Worrying Less and Living More
Have you ever contemplated making a change in your life, but as you start thinking about it, you lose the will to take action? It could be starting a new venture, expanding your family, applying for a program, reaching out to a friend, or launching a new ministry. I noticed I was doing this a lot last year. I would think of an idea, perhaps starting a chore chart for my kids, grabbing coffee with a friend, or launching a mother's ministry at church. What got in the way, was my worrying - what if can't stick with implementing this chore chart, what if my friend doesn't like the way I speak Spanish, what if other people don't like my idea but just feel obligated to say yes...what if, what if, what if? So my new years resolutions this year has been to "worry less, live more." Or in other words, stop thinking, just do! A few ways I have gone about reframing my mindset has been to hold onto to the following scriptures and truth.
Each day is a new day. I will not be held back by past mistakes.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
The older I get, the more fearful I am of making mistakes, or worse, of failing. I want to finish what I started well, which means carefully choosing my steps forward. Sometimes too carefully. However, I have been reminded that God's mercies are new every morning. If I do fail, His mercy is never ceasing and is steadfast. I particularly have this issue when parenting my children. There was a day last week where I was just in a terrible mood. I let the kids have too much screentime, I lost my patience, I fed them junk food, and I wasn't consistent in my parenting. The whole family suffered and was in a bad mood. That night, I went to bed feeling so incredibly guilty. I was kicking myself for being a terrible parent and reliving all the ways I made mistakes, not only that day, but all the times I'd made the same mistakes. But "His mercies never come to an end," came to mind. If God can give me that kind of magnificent grace, I need to give that to myself also. This year, I am reminding myself that each day is a new day. Paralyzing myself by beating myself up about being an inattentive parent, is useless. I can only move forward and allow God's grace and mercy to be new every morning.
Keep moving, One step at a time.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
The first step is always the hardest. I love the Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time, is now. Oh, how many times I have not done something because I thought the timing wasn't right or I have to make the right plans before I act. I will worry so much about timing that the time to do something will come and go and I will not have taken action. It's not the right time to have a baby, or maybe I'll wait until I am less busy to start that ministry. I'll wait to do that nice thing for someone until I find the perfect gift or gesture. One of the ladies at our church, Andrea, is always dropping by fruit or a small gift as a kind gesture. There's never a specific reason, it's just "here, this is for you." Another lovely lady who I've befriended will simply text me "Hello, beautiful friend" every now and again. These lovely acts of kindness inspired me to not think about doing kind things, just do acts of kindness in the moment. I am reminded by 1 Corinthians 15:58 that we should be ALWAYS ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord. The time to do the Lord's work is now! The time is always! I've put it into practice, when I think about someone, i'lll text, call or reach out. I've been thinking about hosting a mother's ministry event for months now, and I finally just stopped thinking about it and just did it. It wasn't perfect, but it was a wonderful needed time of worship and prayer.
Seek the Kingdom of God, don't be anxious.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34-35
For those of us who have been in church a long time, you knew this passage from Matthew 6 was coming. How easy it is to be paralyzed by fear over the future! Especially in these days of uncertainty! For every young person I meet or counsel, the question of their future path looms large and scarily. Interesting enough, the more opportunities a person may have - whether through education, privilege's or ability, the more fearful a young person may seem to be. For many of the youth we minister to here, there are very few opportunities, for work, education or to even travel from place to place. Many of the youth we work with, have never left our small town. The paralyzing fear is still there, it makes me want to tear my hair out to see them not take advantage of opportunities that are placed right in front of them. Lately, I was talking to young adults that were unsure of the future steps to take when they had a path to schooling in front of them. The only question should be "Is this path holy?" If so, walk down it! Fix your eyes on the Lord and follow that path. He will redeem each and everything, from small troubles to large mistakes, from victories to failures as long as we continue to fix our eyes on him. Romans 8:28 says And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. ALL THINGS - painful things, wonderful things, mistakes, changes etc.
Dear friends, I hope you will pray to be set free from worry in this new year! I have committed the last 3 months to focusing on these truths and I feel so much more mental freedom and less worry in my life. I hope this helps you too!