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Having the Courage to Dethrone Worry

By Mary DeMuth

God's Brave Women - Mary's Story


Worry has, sadly, been a close friend. I have cherished her, thought about her, and entertained her to no end. I’m not sure why. She hasn’t really given me back any joy, and she often messes with my head. She brings discontentment. She steals from today and makes me stress about what could be (or couldn’t be) tomorrow.


Worry is not friend material.


Why? Because worry steals, robbing us of our wellbeing. It makes us doubt God’s goodness, and it places our heart in the unchangeable past or ties us to the fretful future instead of keeping us in the contented, joyful present.


 

"Worry steals, robbing us of our wellbeing. It makes us doubt God’s goodness, and it places our heart in the unchangeable past or ties us to the fretful future instead of keeping us in the contented, joyful present."

 

When I’m struggling with worry, I have a series of questions I ask myself. Perhaps they’re helpful for you, too:


  1. What do I hold on tightly to today?

  2. What is the biggest cause for worry in my life?

  3. How have I worried about money in the past month?

  4. What relationship causes me the most worry? Why?

  5. What part of my future feels uncertain and causes anxiety?

  6. What would my closest friend say my biggest worry is?

  7. What do I gain by being worried? What do I lose?


What did you find?


As I re-read this list, I realize I carry a lot of worry. I currently fret about my career, my grown children, our finances, and a broken friendship. And if I let those things overwhelm me, I will certainly be robbed of something very important.


Worry’s opposite is confidence—confidence in God’s ability to take care of you. Confidence in realizing you’re okay even if the world caves around you. Confidence in walking in the truth that God sees you.


 

"Worry’s opposite is confidence—confidence in God’s ability to take care of you. Confidence in realizing you’re okay even if the world caves around you. Confidence in walking in the truth that God sees you."

 

The Scripture affirms this kind of confidence: “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, NASB).


Take inventory of your life. Is it characterized by this kind of confidence? To be honest, the last few weeks have been less about confidence and more about fretting. When will that check come? How can I fit all these overwhelming tasks into my already busy schedule? My soul is tired: when can I truly rest?


If you’re in a similar place, I have a word for you: relinquishment. To relinquish is to give up control, to choose to stop worrying, giving your fears to God. He is best able to shoulder our stress and anxiety. He doesn’t want us to bear that burden any more. Carrying worry weighs us down.


 

"To relinquish is to give up control, to choose to stop worrying, giving your fears to God. He is best able to shoulder our stress and anxiety. He doesn’t want us to bear that burden any more. Carrying worry weighs us down."

 

To pray is to practice relinquishment. The Apostle Paul affirms this when he asserts, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). We are commanded not to worry, the remedy being prayer (telling God what you need) and thanksgiving (thanking him for all he has done).


 

"We are commanded not to worry, the remedy being prayer (telling God what you need) and thanksgiving (thanking him for all he has done)."

 

When I’m feeling less than brave, and the worry is heaping upon my heart, I pray a simple relinquishment prayer that follows the pattern of Philippians 4:6. Simply fill in your worry-du-jour in the blanks.


Dear Jesus,

I give You __________.

I humble myself before You,

believing You are bigger than me,

that You are more than capable

to handle my burdens.

I don’t know what the outcome

of giving up control

of __________ will be,

but even so, I open my fist

and let You grab it

(or the person) from me.

I want Your will.

I want Your presence.

I need Your strength.

Please take this burden today

and use it in my life for Your glory.

Help me to entrust __________ to You

even when things seem dark.

I trust You. At least I try.

But help me to trust You today.

Right now. I give it up.

I choose not to worry

any more about this. Amen.[i]


When you feel your heart racing and your mind circling around the what-ifs, proclaim this prayer out loud. Trust that God has your back. Relinquish those anxious thoughts to Him. Believe He hears you. Praise Him in the midst.


Praying this prayer (I call it the Worrywart Prayer) is changing my life. I am learning that God is truly in control. And He is to be trusted with my life, my fears, my hopes, and, yes, even my multiplying worries. Instead of worry being my best friend, I’m letting God play that role. When you do the same, you’ll open up new spaces of joy and freedom in your life today.


 

"Instead of worry being my best friend, I’m letting God play that role. When you do the same, you’ll open up new spaces of joy and freedom in your life today."

 

Friend, it’s sheer bravery to let go of worry.


 

[i] Excerpted from Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus by Mary DeMuth.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.

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