Monday, March 16, 2015

Why I Gave Up "Worry" for Lent

And anything else that falls into the category of fear, unhappiness, and dissatisfaction.

If you asked me if I was a worrier, with confidence, I would answer no. I've always considered myself as in control. I've considered myself as a planner, a doer, and as proactive. Most importantly, I've considered myself as someone with strong faith. But truth be told, panic is usually my first reaction to stressful situations rather than feeling the peace in uncertainty that is associated with faith. 

Worry by definition is to feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
Worry causes delay to your potential (and it won't let you be great!). In a sense, worrying is a coping mechanism we develop in an attempt to manage our situations.

I noticed that I suddenly became prone to worrying about everything...recently it has been how long my hair will grow (ha!). But more seriously, I would find myself panicking over most every situation. I would find myself staying up late to ponder over how I would fix my problems -- problems that were beyond my control. I found myself creating scenarios that I imagined I would have to deal with in the far future. 

I remember discussing worry in one of my bible classes at Westmont College. We discussed what it means to worry as a Christian and how being fixated on our problems in this manner simply tells God that He cannot move your mountains. Worrying is telling God that your problems are bigger than Him.

During lent we are meant to give up certain luxuries and exercise patience.  People who worry do so because we desire the luxury of certainty. We fail to be convicted of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

When you worry, you spend more time doubting that believing.  
During this season I made a conscientious choice to be intentional about not worrying.

First I had to understand what causes worry: anticipating something you cannot yet see... you're anxious to obtain something that is not yet within your grasp.
I made sure to acknowledge these "problems" which caused me to worry. Acknowledge that I have bills to pay (in spite of being a full time student); acknowledge that some of my relationships were struggling; acknowledge that some of my goals and dreams will be difficult (but attainable!!).

I talked about intentionally giving up worry—
To me, being intentional about this is like anything: making a firm & mindful decision-- deciding to be happy, deciding to let go of anger, deciding to have a good day, deciding to smile. It's a decision that you can make in order to cease thinking about what you have no control over.

As a Christian what helped was praying about my situation and knowing in my spirit that it would be taken care of. By dwelling on God's promises. By remembering how He loves. By knowing that He has done it before (Hebrews 11:4-39).
Worry is a sign of distrust. By letting go of worry and making that commitment within your spirit, you are telling your problems that something is bigger than them...that something is in control of them..
so your problems no longer have a hold of your being & can no longer consume your thoughts.
Focus on who God is.
Surrender all--that includes surrendering a habit (or coping mechanism) I've formed over the years.
God never fails. So why worry?


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