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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don't Fret, My Pet


It's something that plagues us all, doesn't it?

This morning Joe and I talked about worrying...especially in light of all the big unknown changes looming in our near future. It's a sin I've struggled with since college, and maybe even before.

Yeah, that's right. I said sin.

As we talked, Joe gave me this definition:
"To worry is to make an assumption of something that has not happened yet."
So true! When you begin to analyze why worrisome thoughts creep into the back of your mind, it all comes down to assuming that the worst is going to happen in the future. I know I've done it - and written it off as a prayer request, or necessary for preparation, or some other nonsense. Lately, though, as the timeline of our future has been one big question mark, I've been convicted of how much worrying affects me.

I can waste away an entire evening, or even a weekend worrying about a future event. And it doesn't get me any closer to solving a problem that may not even exist in the first place! Time is precious, as the death of my dear friend Kathleen has taught me, and honestly, I don't have any time to waste by fretting! As Matthew 6:27 says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" 

Worry can also skew my perspective. There have been several times in my life that I have joyfully, and naively, looked to the future. I'll be optimistically discussing a future path or decision when a well-meaning friend says, "Well, what if such and such happens?" And suddenly, I'm off kilter. Immediately I begin to grow anxious over that possibility, and try to create an emergency plan in my head for if that occurs. Is my gaze still on my Savior, trusting Him with all the intricacies of our future plan? No. I'm looking inward, hoping that I can come up with a solution to protect me from this future pothole in our plans. In fact, I may be looking so far forward that I forget to live in today! This is why Matthew goes on in verse 34 to say, " not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

So what is the solution? Well....I'm not perfect by any means, but Joe summed it up nicely for me. There are two ways we can actively fight against worry:

1. Give everything to the Lord.
This is where prayer comes in, my friends....conversing with our all-knowing Creator is the best way to relieve any worrisome thoughts. How can we fret when we're talking to the One who knows the end from the beginning?

2. Prepare
Yeah, yeah, seems like I'm contradicting myself, but preparation in and of itself is not a bad thing! Preparation is an action. Worrying is an emotional hang up, kind of like a skipping CD - you keep turning the same things over and over in your mind, but you never get anywhere with it! Preparation is productive, and leads to things running (hopefully) smoothly.

The key is to do both. If you give it to the Lord, but don't prepare, you can miss out on opportunities the Lord may have for you. Plus, we are called to be stewards of what God has given us, which involves action, not just believing everything will turn out fine. And if you prepare, but don't give it to the Lord, you are relying on your own strength - which gives you a legitimate reason to worry! ;)

I'm the first to admit how difficult this is. I am by nature a planner...which often goes hand in hand with worrying. It's taken me a long time to get to the point that I can give something over to the Lord and trust Him with the result...and I definitely don't do it often enough! It seems that the Lord has been preparing me for some time for adoption in this way. Though I still worry (on a daily basis) about what might happen with a future birthmother, when we'll finally find the screws for the crib, or how quickly our baby will bond to us, I'm learning to lean on my ever faithful Savior, and trust Him with my hopes and dreams of the future.

And I'm better off because of it.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it'." Isaiah 30:21

1 comment:

Tony and Lisa said...

I'm so proud of you and Joe! You are trusting your God to show you His plan and walk this path with you...and He will do it! Dad and I feel God's peace and know you and Joe are doing what God is telling you to do because you trust Him. We would do exactly what you're doing - get on our knees and obey whatever God says to do!
We love you so much,