We go back a long way, Worry and I. And honestly, we should never have gotten involved. I knew it was a bad idea from the very start of our relationship. Our rocky, irrational, dysfunctional, exhausting relationship.
Before we met, I was acquainted with a few of Worry’s more subtle, less pushy friends... Concern, Apprehension, Unease. All slightly annoying, like the beginning of a bad cold or teenagers laughing during the sad part of a movie. But not debilitating. Not paralyzing. I didn’t obsess over them. They never tried to dictate my thoughts or run my life.
But Worry, Worry was different. Worry was overwhelming. Overpowering. Shortly after I got married, Worry set its sights on me. As a young new wife, I distinctly remember it barging into our home, right around the time my young new husband started working night-shifts in a dangerous profession. Worry waltzed in, so cool, so self-assured, with its false claims of offering me control and phony offer of assistance. Stick with me, Worry said. I can help. I can make things better. I immediately fell for all of its empty promises, and as much as I hate to admit it, we got even more involved after the birth of my three children. What a shame.
To be truthful, this is not the first time I’ve tried to end things. It’s just that Worry is overwhelmingly persuasive. So gosh darn persistent. What’s more, Worry is completely reliable, staying by my side through twenty-five years of marriage and two decades of motherhood. Not once did Worry even think about deserting me. Now that’s loyalty.
But to be totally honest, I can’t say Worry’s ever treated me well. Never truly cared. After all of my steadfast commitment, all of my devotion, what has Worry given me in return? When I think of all the time and energy I’ve invested - all for nothing, what a waste. I’m thinking it just isn’t worth it anymore. So I wrote Worry a letter, just so we’re clear.
I’m sick of you. We’re breaking up. Here’s why:
1. This relationship is totally one-sided. I give, you take.
2. You’re bad for my health. Whenever we spend time together I end up feeling stressed, sad and confused.
3. You’re arrogant. You think you’re the answer to everything.
4. Gray hair isn’t a good look on me.
5. You’re an alarmist. You exaggerate. You blow things way out of proportion.
6. I prefer eight hours of sleep, not three.
7. You make me eat too many oreos. And bathing suit season is coming.
8. You’re a bully. I can’t stand bullies.
9. You lie. You consistently mislead me, drawing my attention from the One who actually has power to change things.
10. You’re so negative. You have zero sense of humor.
11. Hanging out with you is a gigantic waste of my time.
12. God told me to.
So that’s it. We’re through. And this time, I mean it. Don’t bother calling me in the middle of the night or showing up at my door unannounced. Are you getting this? You are unwelcome in my home, my workplace, my marriage, my family, my finances, my decisions and my future. Oh, and by the way, I’m telling my friends we broke up (just in case down the road I need a little help remembering we’re done).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
An educator by trade, Kathryn O'Brien writes books for kids and has a heart for moms. She's published five children's picture books, including her latest series (Sit for a Bit, Tyndale). Kathryn enjoys being on the writing team for HomeFront Magazine and has recent pieces in Today's Christian Woman, Focus on the Family and The Tyndale Blog. When she's not writing, Kathryn will most likely be found texting her kids, hanging on the front porch with her husband or hiking the canyons near her home in Southern California.