Children, Growth, Hope, Link-Up, Struggle

What To Do When The Worry Won’t Quit (And a Link-Up)

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom

He comes to me mid-summer and declares he’s finished with “kid bibles”. He wants the whole story–he  wants the whole truth, not just the trimmed up version. I’m overjoyed at his enthusiasm for the Word and before I remember what he will be reading in the whole Bible, we’ve purchased it and made it halfway home.

Then I’m thinking about Samson, and David, Bathsheba and Rahab, Solomon and his Songs. There’ll be some explaining to do, and I try not to fret over the words he’s yet to read, the ones that make me twitch uncomfortable even as a knowing adult–perhaps more so because of that fact.

I trust God with this–withholding the Word from him never crossed my mind.

This child’s heart is tender towards the Lord. I don’t know what it is exactly, except that I’ve often said he has a direct line to the Holy Spirit. They’ve got some amazing connection happening and he hears and senses the spiritual world in ways difficult to describe. He’s also plagued with anxiety. The real kind. The kind that when it peaks, causes tummies to churn.

We’ve managed pretty well. He’s made huge progress but as we’e standing there in the youth bible aisle, he rubs his hands and pales a bit. “The words are so small in these bibles” He rubs his hands nervously against each other. I know that look in his eyes and my stomach begins to drop.

“You can read them”, I assure him, flipping one open to compare it to another version. “See–these aren’t so bad, you’ve read print this small before”.

Frowning, he sighs and his lips press tight together. We look at every single version in the collection. Twice. And then again. He chooses at last, and he’s both happy and terrified at the decision he’s just made. We ride home, both of us fretting over different reasons that the Word scares us.

Later that afternoon, he comes and asks me how he can stop worrying. I hate this for him, this anxiety that squeezes the innocence right from him, this boa constrictor, a generational curse suffocating the joy right out of life–this anxiety hangs heavy on the family tree.

I pull from my drawer the sticky tabs I’ve been saving. Markers purchased for just this occasion.

“We’ll go through your bible and mark every singe verse on worry and fear” I tell him.

He claps nervously, bouncing on his toes. I’ve just given him a small glimmer of hope, a rope to pull him out.

We begin marking them, looking them up in the back and flipping the  pages back and forth. There’s relief washing clean over him, and I’m whispering prayers for healing and peace as we walk through the Word.

It’s finished and he beams, “That’s a lot of verses!”

“I know it and isn’t it wonderful that God gives so many reminders to those of us who need them”! I cheer him on with a hug and a trembling smile.

He comes to me a few more times through out the day, asking questions, figuring out this whole grown-up bible thing, and we pray for the worry to go. We pray.

That’s all we can do when the worry won’t quit –we dig in and find ourselves immersed in truth to overcome the lies of fear and anxiety. We bind the lies that tell us We’ll never be________, and the dreams we dream will never come true. We wallop the worry with truth that says God’s bigger and He has this.

Because walking around with worry is like wearing lead boots in the ocean of despair. We’ll drown down there without a rope of hope to pull us up.

These words strung up in Matthew, they offer that line we need:

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:27-33


Have a favorite post from the last month? Link up below and share your words here, the only *rule* is that you stop by another who links here and encourage them.

Sharing this post at Emily’s place today


  1. Renee Ann Smith

    What a blessing that you can lead your boy to the Source of hope and confidence. Worry plagued my childhood & I didn’t know the Scriptures then. I said a prayer for both of you as I read this. Blessings!

    1. Renee, thank you so much for your prayer. I hope and pray that you don’t struggle as much with worry anymore. I didn’t know the scriptures as a child the way my kids do–what grace! Thanks for reading and sharing my friend.

  2. Ok, I could barely read past, “We’ll go through your bible and mark every singe verse on worry and fear” I tell him. as your words and the picture of a mother equipping her son to lean on God was powerful, beautiful and tear producing. 🙂 Well done, Mama!

    1. Thanks Laurie for your encouragement. I am so grateful for the connection my son has with The Lord, it humbled me continually to see how God works and speaks through him. What an amazing thing to see as a mother!

  3. Isn’t it a blessings to be able to give our kids tools… hope…at such a young age…to uproot those seedlings before they take deep root and grow huge weeds in their hearts….sweet story…blessings~

  4. MomsMustardSeeds

    All I can say is this…I wish you lived closer. But I am blessed that your words reach across the miles…and hug this Mama heart walking this path – with you!

  5. Julie

    oh my WORD!! This spoke to my heart, I have a worrier in my family too. He is 19 now and I still know the signs when that bottom lip gets chewed on or that somber face stares into space…. I wish that I had handled his worry with such godly grace when he was your sons age! What a beautiful mentor you are! So proud to call you friend!

    1. Jennifer, we’re learning together, this family of mine, how to seek and how to stand without trembling…Gods faithfulness astounds me again and again. I learn from my children, even as I feebly lead them. Bless you, my sweet friend.

    1. Shelly, I’m telling you, Gods got a grip on his little man heart something fierce. A battle wages over him daily, and I pray, I just pray he clings tighter to grace. I can’t force that, I can’t even fully teach it, but only encourage and lead by example….we learn together, me and these kids, what seeking Him first really looks like.

      So thankful you dropped by today and shared your words, you bless me!!

  6. It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by and I’m so glad I did today. I’ve had similar concerns myself as I’ve handed over the Word to little hands and a hungry heart. It’s not a safe thing, though good and powerful. It’s odd to see it handled by such a little boy! We’ve discovered the list of verses by topic also and he brings it to me to offer encourage as well!

  7. lindseyfoj

    Oh, I too, was like that as a child. The fact that you take his worries and cars so seriously….what a gift! My mom did that for me too and it fostered my sensitive soul in ways that could have wounded should she have acted otherwise. One day, he will know the gift in a mother like you….

    Thank you for the encouragement to my oft-worried-heart too!

    1. Your mom did well with you, Lindsey. really and truly. You are such a tendr hearted listener and sweet encourager. I am blessed to be your friend, and to have shared time with you recently. Missing you!!!

  8. Emily Wierenga

    oh friend. this moves me so deeply. i love how in tune you are with your son, how you cheer him on, and how connected he is to the holy spirit. bless you.


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