Are you a “born” worrier? I used to be or at least that is what I kept telling myself. “I can’t stop worrying. I was born that way!” The truth is, I was NOT born that way. So what happened? Life happened! At school I used to worry about getting bad grades and at home living up to the standards of my older, well accomplished brothers. As I grew older I started to worry about who liked me, who was better than me, and even later in life about providing for my son, how I would pay my bills, and so much more. And while there is good purposeful worrying that causes us to use the power of our imagination to problem solve, I was an over-the-top worrier. I used to worry for the sake of worrying. I was wrapped in a blanket of insecurity and begin to expect a negative outcome about almost anything.
I continued on this path until one day I got a call from my good friend in California. She was a divorced mom with two young children and had truly fallen on hard times. She had lost her job due to downsizing at one of the major newspapers there and had yet to find other employment.
This particular day, she called me to inform me about an interview she had just left and how awful it has been. “The two ladies weren’t even listening to my responses…they were mean and condescending…they asked me questions that weren’t even relevant…they already have someone in mind for the job…they were just wasting my time.” She said all of this in between crying and sobbing and asking me what I think might happen to her and her children. But no matter what I said to her, she wasn’t hearing me.
Finally, her son came in from school and she had to end the call. That conversation left my head spinning and then I began to imagine everything she was going through for myself. What if I lost my job and was unable to care for my son and my nephew? Where would we live? Where would I turn? What would happen to them? And I found myself with tears streaming down my face. However, my concern for my own well being was ended by the ringing of my phone again and on the other end was the same friend, yelling triumphantly because she had received a call saying she had gotten the job.
After that call, I sat there trying to take it all in and at that moment it hit me how much senseless worrying the two of us had done over things that were likely never to occur. We were both gazing into our futures and painting a picture of worry and pain for ourselves…imagining the worst instead of praying for a good outcome.
As I thought about how unnecessary all the worrying had been and how insane it was that both of us had put ourselves through it, I realized I had been walking in these same shoes most of my life. Shoes that had pinched my toes….caused me exuberating pain, but I still refused to take them off because I was “born for that pain” aka worry.
I made up my mind at that time that I was going to worry less and lean on God more. I came to realize that He had been walking with me anyway through the various stages in my life and He had kept many of the bad things I had been imagining from happening to me. He sometimes steadied me when I got off balance and kept me from falling. And when I did fall He picked me up and planted my feet on solid ground.
Today, I no longer go overboard with worry. The greatest reality that I take with me throughout every step of my journey is that I am never alone. God will never leave me and will walk with me every step of the way. I don’t know about you, but I rejoice in knowing that He is with me on my journey and I can trust Him, even when I am uncertain as to where I am going.