Faith in the Face of Worry
Our small group is going through the book of Luke. We actually joke that we are basically a Luke Bible study group. The joined elements of gabby ladies (guilty) lots of life stuff, and rich content have kept our pace… moderate. Okay, slow. Slow. It’s taking forever and we’ll probably be studying Luke until next summer. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every Tuesday night I walk away (in one of the many pairs of chacos piled at the front door) recharged and so dang thankful for these women, their vulnerability, and their willingness to speak truth into dark places. Last week, I came to group and physically felt myself exhale. As though I had been scurrying around since 3:30 that morning with the sole destination of that chair in Melissa’s living room. Just being there, listening to the chatter, watching everyone’s face light up as each woman arrived and found a spot and settled right in, let me inhale once more.
We were talking about the second half of Luke 12 and someone read it out loud.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? “
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
And the tears poured silently down my cheeks. And I couldn’t stop them, I can’t even say I tried. And nobody tried to make me. A luxury I can only afford surrounded by women I trust.
They began unpacking it. We go through scripture the way you do when you eat a fresh cinnamon roll with your hands. Pealing back each layer, captivated by the smells and textures, gooey and comforting, taking a piece for yourself and passing it on. I was soaking it in, and then Hannah, in a very gentle way, provided an opening for me in the form of a question.
The answer came to me only as I spoke.
See, Jordan just interviewed for a really big opportunity that will change our future forever and that day, we found out that he was accepted. The rug was pulled out from under us when I was 22 and he was 20. He had just finished his first year of college and I had just been laid off at my job as an addictions counselor and was working full time between two coffee shops trying to make rent. We were pregnant, and scared, and if we dared to look into the future, we couldn’t even imagine what to expect.
Ever since then, we’ve been shifting our weight slowly from our amazing support team and onto our own feet. Baby bites. Literally. Figuratively. Taking little bites off at a time and waiting to see if we choke or have an allergic reaction, before taking on something new.
Daring to dream, cautious to plan or promise.
If you had asked me at any moment since, I would have told you that, no, I don’t worry. I know what God has done for us, I know the promises He’s made, and, besides, worrying won’t add a single day to my life, so why bother?
But when I heard these words, I just realized how tired I had been from spending so much energy trying not to worry. White knuckles. Gritting teeth. Tense shoulders. What good will worrying do? Everything will all work out. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
My dad always describes life like a highway (he likes the rascal flats version) in the sense that you’re always trying to merge, if there only was a window. If only someone would let you in.
We’ve been inching our way up, blinker on, checking over our shoulders, tense with anticipation, and fighting the traffic for our chance to move forward. Now we have it. The hardest is yet to come, but we have a chance. We have each other. We have our friends and family. We have a God who clothes the wildflowers more lavishly than the richest men on earth. He’s brought us through the fire and won’t leave us now. That is why I shouldn’t worry. Because He’s bigger. Because He sees us and loves us so. Not just because there is no point, but because we’ve never walked alone and we won’t start now.
And so I was set free and the tears came. And as they did, in safe and sacred company, they washed away the fear that I had been fighting under the surface for years. I all but melted into the freedom to
“steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions… the Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.”