Well, I finally found one question to which Google has no answer: How does one worry? It’s just not in there….every answer given, all the pithy techniques suggested, all the medications mentioned are to help one STOP worrying. For some reason an instructional site on “worry” doesn’t exist. There isn’t a professional making tons of money telling us to repeatedly think unproductive thoughts, imagining the worst outcome possible.
Do you know how to worry? I do. My husband and I joke that as soon as the umbilical cord is cut, parents’ begin their life-long job of worrying. The truth is, I was an expert at worry way before the first baby arrived, before the “I dos,” before the Friday night dates, the first rental, the final exams, and the freshman 15. I never read it in a book and no one tutored me in worrying. I just had what seemed to be an “inevitable knack for sustaining wearisome, anxious thoughts about things I may or may not be able to change.” Let’s say it’s just one of my many talents. Unfortunately, I often find the “what-if” and “if-only” thoughts sapping me physically, taxing me mentally, and dragging me down emotionally. How about you?
Here’s the GREAT news…If you know how to worry, you already know the cure! The Bible says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Phil. 4:6-7, The Message)
If we know how to worry, we know how to pray continually. Worry becomes a habit, just as does anything we repeat over and over. Instead of trying to figure out what should happen, how things should go, what the timing should be, why not shape these worries into prayers by replacing them with petitions and praises based on all the promises that are “yes” in Jesus Christ.
Sometimes I’ll remind one of the boys about things he needs to take care of and he inspires my confidence when he responds, “Mom, I got this.” When I’m trying to remind God what He should be doing through my worrying, I remember on the cross He said, “Jill, I got this.”