not win the case. Meanwhile, I had already planned a trip to South Carolina with one of my best friends. We were going to a Christian conference and Lou and I agreed I should still go. We would make up our minds about retaining the lawyer when I returned. The conference was amazing with anointed worship, great teaching as well as an awesome time in the Lord’s presence. During one session we were asked to just go up to people and pray for them. I met a man there and though we had brief conversations, he knew nothing about my circumstances and I did not tell him anything before he prayed. He began to pray over me but then he declared, “I will be your lawyer, I will plead your case.” He meant the Lord of course not himself. I knew without a doubt, I heard the voice of the Lord through this man and I was NOT to hire the lawyer and I was determined to stand on that word. Once I got home I told Lou about the word that was given to me. He was shaken but he also decided to stand on the word. You see, he was saved but I was saved quite a few years before him and he saw too many miracles in my life to discredit it. When my friend and I came back from that conference we came back different people and we never been the same since. I learned more and more about trusting God. This did not mean that everything would go my way but I trusted that my Daddy God knew best no matter what it looked like.
During the waiting period for the benefits and after the conference, the Lord began to show me that if I wanted to continue to grow in Him it was imperative that I spend time with him. I got up very early in the morning to do this and to be truthful I did not feel it was going well. In fact, I actually got mad at the Lord as it felt like a waste of time. I considered it a one way conversation with me doing all the talking but I persevered. Why was it like this? I have an though on that. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He wanted me to seek Him with all that I had, to make me hungry for him. To make me realize how much I wanted Him. After pursuing Him for some time and learning how to just listen, things began to change. I don’t remember how long it took but He showed up. Well actually He was always there but He finally revealed Himself to me. His presence filled the room, and I said, “Jesus you just walked in the room didn’t you? With His presence came the peace that passes all understanding. It is not like this all the time but after doing this for a few years now, I have to say it is more than not. The wait is not long, I just sit there with my cup of coffee to meet Him on my living room couch and I feel Him there. This is also when I spend time in His Word and He speaks to me through it. It is glorious. Just to be clear, spending time with Him does not mean countless hours on your knees. There will be times when we may need to pray like that but I always meet Him in the morning, in my PJ’s and as I already stated, a cup of coffee. I know some may find that offensive but keep in mind I am having real fellowship with Him!
So what you may ask does life look like without being frazzled? Well for one, even though the battle for Lou’s unemployment benefits went on for weeks afterwards, I did not have the anxiety anymore and I knew it would be ok. Lou did receive the benefits, and even when they ran out the Lord kept us and since then he found another job, not like the other one but the Lord continues to see us through. I also found I was no longer frazzled over other situations and one was most devastating. 2013 was a difficult year. I lost my mother, sister and an older friend in a 5 month span. Realistically it should have been a state of being emotionally and physically exhausted, frazzled to the extreme but I wasn’t. I know they are all with the Lord and that gives me a peace that passes all understanding. I got to be with my sister and witness her leave this life, into Glory and I will always be thankful for that. If I did not have the relationship I have with the Lord today, I’m not sure I would have gotten through it. Yes, I did mourn for a season but I’m ok, moreover I am at peace. I realize that everyone deals with the death of a loved one in different ways and that is normal just don’t go through it without the Lord. The Comforter (Holy Spirit) comforted me and He will do the same for you!
A lesser example. My daughter loves to travel. She takes a big vacation almost every year, out of the United States, in addition to a couple in the states. This consists of lots of flying. I found myself checking the flight landing status continually and became frazzled waiting for the time that the plane landed safely. When she was in another country, I was a total mess until she got home as I anticipated all the terrors that could befall her and her friends. Sleep was out of the question. “Lord PLEASE protect them” was my plea. I was begging. Oh my, it was pitiful. Presently, I do not get frazzled at all. I have peace whether she is in or out of the country. As far as checking the flight plans, I may look at it a couple times but for the most part I just tell her, “call me when you get there. I do pray Psalm 91, the prayer of protection, knowing that she is in the Lord’s hands. Oh and I no longer have a fear of flying.
Even my driving has improved. I was terrified of driving in the snow. Grant you, I still do not enjoy it and would rather not but I am not getting frazzled over it anymore and this winter certainly gave me a lot of experience.
I do not look at circumstances around me any longer as I know my God is faithful therefore I feel his peace. I’m also filled with the joy of the Lord and I am hardly ever in a bad mood. I can honestly say it takes a lot nowadays to get me frazzled. Do I have any areas where I still need victory? Yes! I have a difficult time being around people that are always negative. No matter what their circumstances, they can’t see the good. Yes I pray for them but I’m yearning to stop thinking about smacking them at the same time. Annoying people (thorns in my side) can at times get me frazzled. I have come a long way in this area. I keep in mind they are the Lord’s children too and for the most part I can ignore them instead of flipping out like I once did. Victory is coming so please pray for me.
In conclusion, I have learned, through trials and tribulations that having peace that passes all understanding is feasible. For me though it took developing that relationship with the Lord to get to this place and it is so worth the time. If we want a friendship we must spend time with that friend and it is the same with the Lord. Don’t worry about how much time. All our schedules are different but I suggest you just start out with 15 minutes a day if you can. I also like to add that some of the best conversations and experiences I had with the Lord were in my car on the way to work. He is always there you just need to make yourself available.
*Grace: If you do not understand the concept of Grace please see my article “Cocoons” on this blog.

5 thoughts on “Frazzled By: Barbara

  1. After I read Frazzled I emailed Barbara and told her she was amazing. She replied that I should leave a comment, but not to say she was amazing, so I guess I can’t say that!What I will say is,
    Barbara has been my best friend for a long time and I think familiarity hasn’t bred contempt exactly, but maybe I’ve got used to her exceptional gifts and just take them for granted. Reading this just woke me up.

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  2. Barbara, what a great writing. God has done a great work in you! I remember times in younger years when you would get anxious about some things but I dont see that Barbara anymore. God keeps you and sustains you through trials and you shine with His peace during them. It is

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  3. Your life is a testimony for the Lord. I love the part about hiding your Bible after cursing the driver. You make mistakes like us all. You are real…….but you allow God to mold and shape you into something better every day with your morning devotions.

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  4. You are both going to make me cry!

    Lynnette you crack me up and you are pretty amazing yourself!!!! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend! Love you!

    Yes, Michele, I remember the days when it didn’t take much to make me frazzled but God is so good. Just goes to show you what He can do if you let Him. BTW, we went to the same Bible study. It was over Dot’s house. Great memories! Love you!

    BTW, sorry for all the typo’s. No exaggerating, I checked it over 10 times. I think it was a test to see if I would get Frazzled but I didn’t. It is what it is. Typo’s and all, I’m so grateful that you both heard my heart. We serve a Awesome God!

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  5. Funny, your story about using the one finger flag at other drivers has helped me put into words some of the angst I have with Christians online. I have seen some very ugly things, said and done online and I wonder ‘wow’ how do they do that? Knowing that your a wonderful lady, and Peg has known you for years and that giving people (I’m giggling) the finger is not a fair picture of you. It makes me realize that as I peruse the Christian internet sites that I may be getting the finger from people who normally love the Lord and walk in His ways. BUT … at just the right moment in time, with just the right word, they may let lose with a finger or word that doesn’t genuinely reflect who they are. Maybe I need to be a little kinder toward them as I would be toward myself or my friends when I see this behavior. The written word can be difficult, without facial or hand gestures, there is the harshness of the letter…. I sensing the Spirit must be present in the reader for the words to convey their heart and tone and maybe I need to re-evaluate my way of hearing. I really appreciated your honesty. God bless, andrea

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