Thursday, July 21, 2011


Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

...Okay, I know what the Bible says about worrying, but why do I struggle with it so much? If you know me at all, you know that I am a worrier. For as long as I can remember, I have always worried about things. When I was in second grade, I would worry about not passing and making it to third grade and all my friends would make fun of me. When I was in the third grade, I would worry about not passing and making it to the fourth grade. This continued each year all the way through college graduation. On graduation day, as I was sitting in the ceremony, I was thinking, "What if they don't call my name? What if I have one more class to take? What if my $40,000 piece of paper isn't in the tube?"

I have always worried!!! Some things I haven't worried much about, were things like dating or marrying. I had enough faith to know that was God's timing and if he didn't bring a guy in my path, I was confident enough to know that He had other plans for me. Although, I did have MY plan and that was to go to Junior College, play ball (which happened), go to a major university (which happened), study education and after a year of school, meet and date my guy for two years, get engaged for the last semester and marry right out of college. Well, I studied education, but the finding "mister right", dating, engaged and being married didn't go like I planned. All that to say, I distinctly remember one night in college in my room, thinking about my college career that was about to wrap up and not having any prospects. I did begin to worry slightly about never marrying, but I just prayed, felt peace about being "single and satisfied" (a sermon I had heard my last summer at college by Tony Evans)and was ready to pursue other things. (Side note: Jeff asked me out (or I sort of asked him), depends who you talk to , my last fall semester, dated 6 months, engaged 7 months and have now been married for almost 7 years).

As I have become a mom, I have realized how much I struggle with this sin. I can worry!!!! I'm not proud of the fact that I do worry as much as I do and I feel like I am constantly battling, trying to overcome fear and worry. Sometimes I worry so much, I feel like I get depressed and it can/has paralyzed me with fear. I have always wondered if this is a woman thing? Which I remember very clearly a pastor at Breakaway saying one time, "Women, You. Can. Worry!" Is this a motherly thing? I don't know, but I hate worrying.

I worry about departing before my children while they are young and they will never know how much I LOVED them. I worry about losing a child and having to go through that turmoil. I worry about losing Jeff and having to support my boys by doing everything. I worry about the house burning down at night and how I would get all three boys out of the house (this is really bad when Jeff travels and I am home by myself).

I worry about going to "shady places" and I don't mean places that have a lot of trees, because that would be awesome. I mean places that are plagued with conspicuous characters or as Jim Carey put it in a movie, "the decay of Western Society". This really stems from being held up at gun point, but that is another post. Jeff can attest to this because anytime we go downtown for anything or a new city, he has to have directions printed out and the mileage so we do end up taking the "scenic route" as he calls it.

I honestly don't know why I am posting about one of my greatest weaknesses here, but it was something I felt like sharing. Maybe to know that there are other mother's out there who struggle with the same things and have good advice on ways to overcome it. Or maybe it's to let other mother's know that there is someone else out there who worries about the same things they do. Or maybe this is form of therapy and a step towards overcoming it.

Since God is all knowing and He knows that I struggle with worrying, maybe that's why he has put the people in my life that he has. Like my college roommate. She was always so peaceful and calm and didn't ever seem to worry about anything. Like before major exams she would come back from the library having only studied a few hours and I would ask, "that's all you're going to study?" She would generally respond, "I studied as much as I could, if I pass, great, if I fail, oh well." I, on the other hand, would study for four stinkin' days for like 4 or 5 hours a night trying to over-prepare and then test day came and I would be like, "what if I studied the wrong chapters? what if I didn't study enough?" AGGGHHH.

Then Jeff came into my life. A guy who is so peaceful and knows that things happen because, well, "that's life." I wish I had that quality about me. To be so peaceful and calm and not be consumed with worry.

As much as I pray and hope that my children don't have this quality about them (because it can, at times, keep you from exploring and trying new things), it has kept me on a straight and narrow path. For example: In high school, when I would over hear friends talking about parties, and I'm not talking about getting together, playing games, eating cake, ice cream and pizza, kind of parties. Parties, that at one time one of my friends said to me, "Linds, it's not your kind of party." I would always think, I wouldn't go anyway, because the one time I do, cops would bust us, take me in, then there goes my basketball career, I would embarrass my family, blah, blah. So, in some respects, it was good (?).

But when I do start to worry or become anxious about things or have thoughts that are consuming me and cause me to take my eyes off Christ, I feel like God reminds of this particular scripture, 27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27


Zach/Elizabeth Vowell said...

I can clearly recall my mom not sleeping at night b/c she just stayed up worrying when I was a kid and I thought it was SO RIDICULOUS b/c sleep is wonderful. Then I grew up and found myself in the same position at times. I was totally dumb-founded by this and have relied on the very same scripture for God's peace and I believe He has provided me with sufficient grace AND comfort. Keep your head up! I also can't help but think about that song that says "what if the trials of this life are just your mercies in disguise" because your tendency to worry may have guided your path to keeping away from some trouble. I don't want to justify it, but sometimes it does strike me that God works in ways that are outside of my box.

Susan Cox said...

I know exactly what you are feeling. I am a worrier too, BUT as I've gotten older (62 in September) I've been able to rely on God more and more and know that I can't do anything about the bad stuff. Don't get me wrong, I still worry, but I don't obsess over it as much. There are still nights that I can't sleep, but a lot more that I can. I can remember as a little girl (like 4 or 5 yo) not being able to sleep because I was afraid something bad would happen. And like you, on into adulthood especially after I had children. Now I have children and grandchildren to worry about, but I have to trust God will watch over them when I can't. You have such a precious family and you are a very good mom!