Hi, GC families; what an honor it is to share this space with you! We are so fortunate to have this amazing, supportive community that provides opportunities and resources that allow us to grow as parents and followers of Jesus.
My name is Tiffany Faust, and my husband Shawn and I have been a part of Grace City pretty much since the beginning. We are so grateful for this community and the support we have received throughout the years. Though we may be new to the parenting game, we have learned so much since we welcomed our miracle boy Nash into this world. In just two short but sweet years, Nash has shaped us in so many ways, and we are so grateful God chose us to be his parents.
As I was praying over this blog, God put it on my heart to bring awareness to his desire for us to parent from a peaceful heart instead of from an anxious heart filled with worry and fear. Of course, much easier said than done, but regardless of the various challenges parenting brings, I think we can all admit that we could use more peace in our lives.
Anxiety has been something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember and has been an ongoing battle I hate to admit is my reality. There have been seasons where I’ve got it under control, while in other seasons, I’m drowning with anxious thoughts. Unfortunately, my anxiety took a turn for the worse when we brought Nash home. The amount of pressure I felt to care for such a precious miracle was so heavy, and I struggled with trusting my judgment and intuition. I’m sure the hormones and the 30-hour labor didn’t help, but regardless I was an anxious mess. I was uncomfortable with the uncertainties of the newborn phase, and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I felt like I had to control every little thing to feel any season of comfort. There were many nights I couldn’t sleep as I was terrified something bad would happen, and I couldn’t get past the intrusive thoughts. I would check Nash’s breathing a million times and would overthink every little thing. I would try to escape the fear and worry and live in the moment. But the escape would only last for a while, and the anxious, worried-filled thoughts would flood and consume my mind. My body was in a constant state of tension, and I had the most challenging time being present and soaking up the sweet, precious moments with my boy.
My mind was a battlefield.
I hated how I felt and wanted so desperately to feel free, enjoy the moment and not carry the heaviness of my anxiety. I knew things needed to change for the sake of my mental health and my family. As you can imagine, and if you can relate, this was an exhausting way to live, and it was exhausting for Shawn to watch. Although he confirmed many times that Nash was ok and that I needed to relax, it only provided temporary comfort.
Anxiety, fear, and worry robbed me of enjoying the newborn season and stole time I can never get back. It held me back from being the mom that God had equipped me to be. Anxiety, as it always does, blocks the blessings that God predestines for you and me. It hinders you from walking confidently in being a present, stable, and dependable parent.
I finally reached a breaking point after two weeks of Nash cluster feeding through the night and only getting a few hours of sleep a day. I probably slept a total of 12 hours during that time. Although Shawn offered to do the feedings in the middle of the night, I declined and felt like I had to do it all since he was back to work. That’s what moms do, right?
Well, as expected, it caught up to me. One night, the weight of everything I tried to carry by myself took its toll, and I had the most intense stream of meltdowns from midnight to 5 AM. I have had my fair share of meltdowns, but nothing topped these babies. They were next level.
At that point, Shawn and one of my best friends had an intervention and lovingly helped me realize that I needed to surrender control, allow others to help, and trust that God was in control.
It was at this moment I realized I couldn’t do it all by myself. My control, fears and worries were in the way of trusting God and having the peace that he desired for me to have.
You see, the enemy will try to convince you that as parents, you have to do it all. That you have to carry the weight of protecting your children by yourself. That was the lie I believed, and as you see, it got me nowhere. It only left me stagnant and drowning in my fears and worries.
But God says otherwise. Instead, God wants to carry the weight for us so we can freely parent with the wisdom, intuition, and grace that he has equipped each of us to have. He doesn’t intend for us to carry the weight that comes with parenting alone. That’s not our job; it’s his.
You see, we can’t parent from a peaceful place when anxiety, worry, and fear flood our minds. Trust me, I know it’s not easy to contain anxious thoughts, but I know it’s possible with God by your side. You may feel that it’s impossible for you to ever parent from a peaceful place, but let me remind you that it is possible. In fact, it’s God’s desire for us.
It’s also essential for us to remember how much power our thoughts hold. They turn into our belief system and impact our behaviors. The foundation of living in peace begins in our thoughts, and we must hold every thought captive like we’re reminded to do in Romans 12:2- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I don’t know if you can relate to having anxiety or dealing with anxious thoughts, but I’m sure you can relate to the heaviness that parenting brings. My hope and prayer is that you will be reminded of what God intends for us as parents, which is to be filled with peace and joy so that it will overflow into our families, onto our children, and into our communities. He wants us to walk in authority knowing that we can hold every thought captive, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can replace anxious thoughts with biblical truths.
If you are also facing the same battle, struggling with anxiety, and longing to live with more peace, I want you to know that you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. You are equipped to be the best parent possible for your children, and there are brighter days ahead for you. I know this because God has helped me through this battle. Though I still have hard days, and anxiety tries to creep in and steal my peace, God reminds me that he’s in control. I also want to encourage you to find someone trusted in our community to talk to. Either reach out to a leader, staff member, or get in a City Group! God designed us to live in community and stay connected. His desire is not for us to suffer in silence.
On days that you struggle to find peace or hope in your circumstances, meditate on the following scriptures that I cling to when I’m flooded with anxiety.
Proverbs 12:25; “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
Isaiah 43:1-3; “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”
Psalm 4:8; “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
John 16:33; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 14:27; “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Philippians 4:6-7; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Isaiah 26:3; “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7; “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Joshua 1:9; “Have I not commenced you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Tiffany Faust