An unlikely confession about worry.

It was during worship.  One of those, “you should really pull out your phone and write this down so you don’t forget this” kind of moments.  But, I couldn’t because we were singing, so I tried with all my might to remember it to ponder later. (Between 40 and 50 the whole gotta write it down so you don’t forget thing happens regularly…just sayin’.)

photo courtesy of sxc.hu @ Joseph M

photo courtesy of sxc.hu @ Joseph M

So imagine my surprise when my internal musings were the focus for the day’s sermon.

Worry.

By nature, I’m not a chronic worrier.  Oh sure, there’s been times the girls’ car hasn’t pulled up in the driveway at it’s scheduled time after school. (Car accident?) Or the times my college-age son takes far too long to respond to a text. (Mugged on the subway?) Or the times I haven’t heard from my husband on a travel day. (Plane crash?)

But even though I have been guilty of “going there” on occasion, I’m not characterized by chronic worry.

But here’s my confession, in long form.

Every day bad things happen to people I know.  Crazy hardships.  Cancer.  Troubles with their teenage or adult children.  Aging, sick or dying parents. Car accidents, trauma, bizarre life-changing scenarios. Divorce, adultery, abuse, addiction, dishonesty. Suicide. Kids on drugs, teenage pregnancies, or all manner of illegal activities.

It is real, people. The hardship of life is everywhere we look.

Here’s my struggle.

I have an amazing life.

I love my husband with my whole heart.  And he loves me with his.  We have been married almost 24 years and we are more in love than ever.  I’d rather be with him than any other person on the planet.

I love what I do for a living and can work when, how and where I want.  I have flexibility, satisfaction and joy in my writing, speaking and coaching arenas.  I don’t have to go to an office each day. I can work even while sitting at the lake or in a hotel on a business trip with my husband.  I can spend the summer hanging out with my kids and work in between play – not the other way around.

My husband has a great job which not only provides for our family but also allows me to do “ministry” (which essentially means, I don’t make enough money to factor into the tax return…)  We can give freely of our treasure where and when we’re called.

I love my kids and they love me back. (Gasp!) They respect their parents, make reasonably good choices and are motivated with good prospects for their future education and lives.  They spend time with their family, go to church regularly, serve others and rarely give me cause to discipline them or even raise my voice.

We live far from our families, but see them often and share a deep love and relationship. We have amazing, cherished friends—near and far.

In short, we want for nothing.

(I realize my life is #tooblessedtobestressed (LOL) and I’m not sharing this to make me look good or you to feel bad. Stay with me…)

By now you are probably thinking, “Of course she doesn’t worry— she has NOTHING to worry about!”

Right.

Except that I busted myself in church yesterday because I realized I’ve spent far too much time lately thinking this:

When is the other shoe going to drop?  When is this blissful life I have going to go South? Will one of my kids go off the deep end, or get sick with an incurable disease? Will my husband get some illness or crash in a plane while traveling? Will one of us get cancer?”  And the list goes on.

Truth is, I have been worrying far more than I realized.

And even if I don’t frequently worry about today, I busted myself because I’ve been worrying about what might happen in the future.

Worry snuck into my life unwittingly.  And I realized in that moment of worship, I needed to stop. No more ruminating.

No more allowing worry to rob the joy from the now I am living.

My now is beautiful.  And I shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about it.  Gratitude is an appropriate response.  Thankfulness is the order of the day.  And cherishing, savoring, loving the life I have is okay.

Worry is not okay, because it’s a symptom of a greater problem: not trusting the God I claim to love and serve.

And no matter what form of trouble, turmoil, illness, or strife comes my way someday—and surely it will come—I will be able to handle it with God’s help when the time comes.

God is enough.  God will be enough.

So I think I’ll live in the now.  Not the maybe someday.

And I intend to throw off the worry (sin) that so easily entangles us and run with perseverance the race marked out for me.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27

Question: What do you worry about? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

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