I worry. It is my biggest sin. I worry about every thing. I worry so much, sometimes I can’t eat. I worry so much, and I always have. I was a worrier even as a child, getting so caught up in the what ifs of life that my own grandmother would push out my furrowed brows and say in her thick Colombian accent, “you are too young to be so serious my darling.” So when we are hanging out and having a good time, you might see this goofball friend who makes fun of herself and has a big smile. But afterward when I’m on my way home, I’ll reflect back on the conversation and if I remember saying anything that may have been taken the wrong way or perhaps may have offended someone or what ever, I’ll worry about it. I’ll eventually call you and apologize or clarify something I said, just so I can stop wondering. And most of the time when I do, the person I call has no idea what I’m talking about. Most of the time, my worrying is for nothing. Now, since I’ve become a Christian, much of my worries have dissapated. There are moments between the worrying that I am reminded of whose child I am, and I calm down because I know that no matter what happens, He loves me and has plans for me. If I didn’t have that comfort, I don’t know what I’d do. But right now, I admit that I am still not cured. It is something He will have to work on me for a while. Like my life for example. I worry about it. I worry about not finding a job. I worry about not having my own place. I worry I’ll have to work a bunch of low paying jobs to make ends meet and never get to see my son. I worry about not every falling in love again or ever having a man love me so much, he ‘d want to marry me. I worry that because of this, I’ll never have children or enjoy making love again. I worry that my life won’t turn out the way I had hoped. And while other Christians remind me of that famous verse by Jesus which says that if the birds of the air are taken care of, how much more my father in heaven will take care of me, I realize that I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried I won’t be able to eat. I’m not worried I won’t have a place to live. I know God has me covered in that by blessing me with many loving friends and family who would take care of me if things got that bad. I know that I live in the United States and while in many ways it is crumbling to pieces, it is still better off than so many other countries. What I worry about is that God won’t bless me with the things I want, but don’t need.
I want to teach. I want to have my own place. I want to be married. I want more children. And I don’t need any one of these things, but I want them. And I worry that God has plans that are different than mine. Plans so different, none of the things on that list will happen. It has been over a year since I moved out of Mike’s house and four years since I started to grow tired and dissatisfied with the the meaninglessness of gluttony—the drinking, spending, eating, and having meaningless “friendships” with most of the people I associated with up until that point of my life just didn’t bring me the joy and satisfaction I wanted in life. I was ready for something quieter. Something with more purpose: independence in my own life: then marriage; a family; helping people in the community; a close relationship with God; and real friends. Well in 2007, things started to change. It started with having a child, it led to me growing my relationship with Christ, and it moved into some real genuine friendships that I will cherish my entire life, and has pulled me into ministries that are helping others as well as reviving some of my creativity in the arts. But I lost my boyfriend of 6 years in the process. I’ve moved back in with my folks. I now am being laid off from my job. And while I am dating again, I’m just starting, and therefore don’t see any engagements happening anytime soon. So I’ve gained five, lost two, and have yet to have two others, ever.
But then I think, well if indeed God didn’t want those things for me, what would be the reason? Perhaps they would draw me away from him. Perhaps I would get so wrapped up in my independence or my boyfriend or something, that I would pull away from Jesus. And I think, if I gained all the things I want from this world, but lost my relationship with God in the process, would it be worth it? And the answer is no. No way. Now, most likely I am wrong. Most likely God has plans for many of my wishes to come true, but just not right now. And with that, I know he is working on my patience.
But what frustrates me is that my patience is growing thin and I feel a growing rebellion in my heart. And it is a rebellion that I don’t want. But I can’t seem to shake it. A rebellion that says if he doesn’t give me what I want soon, I’ll start trying it my way again. Even though deep down, I know by doing so, He will just prove to me that my way won’t work anyway. Such a paradox one would think I could just surrender like I did a year and a half ago. So I prayed this prayer tonight. I prayed to God that if any of the choices I make or the things I take hold of in this phase of my relationship with Him are things that He knows will pull me away from Him, that he take them from me. That he take them away even if it makes me scream and cry. Even if it is painful and hurts me. Because I would rather have none of the things I want from this world and spend eternity with Him than gain everything and lose my soul. It’s a hardcore prayer I know. And I admit that I may be asking for some painful times ahead if I don’t change my desires. But I know His ways are better than mine and that ultimately, His way will lead me to more happiness than my way could ever gain. I know this because I’ve tried it my way. And my way didnt’ work. And God’s word said that would happen. And I made a choice to leave my way so that I could follow his way, and with that choice, God has blessed me so much in so many ways. But I think I expected too much from God in the process. I expected that because I chose to follow Him, that He would immediately reward me with every desire of my heart. And I find myself now, a year and a half from the time I gave my life to the Lord, without some of the things I want so much, it hurts. And instead of looking around at what I do have and saying thank you, I’m just whining and wanting more, and worried I won’t get it. Could my worry be the problem He needs to work out of me before He can bless me with the rest of my heart’s desires? It is grace through faith that saves me in the next life, but could it be works that earn God’s blessing in this one? And if that is so, I have a long way to go. Because I’m sure once God purifies me of my worry, He will show me the next sin I struggle with. A sin I don’t even realize I have because I am so blinded by the others.
I worry. I know it’s wrong because it shows a lack of trust in God. But is it different, if it’s a lack of trust that is enrooted in my fear that perhaps what I want is not what I need and the things I want, I want too much…..idolizing them almost, and therefore never going to get God to will them in my life. I worry I won’t stop worrying. Will I ever allow Him alone to be enough?