Worry is one of my biggest struggles. Worry about the future, worry about what I did, worry about what I didn’t do, worry about how a situation will turn out… worry, worry, worry.
I can remember as a kid not being able to sleep at night because I was worrying. I can’t recall what I was even worried about, but it obviously made my mind run to crazy places.
Lately, I’ve found myself in this place again. Not worried about one thing in particular, just generally pondering over lots of possibilities, conversations, circumstances. Sometimes I have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, but usually that’s my own doing: lost track of time or something of that sort.
This week was a bit different. I’d be laying in bed. I knew my body was physically tired, but my mind just wouldn’t quit. It reminded me of those days when I was young worrying myself through the night. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t.
So I’d think. I’d pray- I’d ask God to calm my mind and bring rest. Eventually I would fall asleep, but the next day I’d be reminded about my troubles thanks to my sleepy eyes.
I’m thankful to be at the end of the work week so I can catch up on that needed rest. I know, though, I need to sort this out. I can’t wait for the weekends to get a full night of sleep. Although, isn’t that what many of us do??
On my drive home yesterday, slowed down by traffic, I started to pray. I talked to God about my week and my struggles with rest. We talked about worry. It was almost like He spoke right to my heart: “Rachel, don’t worry about the future. Take the next right steps right now.”
Whoa. In that moment I stopped my thoughts and just hung on to that.
Don’t worry about the future.
Take the next right step. Right now.
You see, I’m a planner. I love to know what’s next. My Passion Planner is always with me. While it’s a very useful tool, it doesn’t have all the answers. And neither do I.
It challenges me because I’m torn. I want to think about the future. I want to plan. I want to set goals. I want to make sure I’m on the right track for where I want to be when I’m 80. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
It gets bad when worry creeps into the mix.
Instead of just thinking, planning, hoping. Instead of just looking to the future, I worry about it. That’s not a productive use of my energy. Anything could change in a moment. I have no idea what’s even worth worrying about!
I want to be successful. I want to leave a beautiful legacy. I want to live a life of freedom and faith. I want to travel. I want to have a healthy, happy family of my own one day.
I have lots of goals and sometimes I worry about missing them or moving further away from them. And that’s why I had to be gently reminded that worrying won’t change that. Worry does not do anything productive for my future or even my present moment.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows. It empties today of its strength.
-Corrie ten Boom
All I can do is that the right steps right now. Right now is all I have control over, right?? Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t here yet.
So what I can do is determine the next right steps and then take them. That’s the best way to move forward. Notice I said next step. I don’t need to know the entire path. Things change – I just need to determine what the next right step is. If I don’t know that, I’m sure I can figure it out with some guidance and counsel.
This mindset eases my worried little heart. It takes the pressure off. It’ll all be okay! I’ll just keeping taking one right step after another. I will trust. And I will ask for help.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Share: have you found yourself in a state of worry? How did you overcome it?