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What to do when you worry

We long for peace, but we live in worry. The Lord God invites us to hand over every worry, every fear, every anxious thought and heavy burden to Him.  But how often will we have none of it?  Too often. What if, in 2016, we let our big worries lead us to even bigger prayers?

If there's anything moms have in common, it’s that we worry.

We worry about our kids.  We worry for our kids. We worry we aren’t enough. We worry we aren’t doing enough. We worry we’re doing too much. 

We long for peace. But we live in worry.

I think of the countless nights that I put the kids to bed and then curled up on the couch and wept. I was drowning in worry that I wasn’t wise enough. I wasn’t patient enough. I wasn’t strong enough.  The list is long but the point is simple. I didn’t feel mom-enough for the kids God entrusted to me. 

So I resolved every night to improve the next day. I was trying so hard to defeat worry and anxiety by fixing and solving.  And yes, there are very real things we must do and very difficult decisions we must make to keep the ball rolling.

But the peace my heart craved in the midst of it all- “the peace that passes all understanding” - could only be found in one place. And it wasn’t in problem-solving. It was in prayer.

God’s Word assures us that we can have very real peace while we navigate the very real worries and very heavy burdens that we carry for and alongside our kids.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7(MSG)

The antidote to anxiety is prayer.

So may I suggest a new pattern for our parenting in this new year? What if, in 2016, we let our big worries lead us to even bigger prayers?

What if Philippians 4:6-7 became our new pattern for parenting in 2016?

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have for defeating anxiety in our own lives and fighting against the fears we carry over our kid’s lives.  

We do our best parenting through prayer.  In fact, prayer is, in the words of Tim Keller, "simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life."  And yet, the truth is, my pattern is to swim in worry before I dive into prayer.  

One of the most convicting verses in Scripture for me is Isaiah 30:15.  It reads:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.'”

The Lord God invites us to hand over every worry, every fear, every anxious thought and heavy burden to Him.  But how often will I have none of it?  Too often.  

Friends, if we want more of His peace woven into more of our parenting, let's establish a new pattern for our parenting.

May our big worries trigger even bigger prayers. 

May we pray for our kids. May we pray with our kids. 

May our hearts be set on not merely getting things from God, but knowing more of God Himself- in prayer.

And may we know, in ways we’ve never known before, how “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.”

All is grace,

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