I had a good life with not much to be worried about. But at the same time I struggled with thoughts of worry for almost as long as I can remember. I was worrying about everything and these thoughts controlled me. All kinds of thoughts like, “Do I fit in with the others?” “Am I normal?” “When people look at me do they think I am normal?”
I know that everyone gets worried at times but with me it was much more than normal. From when I was young I began to think about the future, what was going to happen, was I going to become ugly when I was older? And you’re always worrying about what other people think about you and say behind your back.
I tried to tell myself that when that thing I worry about happens then I can rest. Then I don’t need to worry about it any longer. But then something else would come up. It starts again and never ends.
Possible to be free
These thoughts weren’t logical at all. They’re maybe even be a bit stupid but that’s the way I would think, and these thoughts came up almost every day. I’ve been plagued by this for a long time.
I knew that God’s Word says that we shouldn’t worry but I didn’t know how to stop.
For a long time I didn’t do anything about it. I had heard that as a Christian we have to take up a battle against our sin but I didn’t fight against anything in my life at that time. I just worried about everything, all the time.
But then one day there was a girl in our church who said in all honesty that she had started to fight against thoughts of worry. And then I realised, “This is possible. This is real.” Since that day I’ve fought. On that day I knew that it was possible to be free.
All things work together for good
It helps me to think of the verse in Romans 8:28 (NLT) that says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” So whatever happens I know that it’s God’s will and that He makes sure that all things work together for good for me.
You just have to come to a simple faith. If you start to doubt that verse in a bad situation and think, “This is awful, how can this be good for me?” then you have to say a firm No to those thoughts and just have a simple faith that it really is the best. I choose to believe that every situation works towards my best, even if I don’t see it immediately.
So maybe I’m having a really difficult day but then I see that I’m actually impatient or I judge people or whatever it is. Maybe I was proud. And when I see that sin, I can admit it, take it to Jesus, and ask Him to help me to get rid of it, and then I become a little bit more like Jesus. That’s how God works the situation for my best.
When thoughts of worry come up, I resist them, I don’t agree with them, I say No to these thoughts and I remember that God works everything for my best. When I do not allow these thoughts to live, then a little part of my nature that so easily worries actually dies. And the more I fight against these thoughts, the less I will be plagued by them. It is my hope that in the future I will completely overcome so I won’t even be tempted to worry any more.
There’s already a great difference in my life. Before, I just couldn’t stop worrying. It was difficult for me to be happy but now I have joy in my heart. A wonderful, pure joy. I used to feel happy for short times in between the worried thoughts. But this new joy is a different kind of happiness. It is a joy that is based on God’s word; it doesn't go away. I have fought for it and am still fighting for it!
This brings me a real joy that I was missing before. But I have it now. More and more each day.