I don’t think there’s a single mom out there who has not fully testified, “Well, I’m a full-fledged worrier.” But where did that slogan come from? I checked it out on Google, and what I found is quite appropriate. It first appeared in 1956 in Ivan Belknap’s book called Human Problems of State Mental Hospitals (p. 177), where this particular group of people were tagged as delusional. Amen to that because at times that’s exactly what worrying feels like!
Worry comes so naturally. Will my children turn out ok? Will I have enough money to buy my kids school supplies? Or what if my circumstances never change? And on and on we go until our name mysteriously appears in Mr. Belknap’s memoirs.
So what does it look like as a single mother NOT to worry? It means to stop tormenting ourselves, to place our confidence in God. It’s to recall what we already know.
- Worry is learned. No one is a born worrier. We learn it by the way we’ve handled other issues. We learn it by watching others. We learn it by taking our eyes off of Jesus. Yet, if we can learn it, we can unlearn it.
- Worry is useless. It’s “stewing without doing,” much like a gerbil running and running on his exercise wheel and going nowhere. Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but it zaps today of its strength. To practice its grip gives you a false sense of control.
- Worry is an exaggerator. It swells and makes the problem bigger than it actually is. What starts out as a mere concern becomes a terrorizing crippler that rarely happens. It begins small but eventually casts a monstrous shadow.
So what’s the answer? God’s Word infers that it’s impossible to worry and pray at the same time. Friends, if it’s big enough to worry about, then it’s big enough to pray about.
Jesus offers moms who fret comfort when they’re on the verge of tipping over into that delusional state of anxiety:
- “Let not your heart be troubled.” —John 14:1
- “Do not fret about your life” —Matthew 6:25
- “Don’t worry about ANYTHING, but pray about EVERYTHING.” —Matthew 6:27 (emphasis added)
So what’s your ANYTHING and EVERYTHING?
Robert Mecham from Germany sat in a hospital desperate for his little girl to make it through the night after a devastating gunshot wound. He expressed to God, “Lord, this critical moment offers me two handles. I can either grab the handle of worry in what might happen or embrace the handle of wonder in what You might do. Father, I choose ‘wonder,’ and I will trust you with this outcome, whatever it is. ” And by God’s sovereign mercy, his only daughter was restored to perfect health within the year.
Life is about choices: worry or wonder? See the truth for what it is. The goodness of God ends with an exclamation point not a question mark.
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.