I surrendered our dog this morning. There is a tremendous amount of guilt and anxiety attached to that sentence. I feel like I’ve wronged her. I feel like I wasn’t good enough for her and now her future is uncertain. On the drive home I prayed for peace of mind. That this door be closed and that I can move on from it.

When I got home I started a new devotional in my Bible app. I figured the best way to counteract the thoughts racing through my head was to dig into the Bible. I chose “Anxious for Nothing,” a 5 day reading plan from Max Lucado. Days 1 and 2 of the plan hit be square between the eyes:

“Is your heart weighed down with worry? Could you use some calm? If so, you aren’t alone. Conquering anxiety and worry requires some work on your part, but be sure of this: it is not God’s will that you lead a life of perpetual anxiety.”

“The most stressed-out people are control freaks. The more they try to control the world, the more they realize they cannot. Life becomes a cycle of anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure. But when you recognize heaven has an occupied throne, you allow the Lord to be in control. God then calms your fears not by removing the problem, but by revealing his divine power and presence. Your anxiety decreases as your understanding of God, your Father, increases.”

“Unchecked anxiety can unleash an Enola Gay of angry outbursts, rash accusations and fiery retaliations against those in your path who are unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Anxiety management is like pulling stumps out of the ground. Some of your worries have deep root systems, and extracting them is hard work. But you don’t have to do it alone. Present the challenge to your Father and ask for help.”

So as I wait for the kids to get back from church to a dog-free home, I pray that God my Father can give me the peace of mind and gentleness to move forward in His grace.