I am a natural worrier. I don’t know if the fact I’m the oldest of seven kids has anything to do with it (maybe I inherited the overly protective mom gene). Maybe it’s because I think I know better than everyone else and when they don’t listen to me it stresses me out. Maybe I am a pessimist disguised in an optimist’s personality. Whatever the reason, I am an expert at it. I have truly perfected the art of worry. My kids, my brothers and sisters, my parents, my church, my marriage, lack of money, health, politics, the future, the past, am I making the right decisions - you name it and if I allowed myself, I could obsessively worry about all of that garbage all day every day.
Starting at the most basic of truths though, the first thing all of us worry warts just need to accept is that worry really doesn’t change or help anything. As a matter of fact, it just cripples your ability to see clearly enough to efficiently take care of the problem you are concerned with in the first place. It puts you in a bad mood, it causes physical and emotional discomfort and in my case, it puts extra pounds on my hips and butt every time it rears it's ugly head. And honestly, it usually causes the problem to seem bigger than what it really is anyway.
There are no positives to worrying. None. But yet it seems so right. It feels good to cry and yell and wallow in the misery that is potentially hovering right around each corner. It gives us permission to not act and it allows us to stop any forward progress. It gives us something to talk about, to think about, and to garner sympathy from. In a way, it is just easier to worry than it is to do what needs to be done sometimes.
In the New King James Bible the phrase “fear not” is used 11 times. The phrase “do not be afraid” is used 48 times and the phrase “do not fear” is used 51 times. Wow. That’s a lot of reminders to not be afraid. If I told my 8 year old something 110 times, I think it’s probably something I felt pretty strongly about. And most of these are commands, not suggestions.
Tomorrow (hopefully) I am going to start with a worry trigger that is huge. Tomorrow it's all about money - one of the most common and easiest to worry about. I think as far as anxiety goes, this one has been both my most intense struggle and my most rewarding victory. I have finally learned to handle it in a healthy way. God knew money would stress us out, that's why He has a TON to say about it.
So until then, here is a good verse that I like to repeat to myself when I am freaking out over something. I hope it can help you as well!
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2