Worry box

A worry box. We all have one. Some peoples are bigger than others, but they’re all ALWAYS full of something. If you’re a natural worrier like myself, your worry box is on the larger side. It’s usually full of “what ifs” and “hows”. Even if there’s nothing substantial going on in our lives, we have something hanging out in our worry box that keeps us a little- or a lot, stressed. 

Sometimes our box is full of things like paying bills or getting the car fixed.. until a scary health diagnosis pushes those other things out and takes up the space they once occupied. When big things happen that scare and worry us, it really puts what we allow to fill our worry box into perspective. 

Whenever I’m feeling stressed and anxious, I take inventory. Is it financial stuff that’s got my stomach in knots? Deployment stuff? Usually to calm myself down I remind myself that there are too many people with much bigger problems than I have, for me to be so worked up. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel stressed about my problems, but it does help me to be grateful for my “first world problems”. 

Last night Opie went into the garage to look for a drink and a snack. Awesome. I love his independence! I usually go out and check to make sure he’s properly closed everything after he’s been out there but man, with Michael on a trip and the kids being spirited.. I was just so tired. I didn’t even make it through the bachelorette last night. If you know me, you know that means something. Anyways, this morning I went in the garage and I found the freezer door wide open. The food inside all warm or liquified, or both depending on what it was. My first thought was a slew of bad words and grief for my lost friends.–By friends I mean the junk food I was planning on eating for lunch this week. I was upset that the expensive gluten free food that I carefully budget for and the meat I try to buy in bulk to save money was all sitting there wasted. I can’t be mad at Opie because he is 3 and made a mistake. I’ve made worse mistakes at much older ages. Honestly, I should’ve gone and double checked the doors. So for a few minutes I texted about the tragedy that had happened in my life, thinking that venting would make me feel better. 

Then I checked my worry box. The wasted food was in there, along with the tight finances and the deployment stuff. But what I really noticed is what wasn’t in there. No terminal illness. No sick kids. My husband is safe. The things in my worry box are all temporary and all things that I’ll soon forget ever occupied it. I should be grateful for what’s in there. I’m grateful to have a garage with a seperate freezer.. Or two in it. I’m grateful to be able to have enough food in there that my family never has to worry about going hungry. I read that in North Korea, families wait in line for six hours to get groceries and it isn’t even enough to feed them all. Talk about a full worry box. 

Anyways, all this is to say: my worry box feels full.. Because it is. It always is. But I’m glad it’s full of what it is, instead of what it could be full of. If you struggle with anxiety, try taking inventory of yours and talk yourself through each thing in there. Will it last forever? Most likely it won’t. If it will, and it’s something scary and terrible.. I’d like to pray for you. You don’t need to tell me what it is, just say you need prayer and I’ll be praying for whatever is in your worry box.  


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