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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Let your hair down

There was a very famous newscaster in Houston who was on the air for years and years. If you grew up here you knew him from your earliest childhood. He was a very kind man and did great things for the community until his recent death. He was a local character. So much so that I saw him once on the sidewalk outside Walgreens and I just froze in awe. It was as surreal as if I had seen Bugs Bunny picking out produce at the grocery store. He always wore loud suits and ties, blue tinted glasses, and a very white, very luxurious wig.

Well, we are in Texas, y'all.

Recently I heard an interesting story about him: When he first started appearing on the air, he had a phobia that is common to man. He feared that he would go bald, and the entire city would watch the eventual demise of his glorious mane. So, to avoid that humiliation, he began wearing a wig, so that no one would be able to tell whenever it happened.

Guess what? It never happened. He never lost his hair. For decades, he awoke every morning and put a hot, sweaty, piece of synthetic on top of his real, perfectly nice hair, in a city where 100 degree temperatures are the norm. All because of fear. Crazy, huh? So irrational.

Aren't most fears just that? So irrational?

In this country, we all love a good scare. If you believed the media hype, California should have fallen into the sea long ago while the rest of us were chased by killer bees who stung our flesh-eating bacteria ridden arms. The only reason that we haven't all starved from the Population Explosion is because of SARS or Bird Flu. And I would have thought that Y2K or the Second Ice Age would have wiped us all out before we even had a chance to worry about Global Warming.

Those of us who become mothers face another onslaught. If the coffee I drank when I was pregnant didn't ruin my children surely all those toxic plastic bottles and pacifiers will. And what about that bacteria they consumed when I gave them baby food from a jar they had eaten from previously? And don't get me started on the future calamity I inflicted upon them because I couldn't breastfeed.

We just love a good scare.

And then there are the more personal scares: fears of death; fears of cancer; fears of losing our children, our husbands, our jobs, and our material wealth; abductions; failure; shame; not being a good mother; what other people think; insert your's here - I know you have a list like I do.

How much time do we waste on fear and worry?

I am not saying that we should be irresponsible and just stop wearing our seat belts or eating our green leafy vegetables - no. Not at all. It is our duty to prevent as much evil from happening as we have the power to do. I do believe that the majority of our fears, however, have a minute chance of happening - regardless of how much we worry about them.

Chances are we will never lose our proverbial hair. Yet, we walk around sweating under big stinky wigs because of the "it could happens."

Personally, I have dealt with paralyzing fear of losing one of my children. Could it happen? Of course it could. Have the hours I have spent lying in the dark worrying prevented it from happening, even one tiny bit? Nope. All it did was rob me of my much needed sleep.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who saw the majority of her worst fears realized in Nazi Germany, had this to say about worry:

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.
It empties today of its strength.


Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts
whirling around a center of fear.

Oh, what a waste of time!

What does the the Lord say about it?

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5-6

The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:31-34

I could go on and on. Phrases such as "fear not", "do not be afraid" and "do not fear" are mentioned more than 100 times in the bible. We are commanded not to fear even more than we are commanded to love!

I think we begin to fear when we forget to trust. I must remind myself - daily - that God is sovereign over all, that not a hair falls from my head without his will, that he is in control of and has ordained every single detail of my life, and will use any trial that does come my way for my sanctification and for his glory.

I can choose to meditate on my worries or I can meditate on the goodness and strength of a Father who loved me so much, he sent his only son to face the worst fears imaginable.

Only then can I take off my hot, stinky wig and rejoice as I shake my hair in freedom.

As Ms. Ten Boom said,

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

  1. Make a list of your fears, either irrational or reasonable.
  2. Confess your lack of trust and pray for forgiveness and the ability to repent.
  3. One by one, ask the Father to send you a spirit of peace, power, love and self-control.
  4. Find some verses to commit to memory that you can speak to your spirit when the worry begins to sneak in.

With thanks to Gary Thomas for his inspirational thoughts on fear.

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Blogger da halls said...

Thank you, Missy.
Mary Beth

July 5, 2008 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I appreciated this so much.

July 5, 2008 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Excellent post and so true. With an inevitable layoff of my husbands job coming up in the future, I could let them completely rob me of my joy but whether I worry or trust, there's nothing I can do to stop it. So I just pray for the Lords will and choose to trust. It's so much easier when we get that through our thick stinky wigs lol.

July 5, 2008 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

Missy, this is SOOO well written. I smiled at your description of our silliness in fearing the worst. Fear at its core is lack of trust. God keeps reminding me that HE IS in charge!

July 5, 2008 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) said...

Missy this was beautifully written and so timely. My mom used to say, "I guess worrying helps, because nothing I worry about ever happens."

That always makes me giggle, but is a good reminder of the futility of worry.

But, as you say, it's worse than futile - it's actually destructive. Thanks for the time and effort you put into this post. I hope it's okay if I link to it. :-)

July 5, 2008 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Membership Required said...

Missy thanks for writing this and speaking out loud to my soul. With the situation we are in right now it is easy to focus on all that could go wrong or what we will have to do with out. But really I need to turn the wasted energy spent on worrying and KNOW that good will come from this terrible time we are in. It will be temporary and He will provide. I must give it up to Him and allow Him to do his work. ML

July 5, 2008 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Oswald Chambers' reading for yesterday was on worry. He says...

"Fretting rised from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God's plans."

Such great thoughts and truth. Both from Oswald and from you. Thanks for sharing.


July 5, 2008 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Big Mama said...

I loved this, Missy.

July 5, 2008 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

What a wonderful post! It is always so good to be reminded to trust in the LORD! Thank you!

July 5, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

I worry more than I should, even though I try hard not to--I can work myself into a frenzy of anxiety stressing out about things over which I have no control--when I know perfectly well that worry is pointless. This was a wonderful post for me to read!

July 5, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Monica @ Paper Bridges said...

thanks for this, I really needed it today. As a mom, there is so much to worry about. I need to trust in Him.

July 5, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger boomama said...

This is great, Missy - a mighty good word.

July 5, 2008 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Wow, Elaine. Oswald. He knocks the socks off me every time!

Summed up my whole post in one sentence! ;)

Thanks for sharing that.

July 5, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger MarySnyder-Joy Filled Life said...

Thanks so much for this -- worry is something that is so accepted and, sometimes, even expected. With rising prices and job cuts, worry can easily take over. I needed to hear this today. I needed to be reminded that I serve an awesome God who has my whole world in the palm of His mighty hand.

July 5, 2008 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

This is so wonderful and so true. What a good reminder. I am actually going to share this with a friend of mine who is struggling with worry and anxiety. Thank you!

July 5, 2008 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I have suffered from anxiety/depression for most of my life. Fear haunts me! I know all of the worry in the world won't stop things from happening. I still work on lessening it. Thanks, Cindi

July 5, 2008 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Loved the quote from Corrie ten Boom.... Loved the quote from Oswald Chambers...

I am at my mom's this weekend. My 2nd oldest daughter is supposed to go on a trip in Sept. to a country where there COULD be danger...not definite danger. My mom hit me with some words of fear about her going. I needed to read this...

It supports what I was trying to tell my mom.


July 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

I loved everything about this post. The quotes you used, the Scriptures you chose, and your own opinions and logic injected into the message.

July 5, 2008 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Of course the one important thing dear Marvin taught us Houstonians to fear is "sliiiiiime in the ice machine!"

Great post!

July 5, 2008 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for your thoughts and insights all wrapped in truth.

Sweet Blessings!

July 5, 2008 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Fuller Family said...

I thank God that I got to read is so timely I feel like it was written just for me-- like a little note from God. But I know that it was for a lot of people-- because God is good like that. He can work on so many of us at once! And He has chosen to use you! Thanks for sharing.

July 5, 2008 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger teagirl said...

I, too, grew up watching Marvin Zindler. I loved hearing one more story from his life. Thanks!

July 5, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Very true, and probably the hardest thing most of us have to overcome. I wonder how much of our suffering is self-inflicted by our negative thought processes and worries that never manifest?

July 7, 2008 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Tari said...

Thanks Missy! I have been worrying too much lately and this was very needed!

July 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM  

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