We recently had some gorgeous spring days, and I had not a worry in the world. Flowers were bursting with color, not a cloud in the sky, temperatures were reaching a comfortable high-seventies. It was amazing weather, and I could feel my spirits lifting with each sunrise. People all around seemed to be in a better mood. Isn’t it remarkable what a little Vitamin D can do?
Then the rain clouds started to roll in, and though it sounds cliche’, I received some bad news around the same time. A close family member is struggling with severe depression, a medical bill that I hoped would be covered by insurance isn’t and will drain most of my savings, I’m dealing with uncertainties with my health, and I’m having some trying moments as a mother of two young children. I feel as heavy and sad as the rain clouds. I wish I could crawl into bed so I could sleep through this season.
Life isn’t going the way I want it to, but life presses on.
WAYS OF WORRY
The other night, I stayed awake playing fear-based reels in my mind. I’m in limbo waiting on test results to rule out some serious medical conditions, so my mind takes me to the worst places. The bottom-line question that I keep coming back to is: Am I going to be around to raise my daughters? I wonder this over and over. It’s a fear that keeps me up at night, that makes me cry, that makes my mind race with anxieties about their future.
As I lay awake in bed, I prayed, and I felt like God was saying that I needed to stay present. I was anxiously trying to figure out the future, and I just needed to be in the moment.
FINDING COMFORT IN WORRY
As I thought about this idea of staying present, I realized that I get some comfort from worrying, from imagining the worst possible situation and playing the victim of tragedy because in my imaginings, I am at least cared for in some way by someone else. I think this need for comfort might stem from the same thread that my need to please people comes from. Just like I want other people’s approval, at times I want their sympathy. Both approval and sympathy are ways that I look for an external person to relieve anxiety or hurt within myself.
But that isn’t how I want to live my life.
I want to be a powerful woman of faith, unperturbed because of who is on the inside of me not because of the people who surround me. I want to firmly rest in God’s peace through any challenge regardless if anyone is by my side.
Don’t get me wrong, people are great! I believe that it’s necessary to have a good support system; however, there will always be lonely moments in life’s challenges, parts that I must face alone. If I require another person’s attention or sympathy or faith, I am setting myself up for disappointment because people are not my savior, God is. Rather, I need to listen to God and develop the character to bring me through life’s challenges.
FINDING CONTROL IN WORRY
Sometimes I trick myself into thinking that I am preparing myself when I play out worry-fueled scenarios in my mind. I think that the devastation of bad news, the sting of betrayal, the heartbreak of losing a loved one would be dampened if I could imagine the outcome.
The truth is I just end up stealing peace from myself in the current moment. Usually when life-altering events happen, I least expect them. In the past, even when my worst fears came true, my worry beforehand didn’t make the pain less. So why waste time worrying? Or, as Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
I am not doing myself or anyone else a service by worrying. It does not mean that I care less if I refuse to worry. To let go of control of the future is not saying that I don’t care about what happens. It’s saying that I believe that God is in control, and His ways are higher than my own.
FINDING CHRIST IN WORRY
So God told me to stay present and in the moment, and I think this speaks to the way that God can take something that is destructive and turn it into something positive. He took my worry and turned it into a reminder that I need to focus on Him. Now, when I notice myself worrying (which, sometimes I follow a trail of worry for a while before I even realize that I’m on it), I then get to give it God and get back to putting my trust in Him.
A song was playing on the radio yesterday that really helped me. It’s called “Safe to Shore” by Rend Collective. The lyrics paint an image of God being the lighthouse that will carry us safe to shore. We are guaranteed to face trouble in this life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” but he also left us with the assurance that he has overcome the world.
This is not my end destination. God has my children in His hands and His plan is infinitely better than my own. He will guide me through all of life’s challenges, and as Rend Collective says, He “is the peace in my troubled sea!”Rend Collective|”My Lighthouse”