I’m wondering right now what you are thinking after you read the title of this post. Are you wondering what in the world is she thinking or are you curious enough to keep reading?
Making space for worry goes against the mainstream of our culture. It pushes us in a direction that polite society encourages us not to pursue.
If you are even just a smidge like me, then you experience worry in your life. It is unrealistic to believe we can push it under the carpet without a second thought.
So let’s make space for worry constructively and then move forward.
The Beginnings of Worry
When God created the world, He dedicated a beautiful garden as the living space for man and woman. The Garden of Eden overflowed with everything they could ever need for themselves and their future family.
But as with anything that looks so perfect; the garden became the signpost for disobedience. The future of man was tinged with sin and worry set in.
After eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve found themselves naked. Their first instinct was to hide because of the shame that enveloped them.
God’s response is recorded in this way:
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:9-12
What at first glance looked like a life of abundance for Adam and Eve, quickly turned into a life of shame and disobedience.
The perfect ingredients to push anyone into a season of worry.
The perfect batch of overwhelm just waiting to be served.
When Did You Learn to Worry?
As a young child, I never thought twice about making space for worry. Life was simple, unencumbered, and fun. It wasn’t until I close to high school age that I began to feel the pangs of worry. My mom began many conversations with how worried she would be if … (fill in the blank).
I am one of five children and the other siblings are all boys. I’m not sure if mom began conversations the same way with them as she did me. Being the only girl led me into a state of worry more often because my mom was “worried.”
As parents it is easy to put our emotions on our children because we are feeling something that looks bigger than us so it spills out into the open.
Whether you began to worry at a very young age or you were older, it is a part of your DNA. How you express worry or talk about it makes a difference in where you land on the worry spectrum from worrying too much to totally carefree.
Your age, stage in life, and how you handle worry can make a difference in how you make space for worry.
The bottom line is that taking the time to acknowledge your worry as well as not letting it overwhelm you is a good practice for all.
Three Ways to Make Space for Worry
I am the woman who can move from zero to sixty in a second flat when it comes to things dealing with money. It is an area in my life that will generate worry faster than anything else. I have learned how to take this worry over money and not let it totally consume me.
The first way when making space for worry is to “just breathe.” I choose this for many challenges in my life. The act of breathing will lower your heart rate and the oxygen will clear some of the fog that comes with the worry.
The second way when feeling overwhelmed is to whisper the words, “I can’t, but I know you can God.” Sometimes it comes out in a rush and I am not even aware I am doing it and other times it is an intentional breath prayer of inhaling and exhaling the words. There is power in calling upon God and you can grasp the beginning of healing from anxiety when pausing your rapid-fire thoughts.
Third, you can choose a perspective change. Let the worry wash over you, but then go for a walk, sing, dance, create something, or go take a drive. The choice is yours but the end result will have others noticing something has changed.
Here’s another post I wrote as we were coming out of the pandemic restrictions. I pray the perspectives in this post help you too.When worrying feels as natural as breathing, notice it, name it, make space for God to sit with you, and then release it. Making Space for Worry Click To Tweet
How do you make space for worry? What ways can you add to my list above?
Empowering women to walk in brave faith one heart at a time!
Two podcasts to help you with this subject are:
Revelation Wellness #699 – John Eldredge: Resilient
That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs #388: John Eldredge + Resilient
I loved both of these podcasts. They both interview John Eldredge but are not exactly the same. I learned so much and listened to both twice.
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