Currently, I’m reading Winning the War on Worry by Louie Giglio with our small group. Although it’s a concise book (only 100 pages), it’s powerful and has made me stop and think long and hard about some of the things I’ve experienced since Melanie ran ahead to heaven. While examining my heart, it’s brought me to the realization that worry and anxiety is a consequence of grief.
Not long after Melanie died, I began experiencing panic attacks. Out of nowhere my heart would start beating out of my chest, and my insides would begin shaking as if I were standing outside in sub-zero-degree temperatures with no clothes on. I wasn’t sleeping well, and if I did manage to go to sleep, I always woke up around 2:00a.m. During this time, I’d lie awake for hours reliving all that brought me to this place.
While reading Winning the War on Worry, I’ve learned a couple of essential things:
- The heart of worry is the need to be in control.
- 97% of what we worry about never comes to pass.
- The ultimate root of worry is fear.
Does this resonate with you, too? I can go through a long list in my mind of “What if’s” in 30 seconds or less and then proceed to turn myself inside-out worrying about these scenarios. This book has reminded me that winning the war on worry is knowing you can’t do it alone. It’s only as we rely on the power of God that we can then stand firm and win this fight.
Admittingly, since something terrible has already happened, I try to control every other aspect to ensure nothing wrong can occur. But, is that really possible? Absolutely not! We may like to think we are in control, but ultimately we are not!
It’s taken a lot of time, energy, effort, and tears to work through the worry and anxiety my grief has caused me. These are just a few things I found helpful:
· Speaking with a grief counselor – it’s so important to find the right person you can talk to and share your broken heart with. Seeking out a professional in this field or attending Grief Share can help you manage the consequences of your grief.
· Journaling – writing down all my thoughts, feelings, and prayers (requested and answered) has helped me tremendously. When I’m feeling scared, worried, sad, angry – all the feels … I just let it all come tumbling out on my journal pages. Verbalizing it, even in writing, brings those worries and fears into the light, and it doesn’t seem so dark anymore.
· Music – listening to worship music is a significant source that brings a sense of calm to my soul. Music has its own universal love language. Where our words sometimes fail, music speaks. On the days I’ve felt incredibly anxious, the music stays in the background throughout the day. Often I then realize I actually feel calmer and steadier.
· Prayer – reading the Bible and letting the word of God seep into my spirit helps me to remember I’m not alone on this grief journey. The worry and fear the enemy tries to lay on my heart and mind are lies. It’s a reminder that I don’t have to walk around fearing that death will come knocking on my door at any moment. We will all die one day, but I don’t have to sit back and worry about this daily.
Let’s try and focus on today. We have no idea what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow. Wishing you a peaceful day!