I’ve been a worrier for as long as I can recall. Back in middle school, I sometimes would have a difficult time falling asleep because I was too worried about the next day’s test or presentation. I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it. There was one time a few classmates and I supposed to go on a special field trip downtown; I was so nervous to go that I literally made myself feel sick the day of the trip. High school brought a whole new set of worries, with sports and college and boys. I was even worried I’d be bad at the whole dating thing, and I stopped dating a nice boy because of it. (Don't worry—it worked out for the best.)
Worry and anxiety have been a big part of my story and how Christ drew me to Himself.
I’ve had to learn how to manage my stress levels. Living in New York City for four years presented its own set of challenges, and while I live in a more peaceful environment now, I know anxiety may be something I’m always prone to if I’m not mindful of it.
We all face anxiety. Many of us are often managing worry and fear on a daily basis. The reality of stress is hard to escape. We talk so much about taking care of our health by eating well and exercising, yet we practically glorify stress. Being busy is a badge of honor. And honestly, the whole “hustle” mentality sounds great until your body breaks down.
I heard once that worry is an insult to God. It’s so true. Worry, at its core, reflects a sense of pride. Worry says, “I’m worried because I’m in control and I know what’s best.”
The only way to stop worry in its tracks is to recognize we are not in control.
We can’t figure it all out.
And we don’t have to.
If you are a Believer—if you’ve repented and called Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior—then you have a hope greater than this world.
(If you’re not sure where you’re at with Jesus, would you take a minute to read this? He wants a relationship with you, and that’s the only way your worry will ever truly subside.)
Even as Christians, we are going to struggle. We live in a broken world, so naturally we still face worry and anxiety. Yet with Christ, we can trust He has us in His hands. He has a plan. He gives us a future, even when our future here on earth looks bleak. Life is more than what we can currently see.
We’ll face stress, no doubt. But Jesus is the difference-maker. He allows us to cope and defeat these feelings so they don’t knock us out.
When I’m feeling especially anxious, I have to remind myself to talk to God.
I say something like this:
“Father, I thank you so much for your truth that helps me stay grounded when I’m struggling. Your Word is so clear that we are not to be anxious about anything. We are to run to you! I am so grateful you are a God who cares deeply and intimately about all the details of our lives.
I confess I get anxious. I worry. I fear. That fear is not of you. That’s my own distrust of you and selfish focus on my own ways. Right now I’m anxious about these things...”
Then I write down every little thing that’s on my mind and has my stomach in knots. Truly everything: My to-do list. My job responsibilities. My bills. My savings account. My health. My living situation. My relationship status. My family. My friends. My pesky rosacea. (Yes, you can add skin conditions to your list, too.)
The things that worry you might be similar to what worry me, or they might be completely different. All that matters is that you examine that list and realize how small each of these things is in light of God. In light of eternity. In light of our great commission. That list seems big and long and stressful. But guess what?
God knows the answers to all of these things we worry about.
He is paving the way.
Pray that God would give you a spirit of trust not of fear. Pray for patience and a full reliance on Him. Pray for a heart that’s more like His.
This is a process and a practice. I have to continue confessing and taking my worries, however big or small, to the King. I have to ask that He keep my eyes fixed on Him. I look at my list and find comfort in the fact that God has a plan for all of it.
These stressors force me to turn to Him. He’s the perfect One, not me. Stress and anxiety keep me reliant on Him rather than myself. They remind me I cannot do it all, and I cannot live this life alone.
The more I focus on Him, the better I sleep, the less intimidating my list looks, and the more content I feel. Think about Jesus, all He's done for you, and the life He guarantees you when you run to Him. Do that, and I know your worries will subside.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.