What to Do When Worry is Wrecking Your Life
Unemployment is the WORST.
My dad has been looking for steady work for almost a year now, and my worry for my family has seemed to sky rocket.
What will they do if he can’t find a good job?
Will they lose their house?
What are you doing God?
The worries have piled on top of each other until they created a wall that can feel like it’s closing in on me.
Have you ever felt as if the worries for tomorrow are too much for today?
God actually has something to say about that in Matthew 6:34,
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I love how God doesn’t make “do not worry” a suggestion. It’s clearly a command and one I am not so good at obeying. We are not suppose to worry, but with trouble all around us, how is that possible? With every passing day my dad hasn’t found full time work, the issues and worries facing my family seem to grow larger. When worry is wrecking my life it’s not an easy thing to “simply trust” that God will work it all out.
Clearly, I need something tangible to do INSTEAD of worry. I cannot simply expel it from my life without replacing it with something else. These are the three things that started to help me.
Find Something to Be Thankful For.
Some days I wake up defeated and worried with the only focus in my mind being all the things going wrong in my life. When this is my mindset then there is no room for thankfulness. I heard a song that said, “If you woke up this morning then you are blessed.” It was a reminder that if you are reading this then there is air in your lungs and your heart is beating so you have something to be thankful for! Finding the small things that God has given me already helps shift my focus from the worry to the good things in my life.
Live in the Present.
Worry keeps me constantly trapped in the “what ifs” of tomorrow. I try to mentally and emotionally prepare for things that have not even happened yet. I think that if I can imagine the worst and get ready for it now then I will survive it better. But God doesn’t give us the strength to survive tomorrow’s problems today.
Mentally living in tomorrow’s worries makes me miss out on today. I have tried to intentionally focus on what is before me one moment at a time. Being present in each moment and loving those I am physically around helps keep my mind from wandering into tomorrow’s problems. I do not want to be so scared of what could happen to my family in the future that I am not present to help them with what they are going through today.
Hand Your Worries Over to a God Who Cares.
I went for a hike this weekend and stumbled upon a “bird blind” which I thought was used for hunting, but instead was set up as a way to view birds up close in their natural habitat without scaring them off.
As I watched the beautiful, bright, red cardinals gather food right in front of me, I couldn’t help but remember Matthew 6:26-27.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
It hit me that if God loves these small birds and cares for their needs, why wouldn’t he care for me and meet my needs? God is trying to tell us to chill out! I know he hasn’t forgotten my family even when it feels that way. He is caring for us in small ways we may not even see right now.
I have to prayerfully give my worries to God. Sometimes I have to do this every 30 minutes because I begin to worry again and take the issues right back into my own hands. But the only relief I will truly find is by releasing the burden of worry that I was never meant to carry into the hands of a God who is the only one who can truly control the outcome anyways.