Monday, January 11, 2016

Winning the Battle of What-If Worry

We’re sitting close, four of us on two loveseats, but we still lean in to listen. This is our prayer group and what we share here comes straight off the soul. We’re transparent. We’re open. We praise together and ache together and it’s the prayers of these ladies that sustains me when the struggle is hard.

We all wrestle with a tough circumstance. We all fight an unseen foe.

I share about what’s happening in my world and then my friend shares of what’s happening in hers. As she speaks of difficult things, I’m compelled, drawn, to her countenance. My friend’s words come in a soft, even flow. Her shoulders are relaxed. Her hands aren’t curled to knots and there’s something beautiful on her face that pulls the attention of my heart.

It’s peace.

“How do you do it?” I ask later. “How have you gotten to this place – this place that appears quiet and  calm?”

My friend thinks for a moment and then shares spirit-deep. “It’s the Lord,” she says.  “I’m learning to surrender. It takes time, and I’m not always there. But it’s gotten better.”

Later that night, the winter wind howls over the dark and my what-if worry rages strong too. I get caught here often. Worrying for the future of one I love. Conjuring what could happen and getting lost in the murk of fear. But as I lie in bed, the Lord reminds me of the conversation with my friend.


The LORD shall  fight for you , and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14 KJV

The wind keeps blowing, it’s harsh and shrill, but these Words that have come to my Spirit become a salve. I close my eyes and think of the Lord’s power. His glory. His compassion and faithfulness and even His love for me. And though He is more than I can imagine, I feel my muscles relax. My heartbeat slows. I let each what-if worry run through my mind but this time I hold it against the Lord’s strength.

And it becomes powerfully clear to me that the only way to win the battle of worry is to lay my own weapons down.

To disengage.

To recognize that the One who is all powerful is powerful in battle for me.

He’s fighting the war in my mind and he’s fighting for my loved one too.

Oh, the peace that I can hold when I’m willing to let go.

I pray into the night, for some time, but the prayer has changed. It doesn't flow from a place of panic or from the ragged place of a heart consumed with fear. There is, instead, gratitude. I thank the Lord for His Presence in the battle and for the things that He will do – for the things that He has done.

And as I fall asleep, I think of my friend and the peace on her beautiful face.

The way to win the battle of worry is in the strength to let it go.

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