Worry, the battle continues

Last week, Sherry shared a post The War Against Worry. This week, Sam also shares her struggle with worry...

Main Truth : “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

At 38 years old, I am learning worry is my feeble attempt to control something that is beyond my control.

It’s insanity in the making. For all of my adult life, I felt that if I don’t think about what was concerning me, then somehow i had  let go of trying to control it. But I can’t grasp something that is much bigger than me. This vain effort led me to exhaustion, anxiousness, self doubt, and insecurity.

Some symptoms of an unhealthy state of mind, according to the Mayo Clinic are:

Feeling sad or down

Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate

Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt

Extreme mood changes of highs and lows

Withdrawal from friends and activities

Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968

If you are a fellow worrier, I’m sure this sounds all too familiar. So what do we do?

As someone who thinks, “worst case” scenario a lot, worry often gets the best of me. The Bible says not to worry. So, I tell myself to stop worrying, then beat myself up because I can’t. This leads me down a path of guilt and self-condemnation.  This a non-productive cycle.

Here’s something I am realizing, thinking worst case scenario is not in itself a bad thing, it actually can be productive. Thinking about the worst case scenario helps to plan for future failings, attacks and mishaps. When it becomes non-productive is when I let it completely overtake my  thinking.

The Bible says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So do I just stop worrying? No, that seems  nearly impossible for me. Instead I bring my worry to surface and start digging. This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s really not. Let’s break down that passage:

Cast your cares - Write it out! Not on social media, but in a journal. Get it out of your head. If necessary, talk it out with a trusted person or mental health professional. Honestly, this alone works for me most of the time because most of the time I hear how ridiculous the worry is when it’s said out loud.

He {Jesus} cares for you - Bring to mind HOW Jesus cares for you. This means get into His Word. Some places I go to a lot is Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29. Get the Bible app and search for words that define your worry. Dig, dig, dig and dig some more for insight.

Be alert and of sober mind - does this mean don’t drink. Not necessarily. Don’t be so drunk with worry, you can’t see beyond it. Take a look at what you’re consuming. If you’re constantly consuming worry (news, social media, surrounding yourself by other worriers), their worries will start consuming your thoughts.

Your enemy, the Devil, prowls like a roaring lion waiting to devour - we all have an enemy, a very powerful enemy, whose weapon is very discreet. This weapon is lies covered in half truths. Do your worries have root in half-truths? Call them out!

Resist him (the devil) by standing firm in the faith - stand on the truth of God, not on your feelings of your circumstances.

Family of believers are suffering - you’re not alone in this battle. You have others in the faith who are with you and who can relate to your sufferings, get into community with them. Worry may make you want to isolate yourself - don’t! You need sisters in Christ to lift you up and speak truth into your worry.

Worry is a battle. Don’t beat yourself up when it gets the best of you, let it be a reminder that you have Go