The children’s author Kevin Henkes wrote a great book called Wemberly Worried. It is the story of a little mouse who worries about everything from what she eats, strange noises in her home, losing her toys and worst of all: going to school for the first time. It is a great book to read for the first day of school as the students can really connect to it. The beauty of the book is that when she goes to school she realizes that she is not alone in her “worrisome world.” By meeting a great friend who shares her heart and concerns, together they forge a wonderful and meaningful friendship.
There is such power in being real with each other isn’t there? When I feel most overwhelmed like little Wemberly, it is so helpful to have someone I respect and admire share that he or she feels the same and is right there with me in the struggle. Being transparent with each other is helpful as it serves to lessen our worries when we realize that others too have similar struggles and are still somehow pressing on. Finding a true empathetic person is such a gift and great strategy when feeling overwhelmed with worry. Talking about our concerns really helps as keeping them bottled up inside can be so unhealthy. Often what we worry about in reality may not be as serious as we may imagine. When I did counseling as a social worker, I recall one client so obviously distraught for her first session, it was very heartbreaking. She shared that is would be very hard to share her story, but she would “try.” She went on to say that this would probably be her first and last session as when she shared the “horrible” details of her life story in her worried mind I would ask her to leave and say “there’s the door.” She truly believed that if she let her true self and story be known that her vulnerability would result in total rejection. Imagine her surprise when the “there’s the door,” comment was never spoken! Instead a wonderful relationship was started where she felt comfortable on a weekly basis to share her worries and true self without the fear of judgement and rejection. It is a powerful thing to offer people our acceptance of them flaws and all. It is also something that some people sadly have not experienced often enough in their lives.
There is a very cute viral video out right now that I have viewed multiple times. I have included it at the end of this blog. It is of a toddler who is trying to do her own seatbelt up without success yet is repeatedly refusing help. Every time her father offers assistance, she flat out refuses saying “You worry about yourself!” It is so adorable and humorous, yet strikes a chord. It is not her father who has the issue but her. Out of sincere concern he wants to help but by her refusing his help although comical to watch, she still remains frustrated. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength not weakness. It shows that we know ourselves well enough to realize that some situations are just too hard to handle alone.
Talking to others we trust is so helpful and so is taking our worries to God in prayer. I am a singer. I love to sing many different songs including some really old hymns of the church. Although these hymns were written so long ago, the truth of the lyrics still hold true today. One such hymn that I love to sing is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” The words have great, yet simple advice for dealing with worry. They simply state:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer,
Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.
Prayer is a powerful tool when dealing with worry. When we pray we give our worries to God and ask Him to partner with us and help us problem solve effectively. I remember when Shannon was very little I asked her to pray with me about a big concern. We prayed together and when we said “amen,” I started rambling on about how worried I was AGAIN! Shannon said something I will never forget. In her childlike, yet profound wisdom she stated “Mom, we just prayed about that, now stop worrying!” Out of the mouths of babes as they say!
If you are feeling worried, know that you are not alone. Know that also you were not meant to handle your burdens on your own either. We need each other and we are on the same team. The letters in team stand for “together everyone accomplishes more.” This is true, so let’s share our hearts with others and God to make positive steps to leave worries behind us, as we look ahead to a brighter future!
Until next time ~
1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Little Lesson Learned: Time spent in worry is time poorly spent. Reaching out for help to problem solve is a much more effective use of your time.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015