There is a bug called ‘worry’, we all get a sting in our teenage years and then its effect keeps growing and growing. Suddenly, we start to worry about everything from the weather to how we look, what we will wear, eat, drink, the list is endless. How I miss the days when I was young and had not a care in the world. I wonder if we can choose differently, I know that we can, so the simple answer is yes. I am sure, worrying has never solved anything in all my years of living but still I worry.
On a lighter note, my daughter was growing older and it was looking like she was going to pick up an accent that I wasn’t particularly comfortable with. I do not have a preference, but I wanted her to pronounce her words correctly. As parents, we worried about how that accent will affect her in future. You can say we worry too much but trust me, parents tend to worry about everything, it comes with the portfolio. I know that the cares of life are not always this simple, but with worry, we all experience the same set of emotions no matter how simple or complex the issues that confront us.
This week happens to be one of those periods in my life when I have wandered down the ‘Worry Lane’, so my thoughts are fresh out of the oven. Think of them as my personal notes on some ways that I chose to act differently. I found that sharing the burden with the right person is therapeutic, reflective of the English proverb that says, “a problem shared is a problem halved”. I gave myself a pep talk to remind me that what I have going is more than what does not seem to be working, and no matter what happens, as long as I have life, I have hope. I pulled out my planning hat and considered all scenarios, even the worst case. The scenario casting empowered me to see that all scenarios are navigable if, given all I know I make the right move like a skilful Chess-master.
At times like this, the method is usually not as composed as my write up makes it seem. I may stay down for a while, cry my eyes out, look upwards, sing a song, meditate on the word for that season, listen to stories from others who went through my situation and broke through, pray without ceasing, do a victory dance as I anticipate a new day, tell myself things like ‘I need to keep hope alive because a living dog is better than a dead lion’, cry again. In choosing to rise, I speak and act like a ‘Believer’ and gain victory over worry.
Back to my story, we changed cities and after one week in a new school, my daughter was speaking differently. I listened in amazement as I watched my daughter’s transformation. As I observed her, it felt like God was saying it does not take me anything to change anything. At that moment, the words of my dear friend echoed loud and clear, whenever we experienced bad days and slip into worry mode, she will always say ‘las las,* everything will be alright’. That phrase has become a source of encouragement helping us see the bigger picture with hope. One day, I found those same words in Scriptures,
“Relax, everything is going to be alright, Rest, everything is coming together (Jude 1:2a MSG Bible)
A reminder that no matter the cares of life, if we cast them upwards, everything will be alright.
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*las las – a Nigerian slang that means ‘in the end’