Anxiety. Unease. Stress. Fear. All these words, plus 16 others, are synonyms to worry (according to the Mac thesaurus). For one small word, consisting of 5 letters, there are 20 other words that can describe the same feeling. Worrying can be crippling. It can be debilitating. It can be paralyzing. It can hold you hostage for extended periods of time, even your entire lifetime. It can squeeze the life out of you, only leaving behind a shrivel of who you were supposed to be. Worrying stops you from jumping off that cliff of faith that God wants you to leap from. Worrying will sink you when Jesus tells you to walk towards Him during those stormy seas, like it did with Peter. And like with Peter, worrying can show the lack of faith we have.
I have been experiencing this exact feeling. Worrying that I won’t get a job. Worrying that I won’t be able to pay my dues. Worrying that I will forever be dependent and reliant on my family. Worrying that I won’t get the grades that I want. Worrying that I’m not working hard enough. And just plain worrying about life.
I was never a worry-wart. I always believed that things will just happen. And if it doesn’t well too bad, so move on. I never worried about grades, money, and where I will get my next pay check. Everything just worked out. And again, if it doesn’t, well too bad, so sad, then move on. But, for some reason, I started worrying. I started to over-think things and started to stress about life. Maybe because I’m getting older and began to realize that life isn’t as easy as it was when I fully relied on my parents or I just realized that I can’t just keep mooching off of people. Either way, I started to stress out about life.
I realized I had a problem when I started to get stress-induced emphysema. I didn’t just WebMD’d myself, I went to an actual dermatologist for this. He asked me to examine what triggered this particular skin condition that only began these past few months. He gave me some ointment to fix it, it worked. But then it started up again. And then I knew. I knew what made it flare up. It was stress! The moments that it cleared were the moments when school life was easy and flowing smoothly. But when finals studying and finals began, it went crazy. I had to bandage my hand with salve underneath it so nothing can touch it. It was that bad. (I know, I’m sorry, TMI) So from then on, I knew I had to get a handle on things. I needed to stop stressing out about inconsequential things.
It started to clear up until I started worrying about not having a job for the summer. I have a lot of plans this next few months. A week away from Calgary and NYC family trip this Christmas. Since I’m getting older, I know that I needed to not expect my parents to pay for me, even if I’m not working full time. So I’m frantically trying to look for a job to subsidize for all of these plans. These expenses are not any different from my last few years’ expenses, but still, I need to provide for myself. So stress all around again, emphysema here we go.
This condition has really made me realize that I have been worrying so much. Or AM still worrying too much. Since no amount of worrying can change your circumstance,what’s the point of worrying then? It can only take away from the time that you can spend bettering yourself. It also takes away time from praying about it to God and letting Him do the worrying for you. Matt 6:27 says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”.Worry will only burden you to the point of forgetting that a problem is so little for our God who is so big.
Like the Gospel from this past Sunday, May 5, Jesus says in John 14:27, “…and the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”If we anchor ourselves to this promise that Jesus will give us this gift of peace of mind and heart, what do we really need to worry about? Jesus also says, to first strive for the kingdom of God and all will be provided unto you (Matt 6:33). Lastly, God Knows. It may be frustrating, it may be worrisome, it may be scary, but God has this awesome timing. I have a good example of His awesome timing.
Two summers ago, my dad paid for me to go to the Philippines with my sister and my brother. I was leaving a few days after finishing my finals so I didn’t really mind not getting a job as soon as I got off for summer vacation. I left and was carefree and loved every minute of it. I didn’t think about it and I just went on my merry way. Those three weeks were one of the most fun I’ve had and I didn’t want to come back to Canada. A week after I got back, still not worrying so much about getting a job, I get a call. It was an HR rep from a banking office where my mom works. She asked if we can meet up for an interview for a data entry position that they started hiring for. My mom told me that she emailed the HR while I was away and the HR was actually the one who remembered my mom’s email a few days after I got back. Long story short, I got a job for 3 months, earning good money and still having an awesome time!
This experience reassures me that God has this kind of crazy timing. And that if I keep on worrying, His plans for me will just keep on getting pushed back until I start trusting and having faith that in time, He will show me a way.
I’m still job hunting. Praying harder than ever to find a job that will help me pay for some things and also let me save up so extra cash when I go back to school. I’m starting to trust in Him more, trust in His crazy timing, and knowing that He won’t abandon me. I’ll try to be more like Peter when he confessed that Jesus was the Messiah and less like the Peter than sank because he got scared.
“When we stand secure in who He is, and we are in Him, we will worry less and worship more.”