“Dear MOB Society, I just can’t stop worrying about my son’s future. Every time I watch the news there’s something new to be afraid of. I stay up at night thinking, ‘What if … ?’ I don’t want him to worry like I do. I feel like such a failure. Can you help?”
Oh, I can relate to this! We have three boys and each comes with his own set of worries. Our oldest son has dyslexia and is behind in reading. Will he ever catch up? How will this affect his future? Is there anything more I can be doing? Our middle son has autism and is mostly non-verbal. What will his future be like? He will likely live with us our entire lives, but then what? Will his brothers care for him? Will they live close enough to help when we’re older or unable to give him the care he needs? And our youngest son is currently in a school for blind children in China, waiting for our adoption of him to be final. What if he has attachment issues? What if his special needs are more than we anticipate? What if … ?
I know God does not want me to worry. He tells us over and over again to be strong, to give Him our burdens, to rest in His love and care for us. So how do I turn off my worries and focus on His promises? I open my Bible to Philippians 4 and find the answer. Verses 6-8 tell me what to do and how to do it:
… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- First, Paul writes we should not be anxious, but release our worries to God through prayer.
- Second, he promises God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.
- Third, we are to evaluate our thoughts and worries by asking if they are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. If they aren’t, we should replace them with thoughts that are.
Here’s how this practically works in my life. It’s 11:46 at night and I can’t stop tossing and turning. Our youngest son James had a tough day. I’m worried he will grow more frustrated since he can’t communicate what he wants. I worry about how people will treat him when he’s a big twenty-year-old-man who can’t speak instead of a cute six-year-old boy. And what if I get sick and can’t take care of him when he’s twenty and bigger than I am?
When I realize I’ve reached the worrying stage, I go through this passage from Philippians in my mind. I release my worry to God through prayer. I focus on calming my body and mind and think about His peace. Then I replace the negative thoughts with ones that are true and worthy of praise.
“God, I’m worried about James’s future. You invite me to turn my worry over to You and you will settle my restless mind with Your peace. Instead of worrying, help me to replace my thoughts with what I know is true. You love James (Romans 8:36-39). You have a plan for His future (Jeremiah 29:11). You will supply all our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). Thank you for your care for us! ‘In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety’ (Psalm 4:8).”
I know it isn’t easy to stop worrying. But God’s Word gives us a formula to help us combat that worry. We can trust in Him!
I will use this every day. Thank you so much. Such a peaceful feeling.
I so needed this today! I think about my son’s future almost every day (he is 7, diagnosed with Autism)- especially during homework while we are both in tears. God is so good and He is true to His word! Thanks for this reminder 🙂
It’s probably not a coincidence that the MOB society’s own Brooke McGlothlinis has a guest post featured today entitled “Parent from Faith, not Fear” over on the Time Warp Wife blog.
Have so been there! LOVE that Philippians passage, have turned to it often.
We really can “what if” ourselves into such an anxious tizzy! I would
also recommend reading Linda Dillon’s book “Calm my Anxious Heart”.
You can do it as a bible study too and let God speak to your worried mama’s heart
through His Word that way.
I did it at a time when one of my home schooled sons was struggling and my
oldest son was going through some very tough and dangerous military training. (God’s timing is always perfect and His gifts to us so personal) The peace I had
throughout truly passed all human understanding, and others noticed! One of her
main points that struck, and stuck, was that as we struggle through today’s
worries, The Lord, our Shepherd, the Almighty and all knowing God is already
ahead of us, in our tomorrows. He is working things out on our behalf, before
we even get there!
I have a friend who says that as parents we live under an “illusion of
control” regarding our children. When they are small we are so aware of
their vulnerability and our huge responsibility to protect, guide and train
them up. As they get older, we realize just how much we are not in control of
what happens in their lives. We need to learn to fully trust the One who is
truly in control and loves our boys even more than we do. He will be with them
when we cannot be. We just need to teach them to seek and follow Him.
He knows the plans He has for us, and for them, (Jer 29:11-13) and they are
good. Our job is to raise them as best we can, while they are under our roof and protection, to be men after His heart. We must continually lay them at His alter, and into His more than capable hands, through our fervent mama prayers every day. 🙂 Sleep in perfect peace tonight moms! Our Lord is for us and is always watching over
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Thank you so much for this reminder. I continue to worry about my son’s future and he is graduating high school this year. He has learning disabilities, which has caused classmates and even adults to make fun of him. I worry about who is going to protect him once Momma Bear is not around…lol Seriously though it has been a burden on my heart. I love this posting and printed it out for a constant reminder of what an amazing and awesome God we have and that I do need to let go of my worries and give them completely to him.Blessing to you!
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