Exhausted my head hit the pillow yet my mind didn’t seem to get the memo. Thoughts raced through my brain. My children were leaving again. August into September brings transitions. Whether we are sending little ones off to school or our nest is emptying we can struggle. Our children are once again out of our watchful eye. Does that ever happen to you? You lie in bed and thoughts whirl around as if they have their own propulsion.
Will the other people be nice to him? Did she remember to pack everything? What if his new apartment isn’t as nice as the pictures? Ugh stop worrying. They will be fine. Scripture tells us to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). Thanks Apostle Paul now I’m anxious about being anxious. I know I’m not supposed to be worry yet here I go again. How do we combat these wayward thoughts?
It is important to define the difference between anxiety and fear. We use these words interchangeably but they are not the same. Fear occurs when we are in real danger. We are afraid in life threatening situations. We are afraid anytime a real crisis takes place. It is okay to feel afraid. It is not okay to live in fear. I wear a bracelet that says “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6) to remind me to face my fear and move forward.
Anxiety is something different. Anxiety is the fear of what might happen. It can even be defined as the fear of the future. It tangles the “what ifs” with the “might be” to create an unrealistic picture. Anxiety is never our friend. It is important to pause here and make sure you know it is okay to seek help for anxiety. Our mental health is important. Anxiety is controllable through prayer, counseling, and medication when needed. Do what you need to do to be healthy.
Worries are not to take up space in our heads. They are not allowed to have free rental space. That space is to be used for God’s word. Matthew 6:27 (NIV) “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” That answer would be NOPE. We are to trust Jesus with our thoughts. Psalm 9:10 (NIV) “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Let’s look at Philippians 4:6 in detail. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (NLT).
1. Don’t worry.
2. Pray about everything. That literally means all things. Every detail matters to God and it is ok to share it with Him. He will listen.
3. Ask God to provide for you and those you love. This is your time to fight. Remember you are standing on the victory already provided for you. (Romans 8:37)
4. Thank Him. Gratitude is an amazing weapon against anxiety.
His promises will quiet the wayward thought. This takes practice. One of my favorite prayers is simple. “I trust you Jesus.” Sometimes it is on repeat until His peace surrounds me and fills me. Not because it takes repetition to get Him to answer but because I need to believe it myself.
Instead of worrying let’s turn it to a prayer of thanksgiving. She’s growing up so fast turns to thank you Lord she’s able to go to school. He’s leaving home becomes thank you he has this new adventure to follow his dream. They might not make it without me converts to thank you they are learning independence. Through God’s grace we can quiet those pesky thoughts and rest knowing God is in control.
It is not a one and done. This takes time and it is harder when life is difficult. We are allowed to feel fear and worry, we are not to stay there. If this is an ongoing issue remember you don’t have to live this way. Get help and live in freedom.
God is infinitely greater than everything. That is a huge statement. His power is boundless. Creativity was birthed in His being. God is the source, the beginning – the end. You know this. I know this. But do we live this way? In transforming into the woman He desires us to be we must rely on His power. He can turn a worrier into a wonder. Keep fighting my friend.