Tag Archive: Worry


Thank You

Where suffering, wounded and broken hearts abide,
There within them you humbly reside.

Where pains and hurts are too great to tell,
There among them you have chosen to dwell.

Where confounded by worry, fear, and sin’s snare,
There with tenderness, love and mercy you patiently care.

Thank you.

© 2013. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

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For Times of Transition

On Wednesday, February 20, my classmates and I will will find out to which regions (there are nine in the country) we have been assigned as future pastors in the ELCA.  This is the first step in actually being called to serve in a congregation.  After regions, we’ll hear from bishops, letting us know to which synod we’ve been assigned (there are 65 synods, and each synod is like a diocese).

It’s an exciting time, pondering where we may be serving in just a few short months.  In what area of the country will we be?  What will the congregation be like?  What opportunities will we have? What challenges will we face?  Where will we live? What if it’s not at all what we’re expecting?  What if we are called to a place we don’t like? What if we’re called to the place we preferenced, but it’s not a good fit?  The questions and speculations seem endless.  And it’s tiresome.

My theme song for the past few weeks has been Phillip Phillips’ “Home.”  This song really makes me want to drive with all my windows down on a beautiful day.  It also makes me want to stomp my feet, clap and dance at some kind of folksy pub music night.  I think both are appropriate!

But beyond the driving, boot-stomping beat, Phillips’ soothing voice and the oddly fitting cross-country road trip video, I also just plain love the lyrics at this stage in my life:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

I feel like I’m holding my breath before the next big step and listening to this song, I hear reassurance and the promises of God coming through these poppy, folksy lyrics.  My road is unfamiliar, but I need not feel alone, because I have a whole bunch of wonderful family, friends, fellow seminarians and sisters and brothers in Christ supporting me – just as I am supporting and praying for them.  And the God who has called me to this unfamiliar road is paving the way, leading me ahead, one step at a time.

The line, “settle down, it’ll all be clear,” helps me to remember to be still and to trust God (Psalm 46:10), or in the words of Cheri O’Teri on Saturday Night Live, to “simma down now!”  I’m reminded to take a break from worrying about what the future will hold and to enjoy the present, knowing that all will be revealed and I shouldn’t get into a tizzy about something that hasn’t even happened yet!

And about all those demons – the demons of worry, anxiety, stress, and doubt about my ability to actually do this – they just fill me will fear and make me forget how far God has brought me in the past few years.  They make me forget that God loves working through (and has chosen to work through!) normal people to bring about God’s kingdom.  Just as God worked through sinners, deniers, murders and all sorts of broken people in the past, God continues to do so today.  And God can work through me too 🙂

And even if I get lost along the way and make mistakes, there will always be the voice of God directing me back to the right road, embracing me in forgiveness and abundance grace.

So wherever we end up, I trust that God will make that place a home.  I trust that I will be given what I need to serve God’s people with compassion and faith.  To walk with them and pray with them.  To teach them and learn from them.  To preach God’s word and to hear them speak God’s word from their lips.  To administer the sacraments of baptism and holy communion and to worship with a new community of people.

I’m just praying that I remember to hold on to God as we go.  I’m just praying that I remember that my energy, strength and ability to serve find their source in God’s loving heart.  I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will keep the cross of Christ always clearly in my sight.  I’m praying and holding on for dear life as we leap into this next adventure!

© 2013. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.

Seminary life has been keeping me extremely busy of late, hence the lack of new blogs! During my many hours driving back and forth in the car, I listened to A.J. Jacobs’ new book, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment on CD. A couple of things… First of all, I highly recommend it for the humor and interesting tidbits of information. Secondly, every time I read one of Jacobs’ books I end up pondering doing my own life experiment.

One of the experiments Jacobs undertakes is outsourcing both his work life and his personal life to two companies in India. Not only is this a hilarious and interesting concept, but one of his experiences in particular got me thinking. He points out that he’s a worrier and so, during his month of outsourcing, he asks one of his assistants (the people to whom he’s outsourced his life) to worry for him. Yes, she is to worry about parts of his life for him so he doesn’t have to think (or worry!) about them. Brilliant! This made me crack up in the car, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a wonderful idea it was.

Jacobs said that every time he would begin to worry about something, he would simply remind himself that someone in India was already worrying for him and he would calm down. I don’t know about you, but I find it so easy to worry about little things that I know I shouldn’t really be worrying about, so this idea really struck a cord with me.

In the Bible, there are a few passages which address the topic of worrying, including:

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you– you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So my question is this: can we think of these passages as directing us to, in effect, outsource our worry to God? Just as Jacobs’ assistant was worrying for him, God, the creator and sustainer of all things, is caring for each and every one of us. I don’t think God is “worrying” per se, but He is caring for us and, ultimately, acting for our good – for each of us personally and individually, as well as for us collectively as the people of the world.

With so much to do, it would be extremely easy to become bogged down in worry and stress, but I like the idea of thinking about it as Jacobs’ did with his assistant in India: “why should I worry? Someone is already thinking about this for me!” I think that someone is God, loving and merciful, who has urged us to turn our worry and our burdens over to Him.

Hopefully, next time I begin to worry or become anxious, I’ll remember this – that God knows our worries and fears and is always right there to calm and reassure us. That He is leading and guiding us, accompanying us through this crazy life.

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

To listen to A.J. Jacobs speak about his experience outsourcing his life for a month, follow this link (some language):

http://odeo.com/episodes/23509129-A-J-Jacobs-My-Outsourced-Life

A fun, twangy bluegrass song about worrying:

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