Today’s post is written by Vikki Huisman. She writes at www.vikki.huisman.com
It’s very early in the morning. The kids are still sleeping. The hubby, silently clicking his mouse, is hard at work at Job #2 before he heads off to Job #1. And me? I’m scrolling through the internet news to see what celebrities did last night and over the weekend. Why? Because their lives take my mind off of my own.
It’s easier this way, isn’t it? Troll the websites to read about what America’s favorite punching bag did so we can judge her or her him instead of dealing with our own stuff. For years, I’ve told myself that the reason I go to these sites (multiple times a day) is because I’m a writer. I need to read about interesting and infamous people. That may be true on a very small-scale but the bigger truth is I like the distraction. Reading about the VMA’s takes my mind off of worrying about how another major news story may or may not directly affect my life and the lives of others. Watching the *NSYNC reunion clip allows me two minutes of escape before one of my kids is awake and I start worrying about what if he gets into another car accident or if he will get decent college scholarships.
I swear I don’t worry on purpose. I don’t LOOK for things to stew over. It just happens. The thought appears, the stomach turns over and the next thing I know, the problem or potential problem is all I can think of and now I’m physically ill.
This is not how it’s supposed to be. Internet memes claim the Bible says “do not worry” 365 times; once for every day of the year. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be true. The number is actually closer to 119. The smaller number doesn’t take away from the power of the message though. God most definitely does NOT want us to worry but to rely on Him. Worry does absolutely nothing for us. It adds no time or quality to our life, solves nothing and robs us of our joy or accomplishing anything worthwhile.
So why do we do it?
I’m not sure. It’s easy? It’s a knee-jerk reaction? Lack of trust in God?
This summer I spent a crazy amount of time and energy being anxious and on edge. I was really stressing out over being able to pass my online summer classes. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of fear and anxiety. I knew it wasn’t productive but I couldn’t get out. I wasn’t capable of thinking or talking about anything else other than these classes. I was obsessed. Then one day, I had a brief moment of sanity. I decided to pray.
When I remember to pray, my prayers are pretty basic and concise. They really aren’t pretty.
God, I’m worried and I can’t stop. Help me.
That’s it. I spent two weeks every morning as soon as my stomach starting churning praying that prayer. Every morning without fail, a gradual peace would come over me and I could actually focus on what was supposed to have my attention on at that moment.
Did I pass my classes? Yes, but not because God waved his magic wand. (I’m pretty sure He doesn’t have one) I truly believe I passed my classes due to a couple of things:
- I involved God in my life.
- God reminded me of what I tell my kids when they struggle with something. “If you can look yourself in the mirror and say you tried your absolute best, move on.” There’s something very freeing in realizing that even if your best wasn’t good enough, just knowing you did your best IS enough.
- He released me from my panic cage so I was actually able to focus and work harder.
Other worries are waiting around the fringes of my life, just waiting to be invited in. I could list them all here but then I’d starting worrying about them and ruin what appears to be starting out as a lovely day. Now that being said, I don’t want to trivialize what others are going through. The worries I mentioned in my life are manufactured. They haven’t happened yet…or they may not happen. I am in no way suggesting that anyone should ignore the tough realities they are going through. What I am saying is we should not be wasting our precious time on the “what if’s”. Worry is so debilitating, isn’t it? It just does not help at all.
So my challenge to you, readers, is to not worry…but not through sheer force of will or distracting yourself. I’m asking you to take a chance on God. Consider that He may, in fact, be big enough to help you shoulder your burdens and lighten your load.
God, I’m worried and I can’t stop. Help me.
Vikki Huisman is a writer, virtual assistant, college student, wife and mother of three. She blogs at www.vikkihuisman.com