For Your Worried Heart

bicycleIt was a Saturday night, and I had a babysitting job. I parked my car, and walked up the overgrown path towards the yellow ranch house. Taking a deep breath, I knocked on the door.  I stood there, that evening, my hands aching from tiredness, and my heart greatly overwrought. After a long work week, and making the decision to let go of my job–which had provided me more worry about the future than peace about the present–my heart was torturing itself through second guessing. And my body was weary from the internal battle. I knocked on the peeling antique door, again, to begin babysitting. And the door opened.

In the past few weeks I have chosen through long nights, prayer, and lack of sleep to let go of a job that was eating me alive, and strive after something new. Hope for something better. Work for joy. This decision, however, has not granted me much peace as ever since I have made the decision my mind has been gripped with second guessing, fear, and worry. My heart has tortured me over the decision. My brain has tried to reason its way out of the fear. My feelings have run amuk with What-Ifs. What if?

I have been, for most of my life, in a terrible head-lock with dreaded Decisions. The very act of making decisions {be it choosing from a menu or which college to go to or whether or not to quit a summer job} has been a crippling, tearful, and torturous experience.

And this life-long struggle was cured by two giggly little toddlers. A Mighty God who sees me. And an ice cream cone.

I sat in the park, my fingers threading their way through the holes on the cold, metal bench as I watched the two toddlers I was babysitting giggle, and run towards the massive playground.  A red head, and a brunette–these two year olds were giggling, and flouncing their long summer dresses as they scrambled up the stairs to the top of the playground. I caught my breath as they both plunged down the slide, one after another, their skirts flying up in the wind, their eyes scrunched shut, and their little red bow mouths squealing in delight. I laughed as I watched them. They were joy personified. I glanced away to watch a mother with her twin boys trying to sort out an argument, and when I looked back it took me a few minutes to find my two small charges. I finally saw them at the top of a tall slide, being cornered by two older (perhaps seven year old) boys. My two little princesses were looking concerned, and the boys were blocking the slide that minutes before the girls were gleefully going down.

I pressed my lips together, and strode towards the playground equipment. In a few bounds I was at the top of the tower, staring down at the boys. “You boys need to let the girls go down the slide now” I said in my most Fearsome Adult Voice. The two mischievous boys were still blocking the slide, and goofily laughing at the girls “She was looking at me weird!” tattled one of the boys. I gave him my most withering look (seriously, a two year old girl looking at him weird?), and told them they needed to let the girls have a turn. They skitter-skattered away, with ugly looks, and my two sweet girls once again regained their zest for life, and with a poof of two brightly colored skirts, were jumping on the slide again.

It was not until later, while I was attempting to help my girls eat their strawberry ice creams,  that I realized that I had to fight for the joy of these girls. Those boys were blocking their path to joy, and were accusing them of things they had not even done.

In the same way, my heart is often a toddler with ice cream on her nose, and a polka dot dress who wants to go down that slide. And my worries, fears, and anxieties are the two tall boys who are leering down at her, and blocking her path. 

We have the choice of whether to let those mean boys {anxiety, worry, and fear} keep us from our joy or to put on a strong face, and tell them to go away. Choose today to put on your Bold Voice, and tell them to move aside, and embrace the blessings you have today.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” -Colossians 3:15

What about you? Do you struggle with worry? How are you going to choose faith over fear today?



6 thoughts on “For Your Worried Heart”

  1. What a lovely post. Its always amazing to me how really paying attention to small children can change the way you think. They see the world with such fresh eyes full of wonder. Sometimes the best path is the one that seems the hardest. Good luck on your new path.

    1. That is so true, Rebecca. Children can teach us so much if we just have the eyes to see, and the hearts to learn from them. Thank you for the good luck–this past week I worked as a lumberjack, and this next week I am beginning Farmer’s Market (both things that do not tie my heart into knots) so things are going well. Good luck to you on your crochet challenge! I took a look at your blog, and that is a worthy endeavor to be sure. 🙂

  2. Children–be they your own, or somebody else’s–are such a gift, aren’t they, Bethany? “They were joy personified.” Such is the nature of children, and I’m sure why Jesus pointed them out so often. That childish nature is just so refreshing! I loved your analogy of your heart and a joyous (yet sometimes fearful) toddler. Just beautiful.

    1. Children are an incredible gift. One of my favorite aspects of Jesus is how much He loves children. We truly do have a lot to learn from these little sprites, and would be better off if we lived like them {at least in some ways}. May we never lose the joy, adventurous nature, and wonderment that we had as children!

  3. I loved readind your article Bethany. I feel what you were saying, my undecided Libra nature brought me so many fears over the years and many times I found myself wondering if I did the right thing. That fear had built up and built up until it conquered my soul. But one day, I’ve decided to overcome it and make peace with myself, understand that this is who I am and I know I can be better than that. I have found a certain level of peace for now and I am happy.

    1. It sounds like our personalities are quite similar, Rally! Fear can entangle our hearts so easily, can it not? I am so glad you have figured out how to overcome fear in your life, and live at peace. Keep striving for joy! Thanks for the sweet comment.

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