Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Worry Wort

I worry about everything. I worry what will happen if I don't produce at work. I worry that I will run out of vacation days and not be able to visit home. I worry that I can't afford plane tickets to go home. I worry that I am not spending enough time with my roommates. I worry that I have a cavity. I worry about what will happen when I lose someone close to me. I worry that I am missing out on things at home. I worry about when I'll ever move back home.

Monday I was particularly worried. Well, maybe not worried, but I had a lot of thoughtst going through my head and felt sort of overwhelemd. I had to take Tyler to a doctor's appointment (nothing too serious) and missed the morning of work. I was so worried that I had too much to do so instead of staying home to make sure he was OK, I went into the office. I think worried something was going to happen to his grandmother who hasn't been doing well. I worried about getting to his family, taking time off, etc etc. I worried that I was being too much of a procrastinator at work. I worried that he needed me to be there with him.


Worry runs in my family and I know it. My mom constantly reminds me to write out my blessings when something is wrong and Tyler is good about reminding me there is no need to worry.

I just opened up my daily devotional from Proverbs 31 and guess what the devotional was about.... WORRY!

I have to share what I just read:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

As we drove home from a weekend in the mountains, I felt a heavy sense of dread and sadness. Laying my head back on my seat, I told my husband, J.J., "I don't want to go home."
After talking through my reasons with him, I realized the stress and strain of countless commitments - at home and work - were taking a toll on me. I just wanted to go back to the mountains where I could rest.

J.J. encouraged me to make a list of everything on my plate and ask God what I needed to cut back. At first I resented his suggestion. It felt like he'd just added one more thing I "needed to do." Yet I knew J.J. was right and eventually I made the list.

Then I asked God to show me where to make changes. Much to my surprise the changes I sensed Him leading me to make weren't in my schedule - they were in me.

God didn't show me I needed to cut back at work or in ministry. He didn't show me our kids were in too many activities. He didn't lead me to take a sabbatical, although I was kind of hoping He would.
Instead, I sensed it was worry - not my workload - that was making me weary.

I thought about the months leading up to this point and realized I'd spent almost as much time thinking and worrying about deadlines as I spent working on them. Some days my concerns about commitments and meeting people's expectations had consumed me.

I had let my mind dwell on the possible outcome of several different decisions - all at the same time - and it left me depleted mentally, emotionally and physically.

Honestly though, until I stopped and talked to God about it, I didn't recognize my mental mayhem as worry.

My mind is wired to think a lot so I'd gotten used to the constant flurry of motion in my brain. Yet anxiety had crept in slowly, causing tangles in my thoughts, a tightening in my chest, and tension in my neck. Some days I couldn't stop thinking about ALL I needed to do.

Instead of going back to the mountains to rest, I sensed God wanted me to find a resting place in His presence right in the middle of my busy life. Through today's key verse from Matthew 11:28, He invited me to come to Him with the worries that were making me weary.

Do you sense Him inviting you to come to Him today?

He promises a place to quiet your thoughts in His presence. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" (Ps. 91:1-2 NIV)

He offers freedom from the captivity of your concerns when you bring them to Him: "'Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. And I will lead you back from captivity.'" (Jeremiah 29:13-14 NIV)
Today, instead of letting our worries make us weary, let's respond to God's invitation and come to Him - asking, seeking and finding a resting place for our restless thoughts.

Dear Lord, when my concerns consume me, help me remember You are there inviting me to come to You and talk about all I'm thinking and doing. Show me if my workload or my worries are making me weary and help me trust You with both. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Ta ta,


Claire said...

I LOVE this post Charlotte!!! I had an interview Monday and a few hours before I received an email from my dad that reminded me to ask God to calm my nerves and make me less nervous and to always remember to thank Him afterward. That email changed everything about that morning, and prayer must have worked because it was the best interview I've ever had! My favorite verse to remember is always "the Lord will fight for you, all you have to do is stand still" because I think it reminds me that although I'm worrying like crazy down here on earth, God has bigger plans for me then to spend my life worrying about something that is ultimately in His hands! Here's to not worrying as much!!! xoxox

Taylor said...

I'm the same way - great post - it really takes its toll and doesn't necessarily help any situation. Everything happens for a reason!

Megan said...

I literally think we are the same person. Seriously. A. I am such a worry wart about EVERYTHING and B. I get the 31 devotionals and had some of the same thoughts. Re reading it with your story helped it sink in better! I so wish you lived closer!!!

Victoria said...

love this post!! thanks!!

i am a worry wart too :)

barberar said...

Such a great post, Charlotte! I needed that today. I am a worrier, too and sometimes I forget to count my blessings.