In times like today, worry seems to be everywhere. Worry about corona-virus. Worry about the economy. Worry about the upcoming election. And in a world where we have no control, the only one who can rid us of worry and fill us with peace is our Abba.
Hello everyone, my name is Erin. I will be 20 in just about a month—and for the foreseeable future, I am still living with my parents. I am Pa’s adopted grandchild, which makes the women my aunts, the men my uncles, and the children my cousins.
I grew up believing my life needed to be picture perfect. In fact, I am still guilty of holding on to that belief from time to time. Knowing this explains how I “hit” a girl in kindergarten because she was cutting in line. It explains how I have texted a friend on vacation to decide whether I should get the waffle or the cinnamon roll. It explains how I will write a 90-paged paper for a 1 hour assignment. And trust me, in times like right now, where my life is clearly not picture perfect, I struggle.
But one of the most notable things it says about me is that I’m a scriptwriter. I find myself needing to write my own script so that my life can work out the way I want it to. The way that will make the prettiest movie. So when we talk about worry and about wanting to control the crazy times around us, I come to the table not as an expert, but as one who falls short often.
God recently reminded of a time when I was transitioning from elementary school to junior high. My new principal called my mom to say that because my transfer papers were late, I was going to be unable to participate in sports or band. I was devastated: my mom was furious. She got very angry with him (which for my mom is rare), and he told us he would “see if he could do anything.” The few days of waiting for the principal to call back were full of stress and worry because I wanted to know everything was going to be alright (okay, the way I wanted them to be). And a few days later, he called and told us he magically fixed everything and I was free to enjoy all junior high had to offer.
What was the point of me worrying for days? My mom was going to make sure that I participated in extracurriculars, so in reality, the situation was a nonissue. But I was so caught up in drama, with unnecessary worry, that I wasted time. That’s what worry does. It is enticing because it gives me something to do when I cannot control the circumstances around me, but it distracts me from fulfilling God’s purpose. Romans 8:28 promises us that all things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. That means God is in the process—right now— of working my life for good. Just like those few days waiting for the principal to call back, I need to wait and let God unroll what He has for me each and every day.
Like I said earlier, I am no expert in waiting for God and not worrying, but I can share with you what I do when I get stressed and impatient. First, whenever I am thinking of something beyond my control (most of the time, that’s school or finding a boyfriend), I take my mind off it. If I am on my computer looking something up, I close the browser. As helpful as the internet can be, it is fuel to worry. Sometimes, even then, I still have trouble stopping the thought. That is when I start to sing. I love to sing different songs or find a specific one for the issue at hand, but when my brain comes short, I always have a go to. For me, it is “God is good,” and I recommend you finding your go to worship song. There is nothing like music to take your thoughts captive and focus on Jesus.
Sometimes I have also found that some of best parts of my life have been things I never planned. These are the opportunities that come seemingly out of the blue and somehow fit perfectly into my schedule. They are where some of my fondest memories come from and I gained experience in ways beyond what I planned for. Just because I choose not to focus on controlling my future does not mean I should shut my eyes to the opportunities God puts in my life. I must be a part of God’s plan, and not the other way around. Otherwise, I will miss the good He has for me.
So yes, there are plenty of things to worry about. Both in the news and in each of our personal lives. But worry is never the answer because God already knew what would happen and still knows what will happen. And for His disciples, He has scripted it to be good. Thank you for letting me share. I would love to hear from you—your favorite song, prayer requests, anything.