The Antidote to Worry

My bookcase project is done! I’m sure my friends are happy my frequent expressions of anxiety and panic are over, but the experience taught me to enjoy another facet of God’s love.

I jokingly call myself a recovering perfectionist. Occasional over thinking and self-doubt can sometimes make it hard to get things done. I hugely dislike this tendency and have worked for years to adopt a more positive and productive pattern.

Despite the daunting task ahead, I had a vision of the finished product and stubbornly took on the challenge. I hired a cabinet company to build and install a custom-made 6x7’ bookcase in my living room, and was immediately deluged with a long list of design decisions. Deadlines loomed and my stomach ached. It became harder to make the next group of decisions as I started to second guess my previous decisions.

I found that the specific part of perfectionism I battled was worry. I sometimes felt like I was heaving aside an incredibly heavy manhole cover in order to climb out of my unconsciously self-imposed limitations. God mercifully reminded me worry is a heavy burden I was not meant to carry. I discovered the antidote was to trust in God completely, regardless of any nagging doubts or unexpected setbacks.

Through God’s still small voice I heard Him say “I am going to bless you!”. I pressed into believing this promise and let go of the heavy weight of trying to do it by myself. Also, I chose repeatedly to stop feeling anxious and instead trusted God by waiting in faith for His provision.

God lovingly reminded me I am never alone in whatever I face when I bring it to him in prayer. The initial burning discomfort in my spirit of resisting worry and choosing to trust God in faith, faded as I continued to trust and thank God. It reminded me of the process of exercising and building up weak muscles. I read Psalms when I felt anxious and was tempted to panic. This helped me to avoid inferring with God’s blessings.

The finished bookcase is beautiful and I’m very much enjoying filling it up with books and decorative doo-dads. I recently heard God say “I want you to enjoy your life!”. This strongly motivated me to continue to push aside worry in the future and enjoy the assurance that God is with me always!

I’m not saying I have worry completely under control now. I have more home projects ahead, and I will face a similar tension again, but I have more tools now. I am encouraged by this victory and continue to trust God and His in-progress plan for my life.

Philippians 4:6,7 The Message
Do not fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know our 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.