One Way to Change Your Default Worry Setting

It’s 9:31 in the morning. I should be gone already, off to the grocery stores for my weekly shopping trip.

But I’m sitting here, tweaking a blog post I finished yesterday, reading some emails, pondering my latest round of festering about an issue that has plagued me off and on practically my whole adult life.

curvy road

It’s stupid, really, my obsession with this thing. And yet, it continues to frustrate me, annoy me and cause me to worry needlessly.

You might laugh if I told you what it is. In the grand scheme of life, it’s pretty trivial. So maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just say that there is a direct line from my fretting about this thing to my need for security, my fear of the unknown, my discomfort with loose ends … my lack of trust.

The funny thing is, as much mental and emotional energy as I’ve wasted on this thing over the years, it’s always worked out. It’s really true, the adage that 90 percent of what we fear never happens.

(For the record, I worry a lot less than I used to. God has mercifully broken those chains that used to bind me, chains that I was powerless to break myself. But every so often, the enemy rears its ugly head, usually in this same form.)

You know what gave me peace about the current manifestation of my problem? The truth. I finally heard the truth about the issue from someone, and even though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, it released me.

It released me to make a decision, to let go of my angst, to move on.

The truth is like that, isn’t it? When we know it—grab hold of it and believe it from the bottom of our gut—it sets us free.

I got the truth—the actual facts about the situation that had been frustrating me—over the phone. But the underlying problem—my tendency to fret about something when I should be trusting—cannot be corrected with a phone call or email.

For that, I have to find a way to change my default setting—my go-to reaction whenever this thing comes up.

I need to start by reminding myself of the truth. Such as …

“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

And …

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, my favorite verse in the Bible)

Then, the minute this blasted issue (or any other) starts to mess with my mind and emotions, I need to remember to pray. Not just any prayer, but the plea that author Jan Karon (of Mitford fame) calls the “prayer that never fails.”

“Thy will be done.”

She’s right, you know. It works every time.

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up today with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart. Come join us for more encouragement.

Photo credit:Parvinder Singh via photopin cc

10 Responses to One Way to Change Your Default Worry Setting

  1. I try to say that every time fear grips me. It is amazing how fast the tension can melt away, that you didn’t even know you had!

  2. Deb Wolf says:

    I love that verse from Deuteronomy too. His promises are the best way to diffuse the power of worry. I used to be afraid of everything and fear caused too much worry. So thankful He’s helped me replace fear and worry with prayer and promises.

  3. Trudy says:

    I really identify with you here, Lois. Thank you for being so open about your anxiety. I can be such a worrywart, too. I like how you describe it – “there is a direct line from my fretting about this thing to my need for security, my fear of the unknown, my discomfort with loose ends … my lack of trust.” Well said. May we both learn more and more to cling to the Truth that will set us free! Your neighbor at Holley’s 🙂

  4. Kathy says:

    Oh, wow! For a total non-worrier, this anxiety beast has totally transformed my spiritual journey and prayer life. Its chains have kept my husband and my marriage in bondage for decades. And while I really am disappointed by your ambiguity because the Apostle Paul did the same thing, it instantly makes me your best friend because you totally get it! Thanks again for your honesty, your hope, and your reminder to return to the TRUTH that sets us free. I love you. XOXOX

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Oh, Kathy! I actually considered being more specific, but then decided that might distract from the point! 🙂 Thank you for your transparency, your encouraging words, and your enduring friendship!

  5. Kim says:

    Thank you for todays post.

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