I have many answers tumbling around in my brain. Should I give the typical, “fine and you?”, it will take the pressure off me and let me listen to gauge how she responds. The truth is I’m okay, but I worry every day about things I have no control over, sometimes until I’m physically sick.
My friend says she has been worrying about her kids; one is living back at home, another off to college soon, the younger one starting high school and each situation has its own details of the things moms worry about. Whew, now I know she’s on the same page as me so I can share how I really have been doing, not so good.
According to WedMD.com worrying too much can lead to physical problems and anxiety. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Ongoing anxiety, though, may be the result of a disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or social anxiety. Anxiety disorders are common, 1 in 20 people are affected at some stage in their life. Chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger health problems such as; digestive disorders, muscle tension, short-term memory loss, or heart attack.
I like to diagnose myself by going online and reading way too much material on my potential problem, doing a mental checklist and determining, “Yep, I have anxiety.” Don’t we all? Our world today is overwhelming with things flying at us 24-hours a day. From pressures at work, sick children, demanding spouse, bills due, money needed for everything your child needs at school or in an activity, it’s exhausting!
The height of my worrying and anxiety was truly exhausting. My mind was a constant roller coaster of thoughts, nagging me so badly I would make myself nearly sick to my stomach. The thoughts took on their own life, a seemingly small idea would grow to this elaborate play in my mind. The characters were fully developed, the plot, the story line and all the scenes methodically scripted out. The storyline was simple when the thought entered my mind, but as the director in me endlessly worked on all the angles, it developed into a climatic ending. This had to STOP! Each day, sometimes multiple times a day worry would consume me and nearly take me out, physically and mentally.
One day, during my quiet time with God I was looking up scripture on worry and Philippians 4:6-7 from The Message translation set me on a new path to stop this obsessive worrying.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Worry – pray, worry – pray. Say it with me, “Worry – pray, worry -pray”. Say it so much that it becomes the automatic response when we begin to worry – PRAY! Letting God have all the worries in my mind, letting him settle me down. Constantly believing that God will take all my worries when I turn them over in prayer to work them out. I work at it every day and I pray you can too.
A friend asks, “How have you been?”
My response, “Worrying and Praying!”