In preparation for tonight's Bible study with some of my girlfriends, I read the current chapter in our book, which was titled "Worry is Like a Rocking Chair."
"Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere."
As a person who was in the past diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, I know a lot about worry. I've done a lot of reading on worry. I've gone through a lot of counseling for my worry. I've experienced a lot of anxiousness, stomach aches, shakiness, affected relationships, and fear of situations thanks to worry.
I am SO grateful to say that although I still struggle with worry as a typical person does, it no longer consumes my life. I really owe a lot of that to a wonderful Christian counselor I found. He helped me to feel like a normal person again. Thanks to him and God's intervention, worry no longer keeps me home from planned activities or keeps me awake at night. But that doesn't mean I don't still need to work on it.
My biggest current struggle with worry is this: although I know God loves me immensely and will only allow in my life what He can use for good, that doesn't mean I'm not going to absolutely hate some of the things He allows. That doesn't mean I'm not going to lose someone I love. That doesn't mean I'm not going to have horrible health struggles, that doesn't mean I'm not going to have situations that make my stomach churn. And the fact that I know God WILL allow those things in my life, despite His love for me, is the source of most of my current worries. And I can't quite figure out a way around that, other than acknowledging that He knows best and that I need to want and allow what He wants. But trying to do that just seems impossible sometimes!
The chapter in this book didn't provide any great revelations that solved my struggle for me, but it did give some great insight. Here are my favorite quotes from the chapter:
"All our fret and worry are caused by calculating without God."
"Quiet tension is not trust. It is simply compressed anxiety."
"Anxiety is...that which diverts us from present duty to weary calculations of how to meet conditions that may never arise. It's the habit of crossing bridges before we reach them."
"Worry has more to do with perspective than with circumstances. In similar situations, one woman can be anxious and another peaceful. A woman worries when she perceives a threat or a danger. I use the word perceive because the danger can be real or imagined."
"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened." - French philosopher Montaigne
"Depression is the past superimposed on the present, and anxiety is the future superimposed on the present."
"It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and to mind the present." - George MacDonald
(All of these quotes can be found in Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.)
Here are some helpful Scripture passages that apply to this topic:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7
And finally, one of my all-time favorite passages of Scripture:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
Did you read that last verse? The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus. If you turn your worries and cares over to God, he will give you a supernatural peace that makes absolutely no sense to you or anyone around you. You will feel better without any explanation as to why (other than that you gave everything to God). It's like your own wonderful miracle going on right inside your head. What an AMAZING blessing!
All right, if you have any wisdom, Scripture, or resources to share about worry and anxiety, I would love to hear. And afterward, head on over to Call Me Blessed to find some more encouragement. :)
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