What to do With Worry
This morning I sat down in my chair, Bible and journal nearby, closed my eyes, and opened my hands. I took a few deep breathes, trying to center myself. My mind felt as though it kept going outside of my body, refusing to enter back into where it belongs, hovering outside of me, so I was unable to feel what was going on inside of me.
After a few moments, I took out my pencil and my journal and began to write. As I wrote, I realized all the worries I had been storing up inside of me. I decided to write them all down, and they were a lot.
They spanned from decisions about schooling for our kids to what I'm going to do after graduation in the spring, from a family member struggling with drug addiction to the toxic political climate and divisions in our country; to getting some food sensitivity test results about our daughter.
The worries pent up within my heart began pouring out on paper. Concerns I didn't even know I had.
After a couple of pages, I took a deep, long breath and closed my eyes again. I was finally able to feel my mind enter back into my body and begin to focus. As this happened, it dawned on me; my inability to focus and stay present was because I had not admitted how anxious I have been.
As I continued to write them down, I felt something within myself release, and I was able to breathe deeply for the first time in what felt like weeks.
I didn't even know I had been holding my breath.
It was as though the worries I had been holding in prevented me from being present in the moment. My inability to face them was preventing me from breathing.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard the unhelpful phrases "just give it to God" or "if you are worried, you aren't trusting God enough" or "just give it to God" when I've admitted worry.
I have often heard it taught from the pulpit that worrying is bad and unacceptable for a good Christian. Today, I want to say that just because we are told it's bad and anti-Christian doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
You know what? I think I came to the point today where I said, "You know what? Screw it. I'm worried, so God, I need your help with this."
Maybe we need to start with admitting that we are worried and why. God knows.
This morning, as I was able to be honest with myself and write down all the reasons I've been worried. It's been one of the most therapeutic things in a long time.
It wasn't until after I was able to sit down and write it all out that I could come to the point of asking God to help me surrender the outcomes to Him.
Friend, what are you worried about? Have you been holding it all up inside? If so, I want to encourage you to take some time today to sit in silence and write out all the reasons you can think of why you are worried.
Once you have done that, take a moment to breathe a few deep and slow breaths, where you feel the air go in through your nose and then follow it down into the depths of your stomach and then back out.
With each breath, allow yourself to release those burdens and worries to God.
I'm not saying they will all magically go away. Some may, and chances are, you will still have some worries holding on to you. For now, though, as you look over the ones you wrote down, ask God to help ease those worries.
Sometimes the letting go starts with us being honest and admitting to ourselves what they are before we can trust that He is able and willing to carry our worries for us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
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