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