If you’ve ever had an exterminator come to your house for an inspection, the last thing you want to hear is, “Lady, you’ve got termites!” We all know about these disgusting critters. They crawl around in the framework of our houses gnawing away – bit by bit. We don’t think much about them until there’s evident of their presence. Likewise as single moms, many are carrying around these nasty insects in the structure of their souls. Not termites but worrymites.
Over the years I’d had the opportunity to witness hundreds of single mom stories, and there’s a common burden in many of them. Most sound something like this:
- Are my kids going to be ok?
- Will I be single forever?
- How long will I have to wrestle with “this?”
- When will I stop comparing my situation with all the happy little married couples around me?
- Where will I find the money to get ahead?
- Is something wrong with me? Why do I seem to be emotionally well one day and the next day fall back?
- What if I try something new and it doesn’t work?
- Am I worthy of God’s love?
- How am I going to deal with the empty-nest one day? (And for others, you can’t wait.)
- When will I quit beating myself up and stop feeling guilty?
Worry. Worry. Worry. Sound familiar? Agonizing, vacillating, and stewing takes no effort at all. It seems to come so naturally that without notice, we become comfortably uncomfortable with is vexing. Jesus confirmed that we’d have many reasons to be tempted to worry, but knew more reasons why we shouldn’t. Like termites, it ultimately takes a bite out of our well-being.
Jesus spoke more about our tormenting thoughts than any other emotional issue. He knew its damage and our oblivious tendency as humans to gravitate there. In fact, He instructed, “Do not let your heart be troubled.” (John 14:1) Rather, he encouraged, “Keep it in the Sonlight.” What steps can we take to make that happen?
l. We must think about what we’re thinking about. Are you stuck in one of the ten questions above? Stop it! We don’t have to worry incessantly. Ask God to show you with the bite of a termite when you’re vexing your soul instead of trusting Him. Know that playing those questions over and over in your mind gets you nowhere. It paralyzes the present and shapes your future.
2. We must replace worry with prayer. You can’t do both at the same time. Instead of distressing over details, voice your concerns into a prayer: Dear Father, you know that I need a job. You say that you will provide for my needs, so I’m counting on you to exhibit your faithfulness in this problem. Lord, I will trust, wait and watch for you instead of slowly boiling myself into a tizzy. See every worry as an opportunity to drawer closer to God.
3. We must keep our thoughts in alignment with God’s promises. We become Satan’s bait when we fret, agonize, and wrestle with our woes. Why do we do that when God has given us an escape route? Isaiah 26:3 confers – You will stay in perfect peace to the extent that you trust in Him. I love that “to the extent” part. Much worry = Much unsettledness. Much yielding to God = Much peace. We can thrive in the center of God’s calm while He battles under the surface.
Over the years I’ve come to know this: conquering worry is not something we will ever completely eradicate from our lives because we have an enemy that discovers cracks in armor, causing us to grapple with fears, especially those concerning our children! But we can stop their caustic plan when the wood shavings of their presence enter our minds.
In my book The Single Mom and Her Rollercoaster Emotions, I dedicated an entire chapter to these pale-bodied destroyers: Chapter 4 – “From the Jitters of Anxiety to the Resting in God’s Peace.” So how do we shut down their power? What four steps promise God’s peace? How can we know that God is working on our behalf? Friend, one thing is for sure. You are not left without God insecticide in dealing with the colony of worrymites lurking in soul. Praise God! He has made a way for you. Call upon Him and you will find it.
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.