As someone who works in healthcare, I have a firm grasp on the importance of physical wellness: being active, eating nutritious foods, and taking time for activities that support mental health so I can feel good now and in the years ahead. Spiritual wellness is newer to me. To me, being spiritually well is really feeling God’s peace.
As a mother of three school aged kids, day to day is not always so “peaceful” with school projects, activities (insert “forgotten item at home” that needs to be delivered to school) and sibling conflicts. In addition, there are the demands of having a career, being a wife, a friend, etc. With these demands often comes the worry that I am just not able to do it all, let alone do it all well.
I’ve had the tendency of being a “worrier” as long as I can remember. Worrying about being homesick almost kept me from going to summer camp with my sister and cousins. Worrying about work for my husband who worked temporary jobs and has had to travel thousands of miles across Canada and the USA when work was not plentiful in his field in our home province of New Brunswick. Worrying about suspicious lumps. Worrying that the alarm clock would not go off and we’d be late for some type of event… waking numerous times overnight to check and recheck and recheck again the alarm.
A few years ago I saw a quote someone shared on Facebook. Toby Mac, a Christian music artist, had shared it with his #speaklife hashtag but it was originally written by Ann Bradford: “Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.” This really spoke to me about the influence of the “negative committee” on my worrying.
I felt it really went along with my life verse from Philippians:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
It became clear to me that the energy spent worrying about a variety of life’s circumstances could be redirected in prayer. I love how this verse puts both in the same sentence “Tell God what you need AND then thank him for all he has done”.
I can go to Him and tell Him my worries. I can follow up with an attitude of gratitude by thanking Him for all that he has done.
It can be whispers in the morning. It can be in the quietness as I am setting up for a class at work. It can be when I wake up overnight with a thought pressing on me. God I need your direction with this event/situation/person today. God thank you for this day, thank you for my home, thank you for my health, thank you for…. It starts to turn what would have been a negative into something positive.
The worry doesn’t seem as big against the backdrop of all that He is. And when I focus on His goodness, the negative committee sits down and shuts up… and I am well.
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