“Let go and let God”
“Don’t worry, be happy”
1 Peter 5: 6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Luke 12: 22 – Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Luke 12:25 – Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
I used to be a world-class worrier. The “need to be perfect” notion I grew up with caused me to be anxious and worry about everything. I carried a lot of stress at a young age and I remember having more tension in my neck and shoulders than anyone my age should have. I realize now that I worried about anything and everything, big or small, regardless of how much it may or may not have affected me.
I have heard and read the sayings and scriptures listed above as I am sure a lot of people have. There are a lot of books and studies out there on the topic of worry/stress and the negative impact it has on our lives. I’ve read some of the articles. I’ve had the head knowledge about the effects of stress and why I shouldn’t worry so much so why didn’t I do anything about it?
Well, basically, letting go is so much harder than I thought it would be. It’s really easy to say but so hard to really do. Saying the words “I just won’t worry about it”, or “it doesn’t bother me” is one thing, but where I stumbled (a lot) is deciding to think about it anyway, or even worse, stewing on it excessively and letting the emotions of the situation take control. I then expressed those emotions in a negative way or stuffed them down deep inside. Thus the vicious cycle.
First off, I had to realize that I was a constant worrier. I wanted to be perfect and not make mistakes so if there was even the least potential for an error or giving the wrong impression I thought and worried about it. A LOT.
I knew I needed major help. When I started studying and learning about who I was as a child of God I found I have a lot of layers that I’m working through. I’ve heard these layers described as if you’re peeling an onion. I’ve certainly shed some major tears during the process so this analogy is right on target for me!
God has revealed so much to me about how much He loves me and wants to bless me. He desires to bless us if we only look to Him, obey His Word, and walk in faith. I believe God speaks to us. Now it isn’t necessarily an audible voice, although there may be some who have heard it. I see God and feel His presence in so many instances. I’ve felt Him telling me to surrender to him completely and I knew that I had given my heart to Him.
What I didn’t really grasp was that I needed to surrender everything to Him. Not too long ago, when I least expected it, I clearly had that “knowing” you get deep down inside from the Holy Spirit. That still small voice, if you will. And what did it say? “Let it go, let it all go”.
The all was all of the last vestiges of the need to worry about everything to make sure they were “just right” or things went according to the way I thought they should. I had already let go of so much worry/stress and felt so free it initially shocked me. But I knew. I really knew there were some tiny bits that I hadn’t truly given over to God. Those tiny bits deep down where I just had to have that little bit of control over a situation. Basically I was playing God! I was ashamed.
I let go alright. I really let go this time. I’ll be honest. I had a major crying spell and shed some gut wrenching sobs. But you know what, it felt so good! To know that God is on the throne and has everything under control and all I need to do is say, God this issue is yours. I choose not to let it wrap me up in worry and stress. I need your help to handle it or to just let it go entirely. I need the Holy Spirit to guide me each step of the way. He’s been there all along but I’ve chosen to “play God” and try to do most of it on my own before asking for help.
Now, I am trying really hard to look to God first. I’m not consistent with it yet, but I have hope.
And you know what, the saying “Don’t worry, be happy” sure sounds a lot better to me now. God wants us to be happy and enjoy life and I think I’m on my way.