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How Do You Stop Worrying?

Is worrying normal?

The temptation to worry is not difficult to find, or difficult to indulge in. There are bills to pay, health to watch, food to buy, friends to meet, children to feed, children to have, relationships to guard, jobs to get, jobs to leave.

Everybody struggles with it.

It’s been there since the beginning, in the garden. Why did Adam and Eve eat the fruit? Maybe they worried that something was being withheld from them and they needed to get it themselves.

But what is worry?

Worry is unease/concern/fear about present or potential difficulties.

It springs from a lack of trust that you won’t be cared for if you don’t do it. For a Christian, it’s not trusting that God loves you and will take care of you even if you ask.

I’ve been a Christian since I was five years old. I definitely didn’t understand what I was signing up for, but I believed that my surrender was real.

I’ve worried for thirty years, which just so happens to be how old I am. I’ve read the Bible frequently since I learned how to read, memorized Matthew 6:24 - 35 (I even put it up on my wall at school). Yet, I still don’t know how to not worry.

My thirty years haven’t been a complete conundrum. I have learned some things about why I worry.

  • I worry because I don’t trust God; or rather, that I don’t trust God well

  • I don’t trust God because I don’t believe who He says He is because it doesn’t match up with my experience

  • I’ve been disappointed in situations where I directly chose to trust God

  • I find it difficult to release the past, especially when something new looks very much like an old occurrence

But I also know that He hasn’t been absent and that I don’t completely mistrust Him.

After all:

  • He’s protected and guided me

  • I continue to be clothed, sheltered, fed

  • I’m basically healthy

  • I see His care for my family

  • He talks to me (and not just through His word)

  • He’s answered prayers

  • He’s acted before I’ve verbalized a need

I’ve seen His Kindness, and there’s nothing in the world that I would want instead of Him. In fact, if I’m struggling so much with Him in my life, how much more would I struggle without Him?

So why do I still worry?

Why is it that at the first sign of difficulty, I’m already activating plans B, C and D? Plan A was trusting Him for whatever I needed. Even before the time for Plan A to be successful has elapsed, I’m already moving on with an alternative.

Some of you may know that I conducted a major career change late last year in the midst of Covid, and I didn’t have a clear game plan. But this change came out of a commitment to learning who God is and allowing Him to teach me how to trust Him. I left my job and moved away from home based on His direction. Trusting is a key tenet of the faith that I profess, so I must understand it.

I expected that breaking the worrying habit would not be easy or straight-forward, and God has not disappointed.

He has not provided miraculously. My financial needs remain, and have increased. My travel plans aren’t panning out the way I had planned (neither plan A nor B).

I daily remind Him of His personal promises, but the outlook continues to look like the past episodes.

Yet, I still have hope that it won’t be the same as before and that this unknown is part of His method. He will show me how to trust Him and how to not worry.

But what about you? Do you have any advice for me? What have you learned about worrying?

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1 commentaire

Love this. Truth and life!

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