life · shadows · thoughts · worry

Thursday thoughts…

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.
Swedish Proverb

Sometimes I worry but not often and not for long. It’s just not my nature. That wasn’t always true. There was a time that I worried all the time. Sometimes I would get sick with worry. What a waste of time and energy!

I have a friend who is a missionary in west Africa. Many years ago she and her co-workers were held captive in their village by rebel insurgents. To say I was worried is an understatement. There was no communication with the missionaries or the rebels. Just silence for two weeks.

I was at work when I got the news. I was so upset and worried that I couldn’t think. It was as if there was a big black cloud hovering over me. I couldn’t just leave work so I decided that the first five minutes of every hour I would let myself worry uncontrolled. Then I would pray for my friend and the others being held. After that I went back to the tasks at hand.

The missionaries were released and allowed to use their vehicles to get to the river and cross over into an area that was safe where others from the mission family were waiting. Thankfully, no one was hurt although they were not allowed to take anything with them, just the vehicles and the clothes they were wearing.

It was amazing how that little exercise helped me. It calmed me down and gave me hope. Over the years I used the exercise quite often and each time I found peace. Now I don’t allow worry to take hold of me and there are no big black clouds or shadows that hover. If it seems worry is going to be stronger than my resolve I remember that I am in control of what and how I think about any situation. It is not that there is nothing worrisome in life it just doesn’t cast a big shadow.

My friend (and the others were all fine) and she is still a missionary in Africa.

Photo by Henda Wantani on

25 thoughts on “Thursday thoughts…

  1. I did the same thing with self pity several years ago. I couldn’t seem to just kick it out of my life outright so I would allow myself five minutes of self indulgent pity and then I would force myself to write a list of all I had to be thankful for that day and pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Then I would put on praise music to guide me down a better path. It took some time but soon I was through that phase.

    1. Good for you! I have a similar way of dealing with feeling sorry for myself. Once we think about all we have to be thankful for it is really hard to remain down in the dumps.

  2. This so speaks to me. It took years before I realized peace was more important than money, or finding Mr. Right, in my case, always Mr. Wrong, but when I learned peace is what matters, that was when my life took on a different hue.

    Grace moved in and she seems to like it here because, she hasn’t left.

      1. I know you must be tired of me quoting her but, I love Anne Lamott’s Quote on Grace..

        β€œI do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” πŸ™‚

  3. I used to be more of a worrier than I am today. I agree it is a waste of time and energy, especially if it is about things not within my control.

      1. Wisdom comes slowly through mistakes I have found. But once you have it, that mountain’s been climbed. Of course, then there always seems to be another one to scale, but, well…like they say in my business…that’s show biz. πŸ™‚

  4. If you’d have asked me 20 years ago if I was a worrier, I’d have had no reason to believe I was. Now I look back at my life and discovered that while we all carry baggage with us, that I’d spent too much effort packing empty filler into my bags. Your exercise is a great example on how to stop carrying and even unpack extraneous stuff.
    Thank you for writing this blog.
    PS. I have relatives who are dedicated lifelong missions to tribes in Mexico and sometimes they have to come back to the USA for a time due to the Government troops harassing and killing the tribes in that country. This happens all over. My cousin has been there for 30 years so far. We do well to pray for all believers.

  5. There was a period when I seemed to be stuck on the worry train. It was serious. I said, “Lord, I’m casting all my cares on you. I know you love me.” I think that’s what I should do, but this was a runaway train. I tried everything I knew to stop. I was worrying about everything. So I prayed again. This time I said, “The battle is yours, Lord. I can’t win it myself.” It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened. My worries went away. I admire your quick solution, Patricia. I’m going to remember that when I find myself worrying and nip it in the bud, as Barney Fife used to say on the Andy Griffith Show. (Giving away my age, ha ha.) Blessings to you…

  6. I agree that worry can make you sick. I refuse to get sucked into worry as well. It serves no purpose at all. You’re one smart lady, Patricia.

    Have a fabulous day. β™₯

  7. Thanks for writing that. I’m rarely consumed by worry, but I plan to try your way of dealing with it if I become obsessed with worry about something. Prayer on a daily basis helps me.

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