Friday, May 13, 2011

Worries for God

These past few days I had been plagued with worry.  My thoughts seemed to be going round and round in circles, and at first I didn't even realize what was happening, although I felt exhausted and unhappy.

My mom suggested writing down my worries and giving them to God.  She told me about a practice, which I knew only a little about―placing worries in a worry box.

I researched the topic a little bit online and then decided I would try it.  I took a clear tupperware and wrapped it and its cover with white sketch paper.  I then wrote this quote on the lid:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
On the front of the tupperware, I wrote:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
I doodled a simple sun and a flower on two other sides.   On the last side, I wrote, "Worries for God's Healing." 

Placing the slip of paper in the box relieves tension and reminds me that God is near and hears my prayer.  While some worries may persist even after placing them in the box, it does bring relief to know that they are tucked away for God to handle.

From now on, when I am very worried, I kneel on my prayer cushion in front of my little altar table and write down the concern.  I fold up the paper and place it in the box. 

While I am doing this, I imagine Jesus taking the slip of paper from me, placing it in the pocket of his robe, and then reaching his arms out to give me a hug.  He is smiling and the tension is released from my body and mind.  The worry is no longer there for me to solve; God has received it.

It's funny how none of the worries in the box actually happened, the ones I wrote down for yesterday.  Once a week I will go through the box and tear up ones that have passed.

When placing worries in the box, I try my best to be as specific as possible and write down my imagined outcome/concern as accurately as I can.  When I'm done placing it in the box, if I still feel worried, it helps me to redirect my attention to something pleasant/grounding in the present moment, such as a tree outside the window or the feeling of my feet against the floor, and to choose a new activity.

If any of you try this, I'd be glad to know how it works out.

*Tip: Keep the worry box in the place where you usually pray and for convenience, place slips of paper and a pen beside it.

Blessings to you!

17 comments:

  1. Great post.

    May I add some thoughts.

    Worries are part of our human nature. God made us that way. It's a human reflex to make us careful in what we do. Too much worry though can be bad.

    When you write your worries down, as precisely as you can, ask this: Is there anything I can do about these worries right now?

    For example, seek help, ask for advice, or whatever.

    Most times there's nothing we can do about the worries. And most times what we worry about doesn't happen anyway. And that's when we should really trust in God and pray that He helps us overcome our worries.

    Praying for you.

    God bless.

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  2. Thank you for your prayers, Victor. These are excellent suggestions. You're right, some worry can be helpful if it leads to problem solving. I will try your advice by first asking myself if there is something I can do about the worry, and trust God.

    :)

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  3. Always a good idea to release worries one way or another - dolls. beads, boxes prayers, bowls of stones, throwing stones into water, writing them down and setting them on fire (love that one) - it's all prayer if you include God, and if it works... m+x

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  4. Oh, this sounds a bit like the prayer dolls which I saw when I visited San Diego. You whisper your worries to them before going to sleep.

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  5. Jade, what a great idea on how to handle worry. For me, I write down the scriptures in the Bible that talk about worry and keep them with me throughout the day (in my purse, on my night table, etc.) I say them to myself as a prayer. God's Word has power. It really helps to give our worries to God, and as you know, it's something we have to keep doing...but that's okay. Trusting God is a way of life. In fact, He is the Life.

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  6. Hi Jade, thanks for stopping by my blog. I saw your comment yesterday but was having problems with blogger and it seems to have disappeared.

    I love this idea that your mom gave you. It's a great way to clear your mind of the chaos that worry brings. I just might try it.

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  7. What a beautiful practice Jade. Sometimes doing something physical makes all the difference, and I love your image of Jesus taking the paper and giving you a hug. Sounds like something I will try.
    Andie

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  8. Oh, I love this idea! It is just what I need right now. Lately, I have been plagued by worries incessantly. I am going to have to do this.

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  9. What a great practice for your faith. I love the visual you create for yourself. I have also visualized God's gentle embrace.

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  10. I love this idea! I'm definitely going to try it.

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  11. I am such a worrier, I need to try this. Thanks

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  12. This is a wonderful exercise. It resembles one of the twelve steps where you give your regrets to God.

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  13. I like this idea! I have sometimes written worries on paper and set them on fire, which is slightly more dangerous an option!

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  14. Symbolism...ritual...so transformative. Glad that you found some relief.

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  15. God bless you, Jade :)
    reading you is always a delight.

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  16. Thanks, everyone! It's been great reading your insights and experiences.

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  17. What a wonderful idea! Thank you so much for sharing it. I am such a worrier! One day in church, the priest talked about packing our worries in a suitcase and leaving them at Jesus' doorstep. That stuck with me and I imagine packing my worries in a suitcase which I then place at Jesus' feet during prayer.

    I really like the idea of having a box and physically placing my worries in it rather than just imagining.

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