Worry

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

― Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

This was my lesson for yesterday. We’re working on an important plan for one of our children, something that will be healing and life-giving, and everything was ticking along quite nicely. Then a call came that the entire thing may be falling apart.

I was a mess. I struggled for at least an hour in panic. I thought of arguments to make and how I was going to advocate for my child. I called Russ. I ranted on the phone to Kathleen.  I wanted chocolate, lots of chocolate.

Slowly, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit came to me, calming my fears. Fragments of scripture went through my mind,

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

Thoughts of how much love the Lord has for this child began to settle in my heart. Look at what he has already done to bless this child!

In time, I was able to consider that perhaps he has a different plan than ours, and if he does, it will be even better. Even as I type those words, I feel a bit of sticky fear and uncertainty. I’m still holding on to hope that the plan we thought the Lord had created will come together, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to watch and wait for the moment when something more beautiful comes.

He is Lord over all, and I choose to trust, even when it takes everything in me to do it.

I haven’t had time to blog much this week, but I’m here, flying through my days. Hannah arrives on Saturday for a visit!

It doesn’t escape me that while we wait for an answer, God is bringing sweet blessings and moments of joy to me.

I would love to hear from you – say hello if you have a moment! If you have a story about overcoming worry, I need to hear it.

Have a fantastic weekend, friends.

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

29 Comments

  1. Karen NumberTwo Hannaford
    January 17, 2014

    I think my most obvious time for worry was when we lost our son. Not just once, many times. He was a runner. He's also autistic and had very little language. I knew he couldn't tell anyone where he lived and he had no road sense. The first time he was 4. By the time he turned 6 he'd run off quite a number of times. He was found by the police at least 3 times. We were nicely lectured not to let it happen again – by young officers with no idea what it's like to have an autistic child. From the time we discovered he had gone, until the time he returned, worrying was all I wanted to do! Panic may be a better description than worry. I had to make a very clear choice to trust that God had things in hand and that if all went well and Ben was found, then worry would be a waste of time and energy. I decided that if something bad happened, I would have plenty of time to feel awful. I don't know that I got rid of it completely. I'm sure my adrenalin levels were really high lol, but each time I stayed calmer than I could have believed was possible. But you know, the only thing I could do was to trust God. I couldn't MAKE myself stop worrying. It all ended well by the way. He was gone up to about 80 minutes quite a few times, but we always found him unharmed. I think he had his own army of angels!!! Nowadays he doesn't run like that, but just yesterday he went for a bike ride without telling anyone. My hubby was rather concerned, but somehow through the years I've learned not to worry so much about things I can't do anything about. When he got back we impressed on him that he needs to tell us first if he wants to go away from the house.
    Choosing not to worry is not easy! But it does seem to get easier with practise. (((hugs))) cos I know it's hard. But God will not let you down!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth
    January 17, 2014

    I'm trying not to WORRY as we speak – we were served a "citation" last night we are being sued by the guy that bought our business back in April – so disheartening to read in print his accusations of us. We are super honest people and being accused of being deceitful is not fun 🙁 Praying for peace for you in the unknown and know that I am walking in the unknown too!! Blessings!!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      Elizabeth! Being falsely accused is a horrible thing. I'm so sorry. Try to keep breathing and know I'm praying for you right now.

      Reply
  3. Amy V
    January 17, 2014

    Your blog is always so encouraging! I just miscarried 2 adopted embryos at 6 weeks pregnant. I believed God wanted to add to our family this way and was hopeful that I would have a successful pregnancy. I am believing that God is faithful and just and will bless us. Maybe we will add to our family with the remaining 2 embryos. I worry that maybe it won't work. Maybe I won't get pregnant and have a baby to give our only child (adopted) a sibling. I am trusting that The Lord is in control. Thank you for sharing. It's always encouraging to me.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      Amy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your experience must be lonely at times since it is so unfamiliar. I hope you are getting lots of love and support from your family and friends. Blessings to you.

      Reply
  4. Tiffany
    January 17, 2014

    It is enlightening to me that you started your blog post with that quote. Just earlier this week I read it for the first – the words were just a little different but mean the same thing. I am trying to adopt that quote and say it many times a day to myself. Because it is so true. I worry about things I cannot change I worry today, tonight – all of the time. but i am teaching myself to stop because I know in the end it will all work out and my worrying will have been for nothing and I wasted precious time worrying.

    Good Luck – it is hard to stop but you can – have faith and trust that it will all work out.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      So true, Tiffany. It takes a huge amount of effort not to let my mind run to fear and worry. Thank you for your thoughts.

      Reply
  5. blesseday
    January 17, 2014

    I have no story to share–I can't even keep up with my own blog these days!–but I just wanted to send you some virtual love. ((((((hug))))) It is so funny how I care about you and your family so much, even though we have never met. I'll be praying for you and for this child and for wisdom and direction and peace and more peace and even more peace. And lots of faith. You are so right–and how Good is God that He whispered that verse to your spirit this morning. May He continue to speak into your heart and lives by the power of His Holy Spirit. May you have ears to hear and eyes to see, and a heart willing and ready to put into place whatever you feel Him leading you to.

    And do have a happy birthday! Because yes, life seems to most often be a surreal mix of the holy and profane, beautiful and ugly, disasterous and redeemed–so it's ok to enjoy and celebrate (and allow others to celebrate you!) even smack dab in the middle of pain and confusion and fear. in fact, I am praying too that the hard and scary thing you are walking through today will only enhance your appreciation of the blessings given you this day.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      I'll be holding your words close today, friend. Thank you.

      Reply
  6. Luann Yarrow Doman
    January 17, 2014

    Happy Birthday! Wishing you peace and joy in the coming year.

    I consider myself something of an expert on the topic of worry since I have done it so much. 🙂

    Recently I've been worrying about two situations: First, a major slow down in Ethiopian adoptions. So we looked again on the waiting child list on our agency's website. We were very interested in one particular girl, but our social worker nixed it b/c she is significantly older than our son (7 years) and she has a history of acting out sexually on younger children. I am dealing with the situation by trusting the expertise of our social worker, praying this girl finds the right family, and praying we find the right daughter for our family.

    And second, a local business scammed us out of nearly a thousand dollars. The guy, who came with strong references, disappeared into thin air once we gave him a downpayment on work he was going to do. Do we need the money? Ummmm…that would be a positive. My husband's car was recently totaled, our couch "broke" last night (bottom falling out!), and we're in the middle of an int'l adoption! But you know what? The Lord always provides. He has not failed us yet. I can lay my head on the pillow at night knowing I didn't cheat anyone out of their hard-earned money, and I pray this business ownerwill be convicted of his actions and make things right. sigh. I can only do what I can do, right?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      Thank you for sharing this, Luann. You have so much going on – it makes my worries seem a little simpler.

      Reply
  7. Jessica
    January 17, 2014

    Writing to say Hello, and may God rain down comfort, peace, and joy on you. Happy birthday! And I also want to say that I was thinking of you yesterday as I shared my experiences with other moms, and how reading your blog has helped me to better share without it coming across as judging or condemning to others who do it differently.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      I'm so glad my blog is helpful to you, Jessica. Thank you for your sweet words.

      Reply
  8. Deborah
    January 17, 2014

    Happy Birthday Lisa!
    I laughed when I read your post because my reaction would be so like yours (head planning my argument – call my hubby – rant to my BFF – seek solice in chocolate!!!). I just wanted to post that whenever something I am planning falls apart (I am an absolutely OBSESSIVE planner – so failing plans is a huge blow for me) I recall the exact scripture you posted and I also turn to the song "Unanswered prayers" and think about all the times I asked God to do something my way and I ended up so very thankful he didn't listen and did it his way instead.

    Enjoy your celebration – you deserve it! 🙂

    Reply
  9. kristine barr
    January 17, 2014

    Just wishing you a happy birthday. Also praying that your worries will be for nothing. Also praying for Elisabeth and Luann–that their worries will be solved quickly and fairly.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 17, 2014

      Thank you, Kristine. I love that you are praying for other readers.

      Reply
    2. Luann Yarrow Doman
      January 17, 2014

      You are so sweet! Thanks for the prayers!

      Reply
  10. Ann
    January 17, 2014

    For heaven's sake, don't hold off on the chocolate now of all times!

    Reply
  11. Laine
    January 17, 2014

    I love that quote and the scripture you shared. Thank you. I needed those reminders today. Thoughts and prayers for you as you wait for a solution. Have a wonderful birthday get-away!

    Reply
  12. Kirstine
    January 17, 2014

    Hi Lisa. Hugs to you!
    I guess we all have stories to tell about worry. But it's hard to remember them when the worrying part is over. We quickly forget how anxious and troubled we were when things have fallen into place – at least I do.
    I do believe that in some months you can revisit this post and say "well, God did have a plan. I just didn't see it then."
    Have a great birthday!!

    Reply
  13. ERIKA
    January 17, 2014

    Happy Birthday, enjoy your time and have a wonderful time when you come back with Hannah and your family. Praying for your family too.

    God bless you much!

    For the joy of the lord is our strength.
    Neh 8:10

    Reply
  14. Robin in AZ
    January 18, 2014

    Happy birthday, friend! (I too have come to see you as a friend as I am following your family through your blog.) May you have some special "sister" time to celebrate! Jeremiah 29:11-13 have been our family's life verses for a number of years as we have struggled through many trials. They have given hope when there didn't seem to be goodness in our future. I will be praying for all of you as you seek God's will and wait for his plans to play out. BTW how is your hubby's recovery?

    Reply
  15. Dannette
    January 18, 2014

    Wow, I needed that quote as I have been filled with worry the last couple of days. I tend to be a bit of a worrier anyways, but our sweet girl that has a dx of quad cp has been referred to a specialist about her scoliosis and my worries about surgery are huge. Our appt isn't even for a couple of months, but I have been playing out all the scenerios etc… of being hours from home for a surgery, of anesthesia, pain management…. Thank you for posting what I needed to read.

    Reply
  16. Sarah
    January 18, 2014

    Hey Lisa, it is always good to hear from you. I'm hoping and praying for something encouraging on your child's path…and that you would have peace during the uncertainty. I'm curious, is your book still in the works? Patiently waiting…

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 18, 2014

      Thanks for asking, Sarah. The book is ever so slowly coming along. I need to set some goals to get it done.

      Reply
  17. Anna
    January 19, 2014

    "Everyday I can think about all that could go wrong and die a thousand agonizing deaths and none of it actually come to pass. Or I can look to the loving Creator whose very breath gives life and whose word births stars." –from Ed Underwood, whose toddler is battling leukemia (www.prayforjoseph.org)
    And Jehovah, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deut. 31:8

    Reply
  18. dee
    January 19, 2014

    Hi – I am always encouraged by what you write (and hearing you speak!). The quote was perfect for me today for different reasons. We have an adopted child who had to leave our home for awhile about the time he became a teen. We thought we had worked out the perfect situation and when it fell apart, it wasn't good – from our perspective. But God did some things we would never have guessed. In fact, over the years (and decades!) every time I have felt in a panic about what we were going to do, where we would find help and answers for him – God opened a new direction. It's something for me to hold on to – even now. Along the way, though, I did let fear take over as we had a lot of years with similar situations. Letting go of that fear and having complete trust in God was and is HARD. But I definitely have more peace when I can do that. I love Anna's comments above. Take care and hang in there! And what a blessing to be able to do some positive, comforting things while you are waiting for answers!

    Reply
  19. Lindsey
    January 19, 2014

    I feel trapped by worry and panic sometimes when away from my family for a few hours or the day. My father lives with us now because he requires fulltime care and is very sick. When I notice my mind is wandering to "what if this happens while I am gone?" over and over, I start confessing just as you, that God loves my dad, and family, He is good, and I cannot control it all. I try to focus all of my thoughts on what it means to trust Him and let it be.

    Reply
  20. Jane H.
    February 1, 2014

    My approach to worry is much the same as Anna's. I try to look back and remember all the things I have worried about through the years, all the funerals I have planned in my mind, all the times I thought my children would spend their lives in prison, all the colds that I was sure were cancer……And I remember that never once have any of those things been true. And so I try immediately to turn it over to Him. This is not to say that some of these scenarios could never happen, but if some tragedy befalls our family, THEN I will have the courage and the strength and the grace to carry me through. Prayers for your family today.

    Reply

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