Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts | Late Night Worries

Anxiety. Worry. These are things that plague so many of us to some degree or another. 

I'm a natural born worrier. I worry about important things. I worry about silly things. I worry that my bills won't get paid and I worry that my perfectly healthy dog will die in his sleep. I worry that my house will burn down because I left the burner on and I worry that I'll forget to put the trash out on trash pick-up day. Seriously.

These are the things that wake me up at night. And whether they fall into the important or silly category, when I'm half asleep I am also irrational and each worry seems HUGE. All the horrible consequences and possibilities roll around in my head one after another making sleep impossible.

I've talked to so many others, and I know that I am not alone in my worrying. I'm not the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night in sheer panic over their trash. But what is the solution? Scripture clearly tells us not to worry. But when someone tells me "don't worry," I really just want to slap them. Do you think I want to worry? Do you think I want to wake up at night plagued with horrible thoughts? Of course not! If I could "not worry," I would!

It's not so simple to just "not worry." It is nearly impossible to simply banish those thoughts. But I've found one, mmmm let's call it a solution for lack of a better word, that works for me.

Like I said, I can't just take those thoughts out of my mind. I've discovered that instead I need to replace them. And I've chosen to replace them with truth. The truth of who God is, how great and mighty He is. The truth of how I am covered by His protection. The truth that I can operate in His strength rather than my weakness. The truth that He holds my life. The truth that I can seek and find His wisdom. The truth that despite my failure and my short-comings He loves me. The truth that even in this scary, broken world I have hope in Him.

When I awake to a mind full of fear and doubt and worry, I begin to quietly whisper these truths over and over again. My whispers turn to prayers and my prayers turn to peace.

Do my worries disappear completely? No. I often wake up the next night with some fresh, new fear.
But I do find peace temporarily, until I can face my worries in the light of day; until I can see my anxieties clearly and rationally and work to dispel them by His wisdom.

My temporary peace gets me through the night to a place where I can actually find some solution, with the Lord's help, to my late night worries. 

I can't promise that my "solution" will help, but I do know that it can never hurt to remember how great God is. Maybe if we consistently instill the truth of who He is in our heads and hearts that reality will overtake our worries. I have hope that it will. I have hope that by His side I'll find victory over my fear and anxiety.

Are you a worrier? Have you found ways to overcome it?

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