God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Years ago, when I must have been fretting about something, my mom gave me a small, framed copy of The Serenity Prayer. I have always kept it on my bathroom counter as a reminder of how to live.

But several years ago, when my husband Jim was going through a difficult time, affecting his employment, shaking the core of his self-esteem and his whole sense of security about life, I quietly moved the prayer from my side of the bathroom counter to his. It has been there for several years. Over time, his work issues resolved, and he has been in a stable place for years now, but the prayer remained there.

Well, I don’t know how you are doing, but this pandemic has ramped up every anxiety I harbor. I worry about everyone and everything. Each time I think, “Okay, I’ve heard the worst; now I can cope,” another shoe drops, and there is something uniquely new that concerns me. Will my family be OK? How will my church function? What about the poor? Will someone I love get sick? Who will take care of the sick if the caretakers get sick? I think the facts that this enemy is invisible, and that uncertainty is a daily state, fuel all the more fear.

So yesterday, my sweet husband, picking up on my rising anxiety, moved The Serenity Prayer back to my side of the bathroom counter. I smiled when I saw that and remembered the sound spiritual advice it has always given me.

That is, we are in God’s hands, in God’s good, good hands. I must surrender myself and my loved ones to God’s care. And while there are some things I can control, and there is much I cannot, I can only use my gifts – including time – to serve others. That is how I will continue to find meaning. My anxiety will be manageable if I let wisdom guide my heart. Please let me know if I can do anything for you: amideik@stanthony.cc.

Be well. I send love and prayers to you and your families.