I prepared. I practiced. I prayed.
But none of that seemed to matter. My stomach felt as if it was in a perpetual state of being in knots. Worry filled my mind constantly. I worried that my score wouldn’t be high enough. I worried that I wouldn’t be accepted to the college of my choice. I worried that I wouldn’t be eligible for a scholarship.
My body could only handle so much of this worry. Before I knew it, my jaw began to hurt tremendously and I was told that stress was the cause. I was 16 years old. How could I be so stressed out?
I reasoned that I couldn’t help it. Worry just came to me naturally. I justified that it wasn’t bad, just an emotion. And so, I carried this struggle into adulthood. It accompanied me as a newlywed, as a professional, as a parent … like a heavy piece of luggage.
Throughout my years, I have been notorious to pray about something and ask God for His help, only to turn around and take it back by deciding He isn’t moving fast enough, so I’ll just take care of it by worrying, but thanks anyway.
There’s just one thing though: in Matthew 6:25 and 27, Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life” and asked this poignant question, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Our Father has an answer to overcome this struggle of worry: “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). God knows what we need.
It was time for my mindset to change. A shift was needed in my attitude. It was time for me to truly walk in faith. No matter what the final outcome was in each scenario that concerns me, I had to release my worries and lift my eyes upward to the Father, my Source, my Provider, the One Who cares for me selflessly.
As a result of parting ways with this luggage of excessive worry, I feel free and my burdens seem lighter. “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, But I know Who holds tomorrow and I know Who holds my hand.” (lyrics by Ira Stanphill)