Last week was one of grown-up frustration, unexpected bills to be paid, challenging relationships to navigate, and difficult decisions to be made, the kind of week that leaves me feeling shaky and unsure of myself. So, at the end of it, my eyes burning from lack of sleep, my heart tight with unshed tears, I did what I always do when life gets to be too much. I tucked my head up under my husband’s chin and tried to get lost in his strong, head-of-household embrace. As always, his steady heartbeat brought mine into rhythm, and his softly spoken words of encouragement cooled my nerves like a balm.
Still, in that moment, I wished I were a kid again. When I was a little girl in my parents’ home, I didn’t worry about money. I didn’t lose sleep over relationships gone messy, and I didn’t spend too much time worrying about the consequences of the decisions I made. Why? Because, ultimately, my parents took care of those things. They were not of the “sink or swim” school of parenting. They made sure that I always had food to eat and clothes to wear. They were there for me when friendships went sour, and they helped me make big decisions. My daddy used to say, “Angela, I will make all of your decisions for you until you start making the right ones,” and, true to his word, he did.
When I was a child, I was at peace. Why not now? Well, over the years, I have developed a destructive habit. I worry. Instead of trusting God—the same God, incidentally, who set me up with the amazing parents and wonderful husband that I have—to take care of things, I hang on to my troubles, mulling them over and over again in my head as if doing so will make them go away, but it doesn’t. All it does is rob my loved ones of my time and energy and make me ill in the process.
So, what to do?
My daddy once taught me this verse. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. When I was a teenager, fending off the enemy’s first real attempt to cripple my faith, I claimed this verse and waited for God to restore my joy. He did. When I was a college student, making important decisions that would determine the course and quality of my future, I claimed this verse and waited for God to show me the path to take. He did. When Todd and I were newlyweds, I claimed this verse and waited for God to literally fill the refrigerator, which he did, time and time again. God has never given me any reason to doubt Him, yet, somewhere along the way, I stopped casting and started worrying.
Well, I think it’s about time I started acting like the child of God that I am once again. After all, God is not a “sink or swim” kind of Father. He never intended for me to handle things on my own. Through His Word, He guides me. In my obedience, He protects me. Through His Son, He forgives me. Through it all, He loves me. Knowing this to be true, I think tonight, though health concerns nag and uncertainty continues to mock, I’ll tuck my head up under the Father’s chin where it belongs and get lost in His vast King of Kings embrace. Casting my anxiety on Him, I will choose to rest. In His strength, I will let the reality of His unconditional love bring my troubled heart into rhythm and the Truth of His Word change my worry to calm.