“Give it to God, girl.” It was one of those things I grew up hearing. Now, I was raised knowing about Jesus but needless to say, it took me a bit to get into an authentic relationship with him. As a young girl into my teenage years, my family church-hopped a lot. As you can imagine, being a pre-teen, teenager and young adult, getting myself into some trouble, I needed someone to talk to! But as I opened up to others, poured out my heart and soul, the usual response to every worry in life was met with, “give it to God.”
Cool. What does that even mean?! Don’t make it sound as easy as delivering brownies to my doctor’s office for Christmas. What do you think? I’m releasing a baby turtle out into the ocean… ? I mean, it’s not that simple! If I could… I totally would! That’s why I am asking YOU for help. I’m a chubby girl, with acne, and braces, acclimating to her new contacts with half crimped hair because I couldn’t get my hair straightener to work right! Please, spare me!
Over the past few years, one of the greatest privileges I’ve had has been to have many conversations with various women from all walks of life. One topic that laces through our conversations is worry, which really can connect itself to prayer.
I know I work for a church and people think angels greet me in the morning with a holy kiss, but I’m just a broad who’s learning new ways to pray and experience God too! How do you pray? I think there are certain times to pray different ways, but I figured I’d share one thing that’s super practical and that can be applied to your life RIGHT NOW! Who doesn’t love that?
So back to MY issues so you don’t have to think about yours right now. 😉 One of my struggles for a long time was giving over my “worries” to God. Worries love to pop up throughout my day! Now, I had no problem praying for other people, or even praying for myself about certain things, but specifically, I had a hard time praying about my worries. Mostly because they were the things I felt like I got myself into, therefore, I should probably get myself out of. It’s only fair. Basically, if I made the decision, why ask God to take care of those worries when I’m the one who got myself into the mess! For instance:
“I’m worried about this life transition.” -well, you’re the one who made that decision so… you figure out how to work it out.
“I’m nervous to reconcile with my dad.” –well, you played your part in that relationship so… you figure out how to work it out.
“I really shouldn’t have spent the night at this person’s house,” -well, you’re the one who said “yes!”… you figure out how to work it out.
“I’m worried to speak publicly in front of all these people.” -well, you asked to be pushed so… you figure out how to work it out.
Talk about new meaning to “Werk. It. Girl.” Ugh, it was exhausting. This way of thinking led me to hold my worries in. Pile them, one on top of the other, so they looked like my heap of laundry on Mondays. I would totally harbor them for a long period of time, till I couldn’t take it anymore. I’d go home, lock myself in my room or car, and attempt to pray them away. I realized though, I wasn’t inviting God into my everyday life. I was choosing selective moments to “talk with him” when really, I was keeping him out of my morning through night routine.
- First, before you can apply this one principle, realize God doesn’t want you to “werk. it. girl.” on your own. He wants you to come to him and invite him to intervene in your worries.
- Don’t allow your worries to compound.
- Turn your thoughts into prayers.
Tada! That’s where I want to land. It sounds so basic. So simple. But one way I combat my worries is by not holding them in till I can get home to a quiet space.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6
I don’t need to nun-myself-out in solitude for 5 hours. I can go to God anytime, anywhere, during my day, and he’s not offended by my 5-second prayer that I pray within my head and heart. Do you know how many times I’ve let my thoughts turn into worries and spiral into fears? All worries start with a thought. It’s about recognizing those thoughts and turning them into prayers. By doing this, I don’t allow myself time to play the control game. Jesus, go ahead and take the wheel. If it’s good for Carrie, it’s good for me. I’m thankful God asks me to pray about everything.
Turning your thoughts into prayers:
- Allows you to drop kick! Aggressive, I know, but take the first jab at worry’s face. I’m all about girl power. Knock down your thought before worry even gets to you.
- Invites God to intervene. God’s super cool because if you don’t want his help, he’s not going to force your hand. But when you do want his help, he’s ready to run in and be every bit of support you need. He knows you better than you know yourself. It’s like I’m standing outside your door. You know I’m there. You made pasta for dinner and want someone to eat it with you, but you don’t invite me in. First, “wow, thanks. I’m hungry.” Two, “let me in! I’m totally down to help you out!” God’s right outside your door. Invite him in.
- Puts answered prayers on your radar. I believe there are many times God solves our problems but we miss it because we focus on our worries, and not on the One who can turn our worries around. Prayer helps us to release our worries, which allows us to see God move in our lives. I’ve missed God-given answers and solutions because I simply wasn’t looking for them! They weren’t on my radar! It’s like the lady with the big hair that blocks your view in the movie theater! I can’t see! I have to move my seat for a better view (or cut her hair). When you pray your thoughts, you give up control. You’re moving your seat so you can see better. It’s that moment of, “ok, God. It’s in your hands. I’m trusting you are going to: work this out/give me strength/equip me/intervene/ etc. You’re going to take care of it. Thank you in advance!” It’s that, “give it to God” moment! Now you can see your answer!
So if anything… this a challenge for all of us. Invite God into your day to day because he really cares about you. The little things, and big ones, that are heavy on your shoulders. Be in tune when those worries prick at your thoughts and turn them into prayers.
It may be different from delivering brownies or releasing a baby turtle, but maybe it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it out to be.
P.S. Now go dropkick.