“We used to play pretend, give each other different names. We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far way. Used to dream of outer space and now they’re laughing at our face saying, ‘Wake up you need to make money’ yeah. Wish we could turn back time to the good old days; when our mom would sing us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out”
Above are lyrics from my all-time favorite band Twenty-One Pilots. Song title: “Stressed Out”
Some things I remember vividly as a little girl. Whether it was playing outside with my brother and our friends or waking up Christmas morning to presents under the tree. But one thing I don’t recall, however, is ever feeling stressed or having the thought of “what if” with a nuance of negativity. What if my dad can’t pay the oil bill and we freeze? What if we don’t have enough money for groceries? What if I lose control of the bike and get hurt? What if I get there and they don’t like me? What if I get my heart broken?
As we get older, something happens to cause those thoughts to pop into our heads: Experience.
I began to worry about money after my dad had to turn the heat down in our house because he couldn’t afford to refill the oil tank and when he couldn’t buy groceries until his next paycheck. I began to worry about riding my bike down steep hills after the brakes in my brother’s bike broke and he rode into a guardrail, slicing his forehead open: I remember a neighbor man carrying him up the hill. Blood covered half of my brothers face. I began worrying about people not liking me after, for the first time, I was made aware that I was being made fun of. I began worrying about getting my heart getting broken when I was 17 and my best guy friend liked other girls, but not me.
At some point, situations occurred in my life that caused me to think this way and it has (or will) inevitably happen to you too. Not always the same situations, but SOMETHING will happen to cause you to worry of things you didn’t before. Please know that I don’t mean to be a downer, that’s not my intention. My intention is, however, to be honest and real. My honest reality is that currently, my biggest obstacle is overcoming stress and it seems as though the smallest of things trigger it. Some days, I’m so overwhelmed I can’t breathe, or I just… cry. I cry over needing to do laundry but not having time to do it. I cry and/or hyperventilate over my house needing some MAJOR cleaning and tidying and not knowing where to start. I cry over not having the availability to go to bible study anymore because I have a list of things that need and have been needing to get done.
This is when you know you’ve allowed stress too much power. After some self-evaluation, I discovered the root problem behind all stress, even yours and I’ll tell you what it is. It’s our disbelief and distrust in God. Not only has He had this all planned and worked out from the beginning, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” My worrying and stressing is one way of telling God that I don’t love him….
WOAH WOAH WOAH! HOLD UP! Emily, you don’t mean that….
Lets look at this a different way, shall we? I’m newly married. That being said, Zane and I are learning a lot about each other and the biggest thing I’m learning now is how to show him I love him. So I serve him, I listen to him, I share with him, I obey him, and I trust in him. Let’s say that I serve him, listen to him, obey him and share with him, but do not trust him. Would that not be an issue? Would that not imply that I love him, just not enough to trust him? Now back to how we love God. We are COMMANDED (not suggested) to serve, listen to, share with, obey, and trust in God. If we lack even one of these things, we do not fully love. Partial love (even when MOSTLY love) is not love at all. Not truly. Kind of loving someone is like saying you’re kind of pregnant. It doesn’t make sense. You’re either pregnant or you’re not, just as you either love God or you don’t. I know that sounds super harsh. Believe me, I’m cringing as I’m typing this. But this is the reality and severity of not trusting God.
God promises that if we love him, He will work for our good. So why do continue to stress and not trust? We’re sinful human-beings that just can’t help ourselves. We fool ourselves into believing we actually like the control, even though it’s driven us to tears countless times.
It’s time to get a grip and loosen our grip; on stress, control, worrying… LOVE God and TRUST that He has, is, and always will work everything out for your good. Choose freedom in Him or slavery to your sins; the choice is yours to make. But know that it’s either freedom OR slavery. There’s no middle ground.
I CHOOSE FREEDOM.