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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is it ever okay to worry?

I am a worrier. I have always been one. So much so, that when I was in the fifth grade ( Mrs. Andritis'class) my teacher called my mom because she was so concerned about how much I worried about everything. At the time, the song "Don't Worry Be Happy" was a huge hit. My mom found a sweatshirt that said, "Worry, don't be happy". I wore it to school and my teacher said it was a perfect fit for me.

Not only am I a worrier, but I am also a fixer. I worry myself sick trying to fix the issues at hand. If I can help make situation better, I want to fix it. If I think a friend or family member is about to make a big mistake, I try to fix it by talking them out of it. If I feel one family member is mad at another family member, I try to fix it by getting them to work it out. If I have problem, if someone else problem, if I think a problem might arise, I try to figure out how to make it not a problem anymore. I want to be that listening ear, that voice of reason and the shoulder to cry on.

I have always struggled with that "Let go and Let God" saying. Let go? Then what would I do? I'd have to stop worrying and obsessing over what could happen. I'd have to stop trying to figure out what would happen if things happened this way or if they happened that way. My mind would have to stop being one of those pick your ending books. " If you want to see Jessica really happy turn to page 30. If you want to see Jessica flip her lid and have an absolute melt down turn to page 37." I have always told other people to just let God take control, but I was unable to fully practice what I was preaching.

Just recently, I was talking with one of out pastors about a situation I have been praying and worrying about. He told me that I have to stop trying to "fix it". He told me I can't fix it. He told me it wasn't my place to fix it. I had to trust God to do his work. And if I keep trying to fix it I am going to make things worse.Ugh.That was NOT what I wanted to hear.

This weekend I was talking with my brother about things that were on my mind. I told him about what our pastor had told me. My brother brought up a very excellent point about what worry does to him. He said that worrying about a situation effects his body ( and mind too, I bet) the same way regardless of what the actual out come is. He said that it is almost easier if the terrible thing that he is worrying about happening actually happened. At least then,  he could deal with it and move on. Otherwise the worry just festers and festers. He was exactly right! That is so true for me. I worry and worry and make myself sick physically. Why am I worrying and trying to fix everything? If the worst happens, it happens! I deal with it an I'll move on.

It's so easy to say. I understand it in my head. Let go and Let God. Now the application... I'm still working on that. So is it ever okay to worry? Is it ever okay to be concerned for a friend or a family member and try to help? Where is the line between being the Good Samaritan and getting in the way of God's work?


Julia Fitzsimmons said...

I totally know where you are coming from! Though I don't think I'm as big a worrier as you (Rick would say I am), I do have a nasty habit of "acting" first and praying later. A few years ago we did the "Mary/Martha" books in Sunday school. There is a chapter in "Having a Mary Heart" that deals with fear/worry (Chapter 10. a Fearless Beauty). It helped me put my fears in perspective and work towards becoming my own "fearless beauty"... but of course it's an ongoing process! If you can find the book at your library, I highly recommend reading it. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll see if we have an extra copy at church.

Jessica Coaker said...

Thanks so much. I will check it out the next time I am at the library. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who struggles with this. I look forward to being a fearless beauty too.

Anonymous said...

I am certain it isn't in your genetic makeup..Not!

Anonymous said...

You do realize you are in the right family? Are you more like your Mother our your Aunt (my Mom) you will know who I am....I'm the oldest one, with all the Men!

Jessica Coaker said...

I do know who you are!