Worrywart Confesses All

woman-918623_1920Chalk it up to old-fashioned anxiety. Fear of the unknown. Or learning from the World’s Greatest Worrier—my mother. Whatever tag you slap on it, I morphed into a worrywart years ago.

Worried About Worry

Worry is plain-ol’ sin. I know.

It’s lack of trust in our trustworthy God.

storm-730653_1280Fear elbowing out faith. 

Doubt doubling down.

And pride pushing aside praise. 

Do the Saved Worry?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m saved by the blood of Jesus. Bound for the Promised Land. A daughter of the King of Heaven. And I’m one of those victors at the back of the Book.

But may I get dreadfully honest? I’ve wrestled for years with a wily enemy. He scoped me out when I was girl, spied on me at playtime. At school. On the bus. And at slumber parties. 

Not that he was particularly astute, mind you. I was easy to read.

The Worry-lessness of Childhood

Linda Jane Brooks_circa 1951I shrugged off others’ stories of misery. Bad things happened to other people. Not a Brooks. God wouldn’t let it.

Now let’s go play.

Worrywart-hood didn’t happen when my brother drove his small car under a parked 18-wheeler and clung to life, comatose, for a month. My thirteen-year-old assumptions were called into question, I admit. Butch was accident prone. That was all.

1969_12-20_smith_wilsonlee_raymondvillecemeteryIt didn’t happen the day my firstborn, a son, came into the world. And died.

ll_1970

Nor a year later when my daughter was born and I checked her breathing–her chest rising and falling–at midnight … three a.m. … and again at four.

Lane_1975Or when my second son was born, and the doctor walked into the room with news: “Your baby will have to remain in the hospital.” 

No, I had learned how to worry long before.

Learning to Worry

Early one morning when I was fourteen, I awoke with my mother sitting on my bed, crying. 

wilson-freeman-brooks_circa-1955“What is it?”

“It’s Daddy.”

“What about him?”

“He’s sick.”

I tried in the silence to imagine Daddy abed with a thermometer in his mouth, but the image wouldn’t stay put. Daddy wasn’t sick … ever. But then again, he could be….  Couldn’t he?

Daddy wasn’t Jesus Himself. Granted. But he was mighty close. So … OK. Daddy’s sick. 

But why in the world would that steal a moment of Mother’s sleep? 

“What’s wrong with him?”

“Muscular dystrophy. Doc says he has two years.”

The Effects of Worry

kaleidoscope_mandala-1248169_1280You know how a kaleidoscope takes the same array of colored shapes and rearranges them into different designs? That’s what happened to my world. The pieces shifted.

But the colors faded to gray.

They gathered into a great boulder that followed me around, waiting to drop atop the house Daddy built. 

worried-girl-413690_960_720All these years later (and that’s a lot of years, folks), I still remember: The colors faded and fear set in. Suddenly it didn’t pay to be a Brooks.

As it turned out, muscular dystrophy wasn’t the culprit. Nor was ALS. Or muscular sclerosis. Physicians couldn’t put a label on it. But I could. 

It was a ten-year knot in my stomach. A twinge when the phone rang. A bible-1245795_1280pang when I hugged Daddy, bony and frail. It was a stab in my heart at the sight of my hero, wheelchair bound, bent over at the table to reach his plate.

And it was battling to defend one thin line of hope. Daddy taught a Bible class from his electric wheelchair, his body and head braced straight. Somehow he would keep breathing. I just knew he would. (Tweet That)

Until he couldn’t.

And didn’t.

Satan’s Foothold

You see, Satan got a foothold that day in my girlhood when Mother sobbed at woman-tearmy bedside. I’ve been shoving him out ever since. Just when I think I’ve kicked in his boot toe for good, he smashes the door wide open. And here we go again.

Thankfully I don’t have to call out my own sullied name. At the name of Jesus even the demons tremble. My only defense is the Holy Spirit. At the sight of Him, the devil flees. No weapon or armor can stand against the Lord God Almighty.

But–oh–how my flesh craves the delusion of strength, the power of my will. How foolish.

Jesus’ Three-Part Solution

There’s one way and one way alone to abide in peace, and that’s to abide in Jesus. In Him I am fed. In Him I am fulfilled. And in Him I am satisfied. 

Man shall not live on bread alone. Luke 4:4

Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Luke 4:8

Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Luke 4:12

fotolia_1190698_XS_traveltips.usatoday.comDoes this sound familiar, anyone? As we look forward to the bounty of Thanksgiving Day, let’s pray for one another.

Dear Lord, you promised your children peace–not as the world gives, but as only you can provide. Peace is among the fruits of the Spirit. So why do your children war? Why do we battle and struggle and fear? On Thanksgiving Day and everyday, help us make room for the Spirit of Peace–in our minds and hearts and homes. Make us childlike in our trust of You. Hollow us out so we can receive more of you, the Prince of Peace. ~ For Jesus’ sake

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

cross-sun-background_god-1772560_1280

2 thoughts on “Worrywart Confesses All

  1. Thanks, Linda, for sharing with transparency from your heart. I, too, have struggled with worry. When I finally realized the Lord was not at the root of it, I began to pray through it. And it works!

     
     
    1. That’s a unique perspective–reminding yourself the Lord isn’t at the root of worry. We won’t find him in worry. Love it. Thank you, Clarice.

       
       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *