I’ve been carrying around this worry. Wearing it like a necklace around my neck. I think it’s my reminder to pray. A badge that shows my concern – to others, to myself. I know I’m not supposed to worry. I try not to scold myself out of worrying, a double vice.
Worry takes you nowhere. I’ve taken the long route to come to the place of accepting this truth that wise parents, and mentors, and friends, and teachers have told me and taught me over the years. I’d like to tell you that worry accomplishes nothing, but it actually does . . .
No, it doesn’t take action on the situation you’re simmering on – the one you stew over. It works on you. It takes your thoughts – tiny and passing by – and stacks them. “What should I make for dinner?” “How will there be enough money this month?” “Did I put the garage door down?” “Pick up kids at three.” “I do not need that chocolate. I do not need that chocolate.” “That chocolate tasted so good.” “How is my loved one going to make it through _______.” “Ehhh, it’s 2:50.” “I have no idea what to make for dinner.” “How am I going to make it through the very stressful day that I have tomorrow?” “I dread tomorrow.”
The badge of concern is a heavy weight that we wear.
Worry is a busy worker. It finds any sense of fright, sniffs it out like a hound dog, and hides it like a prized bone. But the bone multiplies. It becomes two and three and four and turns into a pile, and then many tiny hills that within days have worked their way into steep mountains. Mountains you can’t see beyond. Mountains you are certain you can’t get over or around.
“There is no solution to this problem.” “I can’t do anything.” “I want to do something.” “How are they going to survive_____.” “How am I going to survive______” “How are we going to make ends meet?” “Oh no, now all the kids are going to get sick.” “How are we going to get through_______?” “How, How How?” “Why, Why, Why?” “Help, Help, Help.”
The necklace is now a chain.
Worry is now fear.
This pattern is one that I am overly acquainted with. However, it’s a pattern that I’m much more quick to recognize, then I was, even, just last year. It’s one that literally became too heavy to wear. It started as the badge of concern around my neck. A shiny necklace. Caring daughter. Concerned friend. Loving mother and wife. It did nothing for my situations, it only festered its way into crippling fear and anxiety that made me physically sick.
Can you relate?
I knew, I wasn’t supposed to worry. I memorized why I wasn’t supposed to worry. I scolded myself when I did. I tried my hardest. I did my best. But, my best wasn’t good enough. When the concern became a chain, and the worry turned to fear and fear to anxiety, I finally realized there were only two options. Let the chain crush me, or lay it down and let it go.
One of the verses that I memorized (when I was young) and meditated on for you years . . . it was comfort, but also making me feel like I was coming up short.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
It was the “once and for all” that I wasn’t getting, when I would try my best. I’d take the chain off every few days, casting my care, but I’d return and pick up my necklace, my concern, again and again. And when I did, I would feel shame and condemnation for doing so. It’s a gross cycle. But, God’s word is not condemn us – it’s to set us free from condemnation. It has the power to set us free from anything that keeps us in any form of bondage.
This week, I picked up the chain. I am overly concerned about things. I am a caring daughter, concerned friend, loving mother and wife. My strength is also my weakness. Only now I recognize the weight almost immediately. It is ill fitting and I realize it is not mine to wear. I don’t condemn myself for falling short of “once and for all.” Instead of focusing on how I am not good enough, I am blinded by the one who is more than enough. The one who paid for my freedom, the one who cares about me with deep affection and watches over me so carefully is standing in front of me, in front of you, with arms wide open waiting for us to let go and hand over the weight that we are wearing called worry. He is not mad. Disappointed. Frustrated. He is kind. He is caring. He is the person of grace. And, the beauty is that when we are free of the weight of worry and fear, we are free to remember that He cares for those that we love with deep affection and He watches over them so carefully. Worry is no longer at work, Jesus is. And, we are only to rest.
If you struggle with worry, fear, or anxiety today, I pray that you are overcome with a God’s love, grace, and great affection for you and all (and everyone) that concerns you. I pray that you won’t have to wait for the weight to become too heavy to hold, but that, TODAY, you will let it go, lay it down, hand it over, cast it to the one who wants to free you of it.
This is another promise that will help you put down the weight that you wear:
Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
xo . trina