Once upon a time, there was a girl who should have been happy. But she wasn’t.
She was always worried she would lose everything that mattered most to her — so frightened of losing a best friend that she never tried to make one, so concerned about ruining her favorite shirt that she never even wore it…
And she never lost a thing, but she hated every second of her life and died bitter, alone with her stomach ulcers.
This sounds utterly ridiculous, right? Well, that’s because it is. But how often do we waste our own precious lives worrying? We waste time, giving ourselves queasy stomachs. We ask, “What if this were to happen?” And, most often, we end up never having to face the answer.
I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I’m a worrier.
I worry about what I’m going to eat for breakfast when nothing sounds good. I worry about getting the flu, consuming too much junk food, what so-and-so must think of me. I fret about the party I’m hosting. I think my husband will get in a horrible car accident every time I send him off on errands.
It’s normal to worry about some things, and it’s even good to do so sometimes — to a certain extent. If you didn’t care whether your husband made it home safely or not, that would be a problem. Caring about his safety shows you love him.
But are you letting irrational fears take over your life? I had a counselor tell me once that, frankly, when we have irrational fears, we’re afraid of dying. And, well, being so afraid of dying all the time essentially brings about one’s demise — whether literally or figuratively, wasting life like the sad girl in our story.
Along with any worry you may face, there must be faith. Faith should control your feelings and actions. Use these three suggestions to help you bring faith to the forefront of your life, pushing needless worry aside.
Ask yourself logical questions, and act on the answers
I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about something I needed to get done. But for what? I couldn’t very well have done anything about it at 1AM. Most of the time, the things we need to do can wait until the morning. We often waste our time fretting instead of acting.
Instead, tell yourself, “I can’t do anything about it now,” and write down what you will do about your problem in the future. Then, relax and know that all will be taken care of as soon as possible.
Tell yourself you’ve done the best you can do
I think the best way to illustrate this concept is with a real example.
For many of us, our biggest worries stem from our children. My first is growing inside my uterus right now, and I’ve already found myself worrying about him or her. The worries I have are truly fruitless. What if I lose the baby? What if he or she has neurofibromatosis? These are things I can’t totally control. Sure, I can take care of myself and make sure I don’t go skydiving while I’m pregnant, but the rest is truly up to genetics. There’s nothing I can do.
But what about those with babies who have entered the world? What can they do to keep their children safe? Feed, clothe and shelter your kids. That’s a good start.
But what about making sure our children don’t go out and do anything stupid? Well, if you let worry take over, you won’t be able to do your part: teaching your children to be wise. Teach children the difference between right and wrong. Explain what isn’t good for them and why. Love them, and spend time with them.
Then comes the hard part: letting our children choose for themselves.
And, of course, we will worry. We should. But we can’t control our children. Once we have done the best we can to teach them, we have to take a deep breath and tell ourselves we’ve done the best we can. We must have faith that our children will make wise choices.
And if they don’t? We cannot blame ourselves — as long as we did our best to teach them. We can, however, continue to love our children and try to help them. But if we let worry take over, we won’t know howto help them.
When you worry too much, not only do you waste time fretting and doing nothing about the problem, but you become closed to the influence that could help you: God.
Remember that God knows what He’s doing, and He will help you
In Revelation 22:13 of the King James Bible, the Lord says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” God is omniscient, endless. He knows everything. Thus, He says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9, KJV).”
In other words, God knows what is best for us. Hence, we can declare, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, KJV).”
Things will work out. Maybe not as soon as you would like, but they will work out as long as you do your very best. You can’t just sit around and wait for God to fix things. “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:17, KJV).”
Just remember: do what you can and trust God. Then, don’t fret.