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Giving Up Worry

A coworker’s words recently led me to an unnerving discovery: I have a anxiety addiction. Here's what I--by God's grace--did about it.

I've always been a little on the anxious side. As a child, I used to ask Jesus into my heart every single day, because I was afraid that I hadn't actually done so—that I'd imagined it or dreamed it—the day before. I would sit on the dining room floor, cross-legged, picturing my four-year-old soul barreling toward hell, and in fear, I'd beg Jesus, once again, to come into my heart. I know, I know. Alert Freud.

As I got older, my worry grew over the safety of my family and friends. When my parents and I went to the Grand Canyon and I couldn't find my mom for a few minutes (mind you, I was 15 at the time), I started to sob, positive she'd toppled over the side and fallen to a bloody death. (She was in the gift shop, by the way. Fully intact.) When my oldest niece was born, and I saw how tiny and delicate and beautiful she was, my anxiety developed into something much more constant. I'd never loved something so small and helpless before. Her existence kept me up at night, wondering about her safety, worrying about how fragile she was.

The more I've learned to love, the more I've learned to worry.

I suppose this perpetual state both lessens and worsens as I get older, depending on the day and the time. I'm almost positive it's giving me early wrinkles, which of course makes me worry about being a wrinkly old maid at the age of 25. Vicious cycle. I worry about my future, about my job, about my friendships, about the health of my family...You name it and I've probably lost at least one night of sleep fretting over it.

So during one of our Kyria staff devotionals recently, when JoHannah Reardon, managing editor of ChristianBibleStudies.com, shared a bit about the "Worry Fast" she did over Lent last year, my initial reaction was one of skepticism. Sure, if JoHannah asks God to take away her worry, he'll do it. JoHannah is sweet and good and peaceful—she is basically the Mother Theresa of our department. She's a whole lot closer to being anxiety-free than I am in the first place. I, on the other hand, am cynical, sarcastic, over-caffeinated, and anxious. I worry. It's my thing.

JoHannah told us that practicing the discipline of not allowing herself to worry was the most freeing thing she'd ever done. She told us that it changed her life and brought her closer to God.
She also said that at the core of it, worry is a heart issue—one that means we aren't trusting God. She said that worry was a sin.

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From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2012, January
Posted January 24, 2012

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