I’ve been struggling with worry lately. It’s been the type of worry that keeps me awake at night or wakes me up at night or makes me so anxious that I pounce on my husband as soon as he walks in the door in order to tell him everything that I’m worrying about. It’s just not right. I worry when I’m on my way to work, when I’m at work, when I’m coming home from work, when I’m sitting in church and should be paying attention, when I’m exercising on the treadmill… you get the idea.
I’m not going to list all of the things that I’m worrying about, because that’s not the point of this post. The point is what I’m doing to try to not worry.
I know that not everyone who reads this blog is a Christian. I’m OK with that. I don’t use this blog to try to convert people. I write about my life and what I’m feeling and what I’m struggling with. I’m never going to be perfect. In fact, I’m a pretty good example of what it means to be not perfect. I believe that Christians, more than anyone else, should be the first to acknowledge the imperfections in their life.
The Bible tells us not to worry. Did you know that? It does – in all sorts of places. Just check out Matthew, Mark, and Luke, to name a few. I know that and I hear what Jesus is saying. I shouldn’t worry, and yet I do! For cryin’ out loud – I worry about being worried! This isn’t meant to be an excuse – “Well, God tells me not to worry but I can’t help it, so I’ll just ignore that part of the Bible. He’ll understand. I’m only human, after all.” I don’t look at it that way. In this thing, as with everything, God knows that I’m human and He knows that I’m not perfect… but He also expects me to rely on Him. Why should my struggle with worrying be any different? If I trust God with so many things in my life, if I turn to Him with all of my other needs, then why shouldn’t I turn to Him for help with my worrying?
So that’s what I’ve been doing. I think of it as my “decision followed by lots of little agreements”. Whenever I’m faced with something that I worry about, something that’s really troubling me, I make a decision. I decide, “OK – I’m not going to worry about this. It’s out of my control. I’m going to trust God with this.” Inevitably that worry comes back. I’m not perfect and I knew that it would. But lately, when it comes back I don’t fall all over it again – I don’t wallow in it and get worked up. Instead, I’ve been reminding myself, “Remember – you’re going to trust God with this. You’ve done your part – it’s in His hands.” It’s one Big Decision, followed by many decisions to continue to agree with that Big Decision, and praying and trusting that God will see me through.
Like I said, I’m not perfect. I screw up and I make mistakes and sometimes, I languish in worry. But I keep going and over time, my struggles with worry have gotten better. It’s amazing how much peace I feel when it’s the middle of the night and I’m lying awake, worrying about some issue and I remember, “Wait – you’ve given this to God. Trust Him with it.”
Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that people should just leave everything to God and never do any prep work on their own. It’s like the classic example of the student who blew off their studies and then sits down to the final exam, praying all the while, “Lord – please help me do well!” That’s not the way it works, and that is not the approach that I’ve been taking with my worries. I’ve done what I can, and to go beyond that is to not allow God to be God in my life.
So, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m not perfect, I still worry, but I’m working through it. And at the end of the day, God is in control. Thank goodness.