Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Worry is a funny thing. It strikes seemingly out of nowhere just to remind you that it has been there all the time. Just hanging out in the back of your mind, waiting for you to let your guard down just that tiny bit and then BAM. Bring you to your knees, feel like the world is spiraling out of control into a black hole, tears in your eyes, don't want to get out of bed feeling. It's a less than ideal feeling. Less than ideal meaning it's the pits. What's even funnier about worry is how people react to it when you say you are dealing with it. There's generally two approaches to it. The "Poor baby, let me listen" and then the "Matthew Six. Matthew six." For all you non-Christian folks, that's a chapter in the Bible that talks about not worrying. Both reactions tend to fall short of what's needed. Or what I imagine is needed. The Poor Baby approach leaves one...okay me...feeling belittled and unheard. Though people are listening, you can tell they've zoned out to what they are going to wear tomorrow or who is hotter than who. By the time two minutes is over, the listener is gone and I'm left feeling...well just as I did before. Worried. Worried that I may have done or said something wrong to where the person wanted to stop listening. Worried that I am just wasting their time. More worried than before.
The second group, the Matthew Sixes....well...pretty sure the frustration with that is kinda clear. Beyond the a verse isn't a real answer part, there's the am I not Christian enough? Is the reason I worry because I haven't been following God as well as I have been? As silly as these questions seem to some,it's a real struggle. Yes there is grace and forgiveness, but sometimes it's just that little voice saying you obviously haven't been good enough because of x,y,z. It may have been the way I grew up or it may just be my nature, but understanding grace is hard. It's a confusing topic and really hard to grasp sometimes. And some people, the facts of it just come easily and they don't understand why it's such a hard concept. Those people are lucky and really blessed.
Is there a right way to respond to someone who worries? I don't know. Unfortuently I can't give a set of rules to abide by for that. I can suggest listening with empathy and not tuning them out. Not making their worries feel stupid, even if they are. Quoting scripture at them probably won't help either. I'd say think about all the things you've worried about. Remember how it felt and what you wanted. Though it may not be the same thing, it might be close. At the very least, just be there. When you're worried and it feels like everything is crashing down, sometimes all it takes is one person being there to set the earth back on its axis. And if you are ever worried, I'm sorry. I am so truly, deeply sorry. I know how it feels and I hate every moment when I am, so I figure it must be the same for you. Just know that eventually everything does get better. It'll take some work, and a whole lot of hope, but it does. And crying isn't shameful. Just let it out. I hope someone is there to catch you too. Because I know how much it sucks when it doesn't seem like there is. Worry is a sneaky little jerk. But like all jerks, he can be taken down.