Ever since I can remember, my mind worked overtime thinking about all the dreadful events that could happen to my loved ones or me. I worried about major tragedies: plane crashes, rape, cancer. I even worried about minor situations: missing a payment due date, wearing the wrong thing to a social outing, having bad breath. However, most of those what-ifs were never realized.
Until, that is, the day my worst dread became a reality: My father was diagnosed with cancer. Finally my worries were justified. But now I had to decide: Who would be my companion through this crisis? Anxiety—or God?
While praying for my dad, I recalled Jesus' words in Luke 12:25-26: "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?" (NLB). This message comes from the man who often didn't know where he'd eat or sleep; who constantly endured public criticism from many important people; who knew he'd die an excruciatingly painful death. I was ashamed. I didn't want anxiety to cripple me. I wanted to trust God and experience peace. "OK, God," I prayed through clenched teeth, "I'm turning Dad's health over to you. I'm trusting you want the best for my family. And I won't worry about something I can't control." That prayer was the toughest I ever prayed.
To follow through on my prayer, I began searching for strategies to rid myself of worry and fill my life with hope.