Worry and Concern – An Allegory

When I joined the Feedback Team for Finding Purpose, Book 2 in Chronic Joy’s THRIVE Study Series, I was so intrigued by the activities included with the study questions. One of the options was an invitation to write an allegory based on the differences between worry and concern. Writing this story became a way to explore my own fears of facing the future with a chronic illness.

CJRomans1513Are you facing an unknown future that might seem fearsome or lonely? Come along with me for a look into two different ways to face life.

She felt the shackles on her feet grow tighter as a strangling sensation began to choke the air in her lungs. “Worry” was her name and she usually found a way to live up to that description. She hobbled through life with first one and then another fear setting the tone.

Which fear was entangling her feet today? Ahh, yes, better not forget this one. Her very life might depend on it. She hiked up her skirt and began to pace the room. What would happen if this house fell into disrepair? How would she live if her strength failed completely as she knew it would someday? As each thought crossed her mind, her posture sank further. By the time she had panted her way around the room, Worry collapsed into the chair in the corner, sobbing as her ankles screamed out in pain. Why were these shackles so tight?

On the other side of town, another woman felt a weakness engulf her frame. “Concern” was her name, but she wasn’t sure who had first called her that. The family next door wished she wouldn’t be so honest in her dealings with them. They would have preferred a little denial now and then — a bit of pretending never hurt anyone! When they asked how she was doing, why couldn’t she just say “Fine,” like most people? What had she said today that was so annoying? Oh, yes, she had let them all know that her latest Doctor’s report was not very encouraging and that she would likely need some help soon with her housekeeping. Then she had added that just this morning God had reminded her to pray for another dear friend who felt just as alone and weary as she did. Oh, that was Concern for you, always looking for a way to find some good in those hard places.

As night fell over the homes of Worry and Concern, the troubles of the day loomed over each one. Worry’s fears seemed to consume her as she tossed and turned. They simply would not be vanquished. Oh, how could she sleep with such deep troubles weighing her down? Concern also felt a heaviness blanket her soul. The Doctor’s report had fallen like a weight over her weary body. The pain seemed more than she could endure. But as she cried out to the ONE she knew was always near, she felt a peace descend in spite of her pain. He would give her the strength to get through her days. And when the strength would not stretch far enough? Well, He would give her a humble heart to ask for help from those who could share the load.

Now, who was that dear one who needed prayer to make it through this night?

Someone named Worry?

“OK, Lord, turn her heart to see YOUR love for her…”

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him…” Romans 15:13

bettiegilbertheadshotBETTIE GILBERT can be found in a small town in rural Southeast Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband of 39 years. You can find her blogging at BettieGsRAseasons.com where she is seeking to be transparent with the journey that God has her traveling with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoporosis.

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Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to share words here today! And thank you for the gift that “Finding Purpose” has been in my life!! May God continue to bless this ministry that He has given you to share.

  2. Oh how lovely this is! You always have been very good at sharing stories of your life, and now you have revealed a great talent for Christian allegory as well. It certainly hits home with gentle power, ready to make a reader smile wryly as they recognise themselves in your words. And cause a pause for thought at the way worry tends to insinuate itself into our days. Thank you, Bettie! I am glad you have shared here today. Sending empathy hugs and love to you, dear friend! xo 😊💜

    • Dear Joy, I’m so thankful that these words “hit home with gentle power” for you, as the Lord used them in my own heart, as He gave them to me! This was such a unique exercise that the book offered, and gave those of us with chronic illness a way to give voice to that worry that does insinuate itself into our days! Sometimes I think we have to give that worry voice before the Lord can gently shift our focus over to the concern that brims over from Him, filled with such HOPE. Love and Gentle Hugs to you also my friend! xoxo

      • Dear Bettie, I find, more often than not, God uses the words He gives us to write to minister to us as well. In my haste to finish reading Cindee’s book before the launch, I had to answer some of the exercises in my head rather than journalling them. My intention is to revisit the ones I didn’t manage to journal and read with slower deliberation than before. Though I can certainly relate to the way worry insinuates itself into our days! Often making us discouraged and flat before we realise what the cause might be. I agree that the “worry voice” needs to be heard because our worries, fears and concerns can reveal deeper spiritual unrest or nagging issues that should be addressed. Giving it over to God is always the best thing to do! Then our focus can be shifted as you have indicated. Love and hugs! xoxo 💜

  3. How well you have written this allegory, Bettie. It spoke with such a depth and reality! Thank you! Before I retired and was still working as a Christian clinical counselor, I walked with several people in the midst of chronic illness and observed up close the challenge to do so. How often the Christian community seemed to be clueless in their responses and how disappointing. I want to keep these words as they may one day touch one who is walking a journey similar to your own. Blessings on your gifting!

    • Dear Pam, Oh, what a gift that you were able to bring Godly counseling to ones who were suffering with chronic illness. I too found a sweet Christian counselor who was such a help to me in the beginning of my journey, but I think that it can be rare to find a counselor who offers such a Biblical view towards suffering. I will pray that the Lord continues to lead you, even in your retirement to keep offering such encouraging insights to listen to the Lord’s comfort. These books that Chronic-Joy Ministry has shared have been such deep heart encouragements for me! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement to me too! Blessings and love to you!

    • I am grateful that the Lord spoke to you through these words. Oh, yes, may we find Him so close by, in every worry and concern, waiting there to bring us His strength and comfort!

  4. This is just perfect, my friend!!! I was totally caught off guard by the fact that the person Concern was praying for was Worry! Beautifully written!!! Sending love and hugs to you today!

    • Dear Cheryl, When my husband and another friend read the rough draft of this story, they asked me that very question, so that then I added the final sentence, making it so clear that Concern was actually praying for Worry. I love it when God brings us together in His Presence to encourage us. And Chronic-Joy’s books have been that same kind of encouragement to me–pointing me to God’s great Hope through all of these struggles we face. Love and Hugs to you too, my friend!

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