One thing that I've discovered in this adoption process is that I have no control in about 95% of it. Maybe even 99%. This causes me to worry. I sit here in my little house in Huxley, Iowa and worry about everything going on millions of miles away in Ghana, Africa. ‘What if’ scenarios are the easiest types of worries that get into my head. What if the child we adopt comes and messes up our family? What if our child has a health condition that was overlooked by the doctors during the medical exam? What if the child hates us? What if JJ hates us for adopting? What if another referral falls through? Of course, these worries get added to the pile of worries that are already in my mind from just being a parent in general. What if JJ gets bullied when he goes to school? What if one of my children gets a severe sickness? What if my family gets hurt in a car accident? What if I lose communication with my kids when they are teenagers? (yes, my worries go that far ahead!)
Linda Dillow says this about worry: Worry has more to do with perspective than with circumstances. In similar situations, one woman can be anxious and another peaceful. A woman worries when she perceives a threat or a danger. I use the word perceive because the danger can be real or imagined. When my child is standing in the middle of the street, and a car is coming, the danger is real; thus anxiety is a good thing, a warning system that will help me save my child from harm. If I worry that my child might take drugs, that my daughter might get pregnant, that my husband might be unfaithful, that I might get breast cancer, that we might be unable to pay our bills next month, the danger is imagined. Certainly we are to pray, plan, and prepare for tomorrow, but we are not to worry about what might happen. God commands us to ‘stop perpetually worrying about even one thing’ (Matthew 6:25-34) We commit sin when we worry. We do not trust God when we worry. Life is full of potential problems and pain. But we have a choice. We can worry or we can trust the Trustworthy One. We can’t do both. God is already in my tomorrows and in your tomorrows. That’s why we can trust them to Him and give Him the heavy load of all that might happen. We can leave the burden on His strong shoulders. He is much more able to carry it than we are. If we aren’t worried about tomorrow, we can concentrate on trusting God for today.
I am learning to release my worries to God through prayer. Sometimes I have to pray about the same worry a few times a day. I'll get rid of it, and then it sneaks back in so I pray about it again. I think there is something to be said about praying about a worry the exact moment it enters your brain. Otherwise, if you let yourself dwell on it, you can think up an entire scenario that gives you a queasy stomach. This quote makes me laugh:
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened.
It is so true!