Lies We’ve Believed | An AMH Blog Series
When I was younger there was a significant event that took place in my family that allowed for fear to creep in and take up residence in my life.
Let’s go back.
My family was living in a small town up north in a cute white house across from a lake. One morning when I woke up my parents were gone and our neighbors were sitting in our living room – one folding laundry and the other petting our cat. The next moment I remember our grandparents walking through the front door. This was significant because they lived an hour and a half away and we didn’t get to see them that often.
It turned out, while we were sleeping, my mother had stopped breathing in the night and was flown by helicopter to a larger city for emergency medical treatment. She hadn’t been feeling well lately and her condition had quickly worsened. We later found out that she had Spinal Meningitis.
Miraculously, God intervened and my mom survived. But my life quickly changed. We would visit my mom at the hospital and were moved between different homes of family members and friends as she recovered and went through rehabilitation.
Letting Worry Take Over
I’m happy to say that my family is still together. But I was different. I became fearful of what the future held, not wanting to see my family pulled apart again. Worry became an unfortunate ally and friend.
The last thing I wanted to happen was for things to change.
That was about 20 years ago.
I became that kid no babysitter would want to watch because I would refuse to fall asleep until I knew everyone was home. My parents would simply go for a walk around the neighborhood and I would work myself up with worst case scenarios and a terrible stomach ache to the point of throwing up. My mom took me to the emergency room one night because of a terrible aching chest pain that wouldn’t stop, and guess what, I was just all worked up again.
I’m sure I could walk you through example after example. I didn’t want to see anything happen to my loved ones, and because I cared about them, I would worry for their safety.
Worrying = Caring
The problem with this is we have no way of knowing what the future holds. Even the Bible recognizes this, so there is no reprieve for the worrier. We cannot control others actions, so there is always a next thing to worry about.
So what does the Bible say about this?
Trusting the Word Over the Worry
“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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)
Or can any of you by worrying add an extra hour to anyone else’s life? It wasn’t by any of us worrying that my mom’s life was saved that night, and none of my worrying has continued to keep my family safe since then.
Thankfully the Bible doesn’t leave us hanging, it always points us back to God. It was God who saved my mom, and it is God who has gently taught me that through trusting in Him, I can put my worrying behind me.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). And Philippians adds to that by saying, “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 NIV).
Wouldn’t it be more caring to pray for someone instead of worrying for them?
I find the difference between worrying and putting my trust in God to be this: when I worry, I draw more into myself, allowing my fears and anxieties to spread. When I instead turn and give my worries over to God, I draw more into His peace and trust that He’s got me no matter what the situation may be. The crazy part is, God loves our families and friends way more than we ever could.
God doesn’t want His children, you or me, to live in the fear of not knowing what the future will hold. But instead to have faith in knowing that He holds our future and will never leave us.
One of my favorite verses that has helped in pulling me through this was Isaiah 41:13.
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 4:13 NIV). (On a random side note … if I ever were to get a tattoo, not saying it will happen, but if it did, this verse would go on my right wrist).
Finding Peace in God’s Presence
In the book Lies Young Women Believe (p.43-44) Nancy writes about a difficult time she went through and how God showed her that she was putting people in place of Him in her life. It was through this that she realized there was no human (or anything else) that could truly satisfy her. Through that desperate season God brought her to a place where she could say, “Whom have I in Heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25).
Growing up surrounded with so much fear of the unknown and living in constant worry, I have found so much peace and comfort in the arms of my Heavenly Father. Instead of constantly worrying about the people I love, I can instead to turn to God and pray for them.
Does this mean my worry has gone away? No. But when it does pop up, instead of wallowing in it and allowing it to fester, I instead turn to one who can actually do something about it. Someone who will comfort me and bring peace. Someone who will surround me with His love and care for me. Someone who will fight for me and is bigger than any situation I am worried about.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
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