As someone who has struggled in the past with too much worrying, I resolved this year to try to fight it. My devotionals and scripture emphasize over and over that worry steals our peace, our enjoyment of the present, and steals our time with God. I knew if I could stop the worrying, I’d find more peace.
I had already made a habit of writing down prayers so I can see, appreciate and be thankful for when they’re answered (which, when I actually write them to look back on, is SO often). So I tried another variation – I wrote down the things I was worried about. For about a month, in this “worry journal” I wrote the big, the small, whatever took up space in my mind and stole my peace. I resolved to see how often the things that stressed me actually happened – and the answer was that they almost never happened. And even when they did, the impact was never as devastating/harmful/ painful/serious as I feared it was going to be. Or, it happened in such a way that something really good came of it. Because here’s the thing about worrying, and about thankfulness and peace:
-I’m not made to be perfect and make all the right decisions, but I am promised love, mercy and grace when I mess up;
-I’m not promised easy circumstances. I am promised protection during tough times (Isaiah 43:2) and I have been blessed with close family and friends to help me through.
The worry journal helped me release stress and handle situations better. It helped me focus my prayers and truly “turn things over” to God and feel more peace. I’ve definitely trained my heart and mind to release the worries – both big and small.
Lots of people are stressing, worrying or grieving this season. Christmas doesn’t always give us a respite from our daily stress… but it does give us a reminder of a beautiful gift: we are loved. We have a Savior who walks with us, holds our hands, takes our worries and grants us peace and joy when we let him.
Here’s to some peace this Season. Don’t let worries steal your time and your thoughts and your present.