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. Philippians 4:6-7 The Message
My MRI was Wednesday. My follow-up appointment with the neurologist is this coming Wednesday. I should be obsessing about test results, possible diagnoses, and all such things. Instead, I'm reading this passage from Philippians over and over and finding peace. Whenever I find myself worrying, I turn the worry into prayer and thank God for the blessings of modern medicine, supportive friends and family, and for the good I know will come from this journey.
At one point in my life, I was consumed with worry. I found out I was pregnant; my husband was in a car accident that totaled the car, but thankfully not him; and I lost my job all in one week. It was difficult to be excited about the pregnancy as I felt I should be because I was consumed with worry about how we could afford another mouth to feed and a car and ... and ... and.
Dragging my three young children and myself to church the following Sunday, I wasn't expecting my life to be changed forever. Pastor Wayne Gollenberg's sermon that day was about worry and the harm it can do in our lives. He talked about God and grace and having faith that God will help us through anything we may encounter in life. It was as if he was speaking directly to my heart. It was then that I felt an internal transformation - no longer would worry consume me. Instead I would accept things as they come and see what good God would make out of whatever situation I found myself in.
That pregnancy was a rough one, but a blessing. I would have had to quit my job, as most days I found it difficult and incredibly painful to walk. We changed our lifestyle even more and saved money in the process. I learned to make do with what we had on hand and get what we needed through thrift stores, freecycle, and barter. With four children, we needed a larger vehicle, and were blessed with family help in getting a van that would meet our needs. There wasn't one thing I worried about that didn't turn out better than I could have hoped for in the end.
I do still tend toward worry at times. My husband can attest to my infrequent, but anxiety-driven freak-outs. I do my best to then turn my worries into prayer and see what God has in store.
Centering my thoughts on the knowledge that God will help me through whatever is to come helps me see life through eyes of gratitude and joy.
Forty Days: In Thought, Word, and Deed