Purposeful Faith

Rubbed Raw with Worry

raw with worry

When I saw it, I immediately knew something was wrong.

The A, B, Cs where there. I was anxious, burdened and out-of-control as I cast my eyes on what was asymmetrical, border-weird and color not-normal.

My days of laughs in the sun,
felt like they were being exchanged for tears at the mirror
as I looked at my back from every angle known by man.

The possibility of cancer, the pain of removal and the fear how long it had been there swung like a wrecking ball in my chest. Whatever was resurrected for Jesus, was all broken today.

Have you ever noticed that,
a heart that dwells on the looming possibilities of fear,
tumbles down the great possibilities of God?

I’ve noticed.

It’s a pack-up-your bags, furious move from residing under the shadow of God’s wing to living in a battle-soaked village of doom and gloom.

The more I looked at that mole, the more I knew I had to do something. So, I picked at it. Then, I started to rub. With no progress, I grabbed the great tool of exfoliating cream and dug into it.

This thing was coming off!
I rubbed some more…

Until all that remained was the bloodied marker of all that was threatening me
and an open sore filled with discouragement and embarrassment.

That’s how it is with worry, isn’t it?

The more we move the chair of our thoughts back and forth over that same spot,
the more we dig deep tracks of distrust into our heart.

We rub, and rub and rub – the same spot.

The more we dig deep these tracks of distrust,
the more we follow these ill-conceived tracks to illogical solutions.

We rub with exfoliating cream.

We ruin the floor of our faith with the imaginations of our future. We take action to things only God had the best action for.  What ruminates in our mind, dominates in our life.

Then we ask:

God, where are you? 
God, why did you let this happen? 
God, do you not care? 
God, are you going to let _____ happen?

It’s like we allow our all-powerful problems
convict our seemingly low-power god –
a god who is entirely lacking in the love department.

We get squinty-eyed at the one who loves us most. We do what we don’t want to do.

God, return my heart and my presence back to you. I am sorry.

Confession is the flashlight to clarity.

Worry doesn’t stop what destroys, it just steals joy.

Worry self-centers us. People, needs and ministry move to the outskirts.

Worry erases the idea that we are living for God’s glory, his plan and his will.
It makes invisible the prayer, “Thy Will be done.”

Worry is like a bouncy ball stuck in a box, it will keep you up all night and get you nowhere.

Worry places our eyes on our present problems, rather than our present God.

What do I really believe?

Do I believe God is an all-sufficient problem handler or
do I believe that he is absent, I am all alone, in the woods, by myself, fending against all my worst fears by the strength of my own might?

Is God the warrior or am I?

The truth is: God has us, he won’t let us go, he has a plan, he will bring us through all pain, he will provide for our every need, he will not forsake us, he will never let us go, he will not let our foot slip, he will pick us up if we fall, he will guide us through suffering as he has suffered, he will bring glory to our pain, he will lead others to know him through our trials.

But the real question is, do I believe this deep down -where it counts?

Hearts that believe God is good, give thanks for their good God.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil. 4:6

Thanks breathes in God and exhales bitterness.
Thanks makes us see all we have versus all we could lose.
Thanks brings into remembrance all of his past faithfulness.
Thanks puts into perspective our present perspective.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

What can you find to be thankful for?

What praise can you immerse your one-track mind in
so that you don’t rub yourself raw
with feelings of God-has-left-me?

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purposefulfaith

Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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76 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Dear Kelly, I noticed I have read some articles and left comments but they don’t seem to show up! I hope this one does.
    I enjoyed the video yesterday and I hope your vacation is pleasant? It was good to hear you speak and hear your little son’s voice too.
    Thanks for the devotional and the linkup too.
    Many Blessings to you.

  • Oh I can definitely relate, Kelly. We see one little thing, and all of a sudden totally disproportional worry takes control of our minds. Worry does steal our joy, our peace, our trust. Giving thanks is a good antidote! Reminds us all that God has done!

    Today I’m choosing to give thanks for $45,000 in scholarship money for my son instead of worrying where we’re going to come up with $9,000! 🙂

  • Yes please get it checked! Love you and yep, I can identify. Hugs. Prayers.

    God, place Your mighty healing hand on Kelly’s heart and the spot that distracted her from You, Lord. By His stripes we ARE healed. And I praise You for the healing You deliver Kelly. It is done.. In Jesus’ mighty, all-powerful name I pray. Amen

  • Kelly, thank you so much for introducing me to this site. I can tell God has much to say to all of us and I am so glad that you have chosen to use your time and talents to honor Him. Your words have already been such a blessing and encouragement. I look forward to enjoying many coffees as I sit and read the pages of these blogs.

    • Beverley! I am so happy you are here. Welcome, welcome, welcome! God is speaking through these women. It is powerful and I am so blessed to be a part of the love that makes up this group. I think you will feel it! Are you on Twitter?

  • Kelly, I had to smile as I read as my husband often does exactly what you have done to your mole. With that said, it moved me to pray for you today. May God bring quick healing to the area and may you get a good report from the doctor. Your post so reminded me of myself as I tend to worry a bit too 🙂 Lately I am finding myself to challenged to think & pray bigger as it truly does please & honor our God. Grateful you bring us all together for this most encouraging linkup! Happy Tuesday!

  • Praying for you, sweet friend. The enemy is relentless in his attacks, isn’t he? If he cannot get us to fall into old patterns, he throws new worries our way. Stand strong and speak truth – no weapon forged against you shall prevail.
    Much love,
    Kamea

  • Kelly,
    I smiled as I read your story. Oh…I’ve been there. Literally and figuratively. Focusing on the terrible what ifs … Losing the vision of what is going on right now … Praying you have the transcending peace over this and more … And yes! If you haven’t made your appointment yet, do so now!

  • Phil 4:6-7 was an important passage for me in my early days as a mom. Anxiety wormed its way into my heart and my life. I literally repeated that verse over and over when I felt it begin to creep in again. Then one day, the Word took hold and the anxiety let go. Total healing! God’s words are so powerful, aren’t they? Thank you for sharing your struggle with us, Kelly, and also sharing how God’s Word helps us overpower that pesky worry!

    • There is so much power in repeating a verse over and over again. I praise God that he let those words sink deep down into the foundation of your beliefs. Praise God for your total healing Kristine!

  • This has happened in my life so many times -> “We ruin the floor of our faith with the imaginations of our future” because of the fear. This is so encouraging Kelly. Thanks for sharing kind words full of wisdom. And, for hosting this link up to cheer up each other.

    Blessings,
    Tayrina from TGAWrites

  • I understand the worry and the ease in which we land in that place as if God is a forgotten piece of the puzzle. I loved the image of the bouncy ball in the box. It gets absolutely nowhere but we let ourselves become trapped. I have several mantras that I bring to mind in difficult situations. “God’s got this” or “I can’t, but He can”. Being quick to turn our focus off the worry and back to God is hard but is always exactly what we need. Have a blessed day!

    • I love how you repeat these mantras to yourself. We just have to keep on reminding, and reminding, and reminding our souls that are so prone to wander, don’t we? Much love to you today Mary!

  • It’s a slippery slope isn’t it – how quickly we go from clinging to flailing. When faced with a battle, everything that had us standing on certain ground feels like it’s been ripped away. I know what that feels like and it does take purpose and intention to plant our feet and hold fast to faith – to take God at His word and believe Him for it. So glad that He never leaves and that while we might move and dance around it – He never forsakes us!

  • This is beautiful. I love the idea that when we immerse ourselves in praise and gratitude and focus on the good God has always done, we can move beyond the worry. I just found your blog and am loving reading! Thanks for creating such a beautiful community!

    • Thank you Laura. If we can see bigger than us, we start to see God’s hand in what lays before us. I am so glad you are here! It is such a special place of encouragement with other women of Christ.

  • “Is God the warrior or am I?” Powerful words here Sis that resonate with me and confirm my position to stand having done all to stand. I stand and watch to see the salvation of the Lord. I stand as the warrior, Jehovah Sabbath goes before me in battle. He is the warrior who ensures our victory!

  • Luke 12:25, 26 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

    I’ve had enough cancer scares to totally feel what you were going through! I do hope that you’ve had that mole looked at?? God bless, He is bigger than all of it!

  • This is so true. We worry ourselves and then negative thoughts start to come in and take over. I love Philippians 4:6 for this that we know to not be anxious about anything because we know God has this. Thanks for sharing and for hosting!

  • “Hearts that believe God is good, give thanks for their good God.” Oh yes. I have found myself in the same whirlwind you mention, Kelly. Golly, the ABC’s. Reading these posts, yours and others on the linkups, have actually been catalysts to press in deeper, to remember God in those whirlwinds. (Because Heaven knows I’m really good at beating myself up in the midst of the whirlwind, somehow forgetting that Jesus is near.) Thanking Him for His words through you and others here at the linkup. xo

  • Yes! I remember going through this very same thing (though, a different type of cancer scare), but really, it happens all the time with everyday little things. Amazing how easy it is to lose sight of God’s goodness. When we remember He’s trustworthy, it puts those scares back into perspective. Thanks for the sweet reminder.

    • The second we take our eyes off of him and place them on us, we have lost the sense of his provision. May we rest in him, on him and with him all the time! Thank you for your comment Crystal!

  • “Do I believe this deep down -where it counts?” What a great question to ponder, Kelly, because it is only when our faith runs deep that we can weather the storms we face. I pray, Kelly, that your heart is filled with peace and you feel the presence of Jesus’ arms around you as you walk through this. Praying for a good report and giving thanks to our good God!

  • Dear Kelly, I so love that whole Philippians 4 chapter … Paul’s words ladle sanity and clarity, grace and fresh perspective on all of life’s anxious turmoils. Thank you for taking us to His words of love today …

  • I sure don’t want to get all squinty eyed at the one who loves me most, but I do that sometimes! Your post is so relatable. So much truth, so many things I saw in myself. And yet, so much truth about God and His perspective.
    I don’t want to keep rubbing that chair back and forth and revisiting doubts. I want to be thankful and steady the course of my faith!
    Thanks for this post of wisdom, and thanks as always for the link up!

  • I’m so glad I found this linkup through Twitter! I’m a fellow TCW writer. 🙂 It’s great to connect with you, and I’m excited to read more of your blog and get to know others in this community. I just love this post — your analogy is perfect and relatable. Worrying is so much like rubbing our skin raw. I’ve been working on breathing out God’s praise and remembering His goodness, even when I’m not sure what that looks like in a given situation.

  • You will never know how close to home this hit. In a couple weeks, I’m heading to the dermatologist with my husband over *something* that doesn’t look right on his back. I’ve been terrified. Truthfully, just reading this post made me quite anxious, because it brought to the forefront of my fearful mind the *what if* that’s been terrorizing me. (It’s OK, it was right at the surface anyway!!)

    So, I get it. And, I also so appreciated all that you said here. I was convicted, challenged, and encouraged by your words. They hit home. And this was the line that struck me the most, “Is God the warrior or am I?” Indeed. Fear makes me withdraw, and then try to fight all alone.

    Thank you for these most timely words. They have greatly reminded me once again Who won the victory, and Who fights for me!

    GOD BLESS!

    • Sharon, I understand your fears. As you can see, I really do. I am glad, though, that the Lord is touching you with these words. He has you completely covered and, as you said, the victory is already won! Be strong in Christ Jesus.

  • Kelly,

    Yes, I can relate…This is such a great reminder: “Worry places our eyes on our present problems, rather than our present God.”…Thanks for sharing your encouragement 🙂 Glad it wasn’t cancer.

  • Kelly I am so grateful for today’s post. There have been quite a few things I have found myself rubbing raw lately. I pray that the Lord will watch over you and that he will heal you quickly.
    Yesterday and today I am giving the Lord thanks for a special small women’s conference that I went to that gave me the wakeup call to not let ANYTHING steal my joy!

    • Lord, please bless Kelly as she entrusts all she is fearing into your hands. May she see all the small opportunities to give thanks to you. I thank you for how you are speaking to her.

  • Praying that all is well with the mole. And that you find His peace in the waiting. And that His love holds you so tight that even should the outcome be not what you hope for that you will stand strong. He is the God who heals us. Love and hugs and prayers for benign good reports. xxoo PS Loved your video from the island or wherever you were!

    • Thank you Sheila. I love your prayer. In this world we will have trials, but Christ has overcome this world! We can rest in that. I pray you can too – in all your ways and all your days.

  • “Confession is the flashlight to clarity.” Isn’t it amazing how if we voice it out loud before God, He shines His holiness upon it? He gives us a greater perspective. Love your words today, Kelly! Thank you!

  • Worry really is such a joy stealer. And I’ve spent too many nights staying up worrying. God is good and I need to remember that especially when worry so easily creeps in. I love that reminded we hear in the Phillipiams verse. And your post was totally what I needed to read today…I’ve been doing a little worrying! 🙁

    • I am glad God brought this post to you at the right time Tara. He has you and he is with you. He will take care of it all, maybe not as you would do it, but as you need it. 😉

  • I have a job interview tomorrow morning. I choose to believe and focus on my Savior, His goodness and power and love for me! I thank God that it’s not all up to me! He goes before me. He goes with me. He is for me. May Your WILL be done, Lord! Grant me courage and faith to trust You alone, I pray. Amen.

  • Well this summer break has me off schedule so I missed the linkup yesterday – so glad to find it open! CANNOT WAIT to see you next month as I know we will have a lot to talk about! Love you!

  • Kelly, I think we can accurately call this a come-to-Jesus moment in the form of a blog post! Wow. Every word resonates. Thank you. (I also hope your mole turns out to be a minor blip.)

  • Love this, Kelly! I love what you do with worry versus thankfulness! And is God the warrior or am I? Wow! Just wow. “Have you ever noticed that, a heart that dwells on the looming possibilities of fear, tumbles down the great possibilities of God?” That is so true. We miss so much when we dwell in the fear place. Just prepared my column (before reading this) for next Sunday, and I used that verse about shelter under His wings, the shadow of the Almighty. Such a powerful image for us. Blessings to you from #EspressosOfFaith!

    • Thank you Bonnie. There is so much power by just resting. I just pray that we can see how protected we are in that safe place, then, maybe we won’t fear it as much. Have a super, awesome, peaceful, blessed day in Christ.

  • I’m just now getting the chance to link-up with you today, but know that you are always in my prayers! GOD is with you, sweet friend! Infinite blessings and favor to you, Love! 🙂

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