“What is that on your arm?” gasped Kim, my faithful nail technique for the past ten years. “I’ve never seen it before. You need to get that looked at!”
I had no idea what Kim was talking about, so I asked.
“A mole. Feel it!” she said, as she took my free hand and dragged my finger across the top of a tiny, bumpy mass. “It’s irregular in shape. I know that isn’t good.”
I couldn’t believe this mole had come up so quickly. As a girl growing up in Miami, I had sunbathed and I hadn’t worn sunscreen in earnest until I was in my thirties. Not to mention, I’d just recently been on a cruise and to the beach. I was really starting to worry!
When I got home, I showed my husband, Phil. “Sure enough,” he said, “it doesn’t look good.”
So, right then and there, I called the doctor and was able to get an appointment for the very next day.
Before the appointment, I had coffee with my friend, Angela, and told her all about the mole. “Let me see it,” she said. I showed her my arm and pointed to the place where the mole was.
“Right there?” she asked, as she pulled and twisted my arm. “Unless I can’t see, there is no mole there.”
I rubbed my finger across my arm. Today, there was no tiny, bumpy, brown mass. I was so confused. Had I been healed overnight from the pre-cancerous growth that had grown three inches in my imagination overnight?
On the way to the doctor’s office, I told Phil that Angela couldn’t see the mole—and that I couldn’t feel it either. I asked him to look.
“Where’d it go?” he asked.
It was gone. Disappeared. Erased. Totally and absolutely removed from my skin. He turned the car around, while I called to cancel my appointment.
I am embarrassed to say that what Kim thought was a suspicious mole, what Phil believed had to be a pre-cancerous growth, and what I assumed was a result of a lack of sunscreen and the beginning of a budding relationship with a dermatologist was … wait for it … chocolate.
Yes—chocolate! A brown, bumpy blob of dark chocolate that had stuck to the fine hairs on my arm.
My nail appointment was at 10:00 AM and I thought I was being sneaky when I had eaten some Dove dark chocolate for dessert after breakfast. Beware, sisters, your chocolate will find you out!
The point is, worry can be based on a lie. Sometimes we imagine worst-case scenarios. Sometimes we don’t have all the facts and we let our fear fill in the blanks. And often, we think of our tendency to worry as just a harmless habit. But, it’s not.
Worry steals our joy, destroys our peace, and robs us of contentment. When we ring our hands wondering what will happen, we rob ourselves of living in the present. When we’re stuck in the “what if” cycle like I was with my chocolate “mole,” we rob ourselves of peace. When we overthink all the possibilities and imagine the worst-case scenario, we rob ourselves of contentment.
Worry becomes the habit that steals bits and pieces of our faith until, before we know it, it feels like we’ve got a lot less than we started with.
So, if you’ve been stealing from yourself, today is the day you will end your life of crime!
4 ways to keep worry from destroying your peace
- Dissect your worry. First, take your worry apart and see what is in it. Most worry is composed of that which is not true or not true … yet. What are you meditating on? Lies? Things not true? Assumptions? Speculations? Identify what your worry is made of.
- Turn your worry meditation into peace meditation. Once you’ve dissected your worry, you need to replace it with truth meditation. The truth is that Jesus is with you. You don’t go through difficulties, hardships, and heartbreaks alone. Train your brain to meditate on the truth. Focus on what God has done, thank Him, and trust His peace to protect your heart and mind.
- Eliminate worry words from your vocabulary. Next, take the time to notice if and when you are thinking or saying worry words and eliminate them from your vocabulary. Worry words include words and phrases such as “what if,” “might,” “it might,” “they might,” and “could.”
- Throw your worry away—literally! Finally, get out the Post-It Notes and write down your worries. If a worry is true, place it in your Bible near a verse that has a promise that applies to it. If it’s not true, throw away the Post-It Note. If you keep worry in your hands, you’ll use it for breaking and entering and stealing your peace. So, place your worries where they belong: either in God’s promises or in the trash.
No matter what you face today, you can turn worry into peace through Christ who gives you strength!
This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission.
Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.