Wednesday, June 27, 2018
I used to think I wasn't a worrier. Then I began listening to my own conversations and was astounded to hear how many times the words "worry" or "worried" came out of my mouth. I could almost excuse it as just a figure of speech until I heard my daughter teasingly refer to me as a "Worry Wort." That pretty much sealed the deal.
My name is Linda, and I'm a worrier.
I began to search for the source of all that angst. After all, I've been a believer since my childhood. I know all the verses about not worrying and about leaving my burdens with the Lord. I pray. How is it that I still fret about so many things?
I realized that all of those things had one common denominator - they were things that were out of my control. There is no question that I like to have everything under control. I'm a planner. I make lists. I want to know what to expect at every turn - anticipate every possible misstep. In my convoluted thinking process, I reasoned that if I had already thought about it then it wouldn't happen. Everything under control.
There came a day when none of those things worked for me. The Father allowed something to come into my well ordered life that was definitely not part of my plan. It was, in fact, my worst nightmare. I couldn't work this one out. It was completely out of my hands.
Everything went dark for me, and for a long time I could not even pray. I wondered about the point of prayer, since I had prayed so hard that this very thing would not happen. In essence, I walked away from faith for a little while. Walked until I came to the place where I had to make a choice. Would I choose to walk the path of faith, or would I turn my back on it for good.
In the end it became an easy choice, because I knew the path away from God led to despair. Hope lay in His direction, and oh how I needed hope. In order to find my way back, I had to come to a point of surrender - a letting go of what I desperately wanted to control . I was going to have to trust Him. No more questions about what if. I had to believe with all my heart that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He has said He would do.
When I finally surrendered to faith, something "mysterious" happened. It took me by surprise. My circumstances didn't change, but He changed something fundamental in me. For the first time, I fully trusted Him with all that is most precious to me - without holding on for dear life just in case He wasn't paying attention. Quietly, inexorably, peace settled into the depths of my soul.
There are days when worry and fear try to worm their way back into my heart, and I have to go through the process all over again. It is all right. I have a dear Father who understands and draws me close with grace and love.
"Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."