Raising kids of faith, Starting kindergarten, Struggles with worry

Cast All Your Anxiety on Him

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. –1 Peter 5:7

My oldest is a worrier. Just one quarter into her kindergarten career, we already see her tendency to fret and be anxious.

When she has homework (I know–homework in kindergarten!), she’ll remind me over and over until we do it, sometimes with “help” from her younger sisters…

Then she frets that it isn’t done correctly…or that her library books are not in her bag…or that she doesn’t have the right color crayon for a project she wants to do during morning latchkey.

As the first quarter was wrapping up, her teacher reminded the class about their schedule for walking to class independently. During first quarter, parents walk their child into the kindergarten classroom. During second quarter, parents must say goodbye at the classroom door. For third quarter, parents drop off their child at the door to the kindergarten hallway, for the child to walk down the hall unaided. For fourth quarter, drop off is at the front door of school.

My daughter arrived home from school that day very quiet, and complaining of her stomach and neck hurting.

“She’s all worked up about this arrival schedule,” my husband said when she was out of earshot.

“Why in the world would she be? She does morning latchkey! She already has to walk from the latchkey classroom to the kindergarten classroom by herself. She’s doing third quarter already!”

“Yes, but she’s worried about fourth quarter!”

We both would have laughed if she were not in such distress.

During dinner, we tried to reassure her. We told her that she already was way ahead of schedule. We reminded her that she had a wonderful teacher to help her. She insisted that she was not worried.

We proceeded with bedtime routine…pajamas, teeth, dental appliances, Bible stories, Peppa Pig books (a current favorite), prayers, songs, nightlights and goodnight.

Fifteen minutes later, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard sniffling. Sure enough, my oldest was crouched on the steps leading upstairs, a little ball of pink snowman print flannel, her head in her hands, crying.

“Sweetheart, are you worried about the arrival schedule?” I whispered.

She looked up, her teary eyes wide, and nodded.

I scooped her up, and sat with her in my arms there on the steps. Holding this distressed little girl, I had two realizations. She may battle worry and anxiety her whole life. And if that would be the case, she needed to learn right away what to do about it.

“Sweetheart, let’s say a prayer.”

She nodded again. “Dear Jesus,” I began, and she echoed me the way she does when she wants to pray along, “Thank you for giving us our beautiful, smart, conscientious,  and loving daughter. Please take away her worry. Help her remember that You are in control of everything. You are always with her, including when she walks to her classroom. Let her trust that You always help her do everything that You want her to do. Amen.”

“Amen,” she repeated, wiping her eyes.

As I tucked her back into bed, I had a third realization. My instruction for my daughter on dealing with anxiety will be most effective when I put it into practice myself.

As she grows, she will realize that anxiety is a challenge for me, too. Will she see that I’m honest about this struggle, or that I deny it as she had earlier in the evening? Will she see that prayer is my first and most important step, or a last resort? Will she see me cast my anxiety on Him and leave it there, or reel it back to mull and worry some more?

I pondered the times just in the last few days that I had not lived out the prayer we had prayed together. I had not trusted that my Lord is always–always–with me. I had not truly rested in the knowledge that He helps me do everything–everything–that He gives me to do.

Jesus paid for these sins of worry and lack of trust. I am thankful for God’s forgiveness. That is my primary reason for addressing my own worry the way He teaches me.

Now I have an additional reason…or, rather, three additional reasons: this little girl, and her two little sisters. As they slept that night, I whispered another prayer: “Heavenly Father, help all of us to grow in giving You every anxiety, because You care for us.”

2 thoughts on “Cast All Your Anxiety on Him

  1. Thank you so much, Mollie, for this very special message today. I am also a worrier and probably “inherited” it from my mom, who was a champion worrier. The passage you quoted is such a wonderful reminder for me and I could use it every day…all day long, sometimes! I was given a plaque with this one around a year ago and not too long ago was full of angst about something coming up(funny, but I can’t even remember what it was now!!). Then one day, the plaque caught my eye, and I read it and reread it and really digested it.What a relief it was to know that there is a remedy for my worries! Sadly, this was a passage I had memorized as a child, but when I really needed to use it, I had forgotten it. That experience has taught me to read that plaque whenever I start to fret about something. And now your blog as reinforced it!! Thanks, and God’s blessings to you and yours. ❤ and hugs

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Norma, and for sharing your story about the plaque! What a great reminder! So good to hear from you. Love and hugs to you, too!!

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