Everyone is addicted to something. On a good day, chocolate mint chip ice cream sandwiches become endangered species in my freezer. On a bad day, I just can't seem to stop worrying.
Although I suspect my love affair with worry started since I was wee tall, I only recently realized how serious my guilty pleasure had become.
My penchant for coming up with things to worry about was masked by more (ahem) positive terms for worryaholism: good planning, control, and self-reliance.
The truth behind all this, however, is a different story.
I have trouble falling asleep nights. My mind often races, writing up "what if" scenarios and chewing on problems to solve.
I second guess myself. Although I'm quick on practical, get-her-done decisions, when it comes to making decisions for myself, I freeze up, afraid to make mistakes.
I almost can't be blamed for being such a worry nut. I was the oldest child to a teenage single mom who didn't speak a word of English. To get from poverty to self-sustaining adulthood, one has to have a plan, don't you think?
In God's wisdom, He allowed me to view myself under the light of these lies. Until it was time for a faith intervention.
An Unexpected Response
I was an unsuspecting conferee at a Christian women's retreat earlier this year when I got notice that my worry-filled days were numbered.
On the last night of the retreat, a woman shared her testimony.
Abused as a little girl, she turned to a life of addictions and eventually lost her four children to the State because of them. She cried, confiding it was the night of her oldest son's birthday, who she hadn't seen since he was a little boy.
It wasn't until she was fifty years old when she found Christ, becoming addiction-free at sixty.
The disturbing thing wasn't her testimony. It was my response.
Her story upset me. I didn't understand why God would wait so long before rescuing her.
Wasn't she angry at God? How could she trust Him?
Back in my room, I broke down in tears. I realized that I was the person who was angry at God. I was the the little girl who felt God didn't rescue from the circumstances of life.
In an effort to avoid hurtful circumstances, I relied on my ability to plan, and a habit of worrying grew over time.
I knew I needed to change, but didn't know where to begin.
As I cried in despair, I felt God's tears drop on my heart.
Quietly, He gathered me in His arms and spoke.
Don't be afraid. I can free you from worry.
Just as I brought light out of darkness, I will bring order out of your chaos.
"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." Genesis 1:2, 3
I have rescued you, Bonnie. Never mind the circumstances. You were always safe.
Through imperfect faith, I saw that God was good.
Faith was no longer a goal for me to reach. It became the bridge I must cross daily to see God's goodness and live worry-free.
That night, I stepped out of denial and surrendered myself.
"I am the Lord's servant.. May it be to me as you have said." Luke 1:26-40
This prayer has become my anecdote to worry. During the day or late at night, I say to my worries, Let it be, if that is what God allows for me.
As I drifted off to sleep, my soul changed from painful remembrance to tearful gratitude. I am learning to walk freely by faith. One day at a time.
How has faith freed you on your life journey?
How has God staged a faith intervention for you?
by Bonnie Gray