It’s ironic, the title of this post. Why? Because I scheduled the idea weeks ago, not knowing how much worry would assault me in the days to come.
I’m writing this on Saturday October 13th, next to my daughter Julia who is sleeping. Her lethargy bothers me in the deepest way. I miss her personality. And, yes, I worry.
So how in the world do I live beyond that? How do I not let my heart race and my mind jump to scary conclusions? In this moment, I’m numb, but peaceful. I’m tired, but alert. I’m small, but I feel God’s bigness.
And in light of that, here’s what I’m learning about slaying worry.
- Worry begets worry, so don’t let it through the door. Once I open myself up to worry and fretting, the door doesn’t open a tiny bit. It flies wide open, allowing many worry monsters access to my mind. The best way to combat this is to take every worry thought captive, assigning Jesus to it, and leaving it in His hands.
- Read prayerfully through Psalm 27. God is big. He is bigger than our problems.
- Tell someone. There is power in community. Galatians 6:2 says, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. When you keep things bottled, they fester. When you tell your stress, it dissipates.
- Pray. It’s that familiar, pesky verse again. Philippians 6: 6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Praying guards your heart from the fear monster. Peace comes via the avenue of prayer. Pray alone. Pray quietly. Shout if you need to. Invite others to pray.
- Ask yourself hard questions. Do you love fear more than you love God? Is fear your comfort zone? Is it your automatic fallback? What do you gain by being fearful? Why do you keep doing it?
- Look at family patterns. If you struggle mightily in this area, is there someone in your family who has had the exact same problem? Did you vow not to be like him/her only to see yourself freaking out in the same way? Remember, you cannot conquer fear on your own. In your power, you will turn out like those you judged before. You need Jesus.
- Rest. Often worry comes on the heals of an overactive life, where stress mounts and you have no margin. In order to battle worry, you have to incorporate rest into your lifestyle. Honestly, this is one of the hardest things for me.
I am in the cradle of worry right now. Your prayers have helped so much. And by His grace, we all carry on.