Breaking Up With The One Called Worry

Mama’s Losin’ It – Prompt #5

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow” – Helen Keller

I have always been a worrier. I was an anxious child. I was concerned about things that probably never crossed most children’s minds. I was cautious. I didn’t take chances. I thought things through and weighed consequences before I made decisions. I think this was mostly brought on by the influence of my mother who was, and still is, a constant worrier. With six children, I suppose she had lots to worry about. I would listen to her warnings and see how my siblings should have listened and saved themselves pain and grief. I made sure not to make the same mistakes.

As I turned into a teenager, I began to take more chances. I was just careful about not letting my mother find out. Still, I worried about home, life, finances, grades, and other typical teenage angst. I went into marriage and motherhood with those very same concerns over every little detail of living. It was to the point that I was not really living.

While I’ve always known God, I did not know how to hand burdens over. Well, I knew how to hand them over, I just continued to take them back. I prayed and even occasionally bargained. And I continued to worry.

Then, I was held up at gunpoint. The anxiety reached an all time high that evolved into outright panic attacks. I tried medication, therapy, and religion. It all worked to a degree. The panic attacks subsided. I continued with life. However, I still lived in the shadows.

Finally, I turned my face to the sunshine of God. I embraced Him into my soul. I learned to trust Him, and lay my burdens down. It was in this trust that I was able to let go of an existence based on worry and control. When I let go of control, I allowed myself the freedom and the peace to really live.

Yes, I still try to grab the reins on occasion, but I realize what I am doing, and I back off. The ultimate fear of a parent is the harm of a child. I’ve been there, but I’ve learned to rely on the grace of God to get me through. I have no control over the actions of others or the workings of the universe…so I know to worry obsessively is of no use to anyone. I’ve gotten the late night/early morning call from a child. I know that breath-stealing fear that rips from your heart to your hips. It happened when Oldest totaled his motorcycle and again last night when Youngest was in a skateboarding accident. (Other than staples in his head, gashes, scrapes, and pain, he is fine.) Fear can be paralyzing. Though, I was worried sick, I handed it over to God. When it involves your children, accepting God’s divine intervention without your help is the most difficult thing a mother can do. It is also the bravest and smartest thing I have ever done. I don’t know how I would have made it out of the shadows and into the sunlight without the comfort and strength of the One in charge. Certainly if He can create the mountains, seas, you, and me, He can handle the small stuff.

34 thoughts on “Breaking Up With The One Called Worry

  1. Breaking up is hard to do. So sings Neil Sedaka. I find it to be pretty true.

    I break up, then we get back together again for a little trist, until I realize this dancing partner doesn’t move right. So I break up again. And again.

    It’s a practice. Thank goodness for Grace.

    I’m glad your son is OK aside from the bumps and bruises.

    • I am the youngest of six….I came a bit later in the line up, so for a few years I was like an only child. The closest to my age is five years older, then nine, ten, eleven, and twelve years olders.

  2. “I don’t know how I would have made it out of the shadows and into the sunlight without the comfort and strength of the One in charge.”

    Me neither, Suzi!

    And I learned this at time in my life when I was utterly powerless to do anything, yet in surrendering to the One in charge, I understood the power in being powerless.

    Beautiful post, dear lady!

    Thank you for sharing this reminder.

    X

  3. There have been so many things in life that I absolutely could not handle on my own. I felt immediate relief when I handed it over to God. I can’t do this alone. I’m so glad God is with us!

    Loved this, Suzicate!

  4. That’s so true – it’s hard to leave your burdens with God. It’s human nature to try and take them back.
    Glad your son was fine – though it sounds like you have had some traumatic experiences.. It’s good that you are letting God help you through.

  5. Man, I think worrying is one of my biggest faults (among the many), and it’s something I constantly struggle with, and need to remember that I can give my burdens to God. I loved this post. I needed to read it.

  6. Though I am not religious I do turn my faith and hope over to something greater than me…the unknown. I am not sure what that is, but I do know that in great times of fear, anxiety or the unknown, it helps to relinquish your power over to something else. It comes down t accepting we only have control over some things and most are really out of our control. I envy you your strong religious faith. I wish sometimes I had that to turn to. Instead, I have found that ultimately I only I have my family, friends and myself.

  7. You were held up at gunpoint? How scary!

    I’m such a worrier. When I’m around my boyfriend’s kids, I”m always like “Should they be doing that?” And he’s always like “They’re fine.” And they are.

    • Yes, I was. It was around fifteen years ago…still something that remains tucked away in the back of your head and makes you assess situations probably a little more often than you should.

  8. I can definitely relate to all of your words here because I am an anxious person, too. Worry is mostly a learned response and I believe I learned to worry from my mom .. she is a hopeless worrier about everything.
    Letting go is hard … distance from other worriers, especially my mom, helps me to let go. After being away from the influence of a fellow worrier for a period of time, I have a better view of what worry looks like and what it can do to a person and it strengthens my resolve to let my worries go.
    Thanks for a great post.

  9. I think it is both. Worry is both a genetic thing and a learned thing. I think there is a healthy aspect to worry because it can make you cautious and maybe having you think things through. To me the way you said it “worry obsessively” that’s the key where it is not healthy because you can stop living.

    I am sorry that you had to go through such a scary thing (gunpoint), but I always love to hear how you made it through and grew from it. Yay SC!

    Not a day goes by when I don’t thank God for the small things because its the small things that help the big things go smooth and I am always grateful.

  10. So many times people think that if their faith in God is strong enough, nothing bad will ever happen to them. That’s not Scriptural or realistic. If that was the case, none of the Apostles would have had anything to worry about! Sure, we pray for protection over our loved ones and ourselves, but the test of faith is not whether you keep your faith during the good times, but look to God for help during the stressful, difficult times of worry, doubt and fear. There is no guarantee believers will be spared grief in this life, we just have a coping mechanism that allows us to see the bigger picture.

  11. I am worrier too and have written about it on my own blog. I am getting better, but it is still a process. I tell myself to find a solution to my worry or stop thinking about it. I don’t always execute, but I certainly try.

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