Friday, November 18, 2011

rooting out the worrying worm

It lodges itself in my center of centers like a worm, slowly eating its way through the dirt inside me.  I feel it curl up in my stomach, a familiar indigestion takes over and burns my belly.  I know when the worm comes back by the way I start picking at my cuticles -- creating wounds where there weren't wounds before -- mindlessly self-inflicting pain on my dry and hurting hands.

How does anxiety manifest itself in such physical ways?
And why does it seem to like my body as a resting place?

I have spent years battling with it, and yet it always returns.  Always familiar and still always slightly different.  A new twist on an old, worn-out song.  But I don't want to do this dance any more -- worrying about tomorrow when I need to focus on finishing out the current day.  Yet somehow, it creeps in -- worming its way inside me and wiggling around until I finally (consciously) pay attention to it.

Yes!  I hear you!  I feel you!  When will you leave me alone and let me live in a semblance of peace?

I do my best to calm my spirit -- to still my busybody mind.  But I can't do it.
At least, not alone.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

There are so many verses in the Bible that deal with worrying and being anxious (I guess it's not a problem specific to me?), but I love how Paul's letter to the Philippians gives us some clear ways for dealing with the anxiousness that could eat away at us.  Pray -- supplicate -- and give thanks.  

How often do we give thanks to the Lord while we are in great angst?  How would our prayers change?  How would our mindsets change?

And the promise given is beyond comforting because it is transformative.  The peace of God surpasses all understanding, and that is the peace we should long for -- a peace that will root out the worrying worm inside our bellies and transplant itself in the core of our souls.  That's the peace I want -- a peace that cannot come with hours of yoga or singing or writing or massages or bubble baths or just ignoring the world -- a peace that I can do nothing about, but can only ask for and receive.

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