Sunday Refreshments with Amy Simpson | Choosing Faith in a World of Worry

November 2nd, 2014

sundayrefresh

Are you a worry wart? You are not alone! Amy Simpson has been there, letting anxiety rob her of peace and purpose. Keep reading to find out how Amy came to release her worry to God. Share in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Amy’s new release, Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry!


A few years ago, I had no idea how worried I was. I was a highly anxious person, but I didn’t see myself that way because I was so used to a certain level of anxiety. I didn’t notice the worry until it got bad enough that I couldn’t ignore it. I would start shaking or feel sick or snap at people for no reason, and would recognize that I was worried. But I was actually worried all the time.

Then one day, as I sat at the back of a church, listening to a sermon and waiting for it to end so I could get back to all the things that were worrying me, I heard Isaiah 40 read from the pulpit in a way I hadn’t before. The reading wasn’t different; my spirit was different. I was absolutely overwhelmed by God’s proclamations of strength and loving care:

‘To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings they out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing” (Isaiah 40:25-26).

I realized for the first time that the God I had believed in my whole life really was so much bigger than anything that worried me. He had named all the stars and kept track of every single one. He was aware of everything that was troubling me. He really could be trusted so completely that I could let down my guard, my backup plans, my worried musings and sleepless nights. Instead, I had been refusing to exercise that kind of trust.

Starting with that moment, and in many following moments, God helped me to recognize the problem of worry in my life, and my faith began to grow exponentially as I made the choice to trust him in all kinds of moments. I couldn’t have changed this on my own — just chosen to be a less worried person. The real change had to happen in my theology. As it does with everyone, my behavior always reflects my beliefs, so I needed to let God transform what I believe and the way I think.

Anxious-4314-book-cover-200x300As that transformation continued, I wrote a book about what I learned. Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry is a book that encourages every Christian to recognize God’s power, love, and purpose in the face of what scares us.

As a personal and professional coach, I’m a huge believer in living with purpose. I feel this must be the case for every Christian. We are not put here simply to get by, to do what everyone else is doing, or even to be happy. We are meant to leave a mark on this world—each and every one of us. That’s part of what coaching is about.

I was led to coaching by my love for people and helping them grow. In all the leadership roles I’ve played, I have always found great joy in looking closely at people, listening to them, helping them see their own potential, and supporting them as they develop more and more into the people they were created to be. I think everyone should be guided by an internal sense of direction calibrated according to the unique person God has made them to be. God didn’t put us here to waste what he has given us — we don’t have the right to do that.

Most people don’t take the time to sit down and consider their unique purpose, why they make the choices they do, and how they can make the most of this life. Without considering these questions, many of us are simply reacting to the forces around us, allowing others to steer us where they want us to go, making choices simply because they seem easiest at the time or we don’t know what else to do. As a coach, I get to help people ask themselves those questions—and find answers. It’s extremely rewarding to see people make new discoveries, find the courage to acknowledge what’s true, become unstuck, and move forward personally and professionally.

Living with purpose is also part of what Anxious is about. Worry gets in the way of living intentionally, responding to the Holy Spirit’s direction. Worry makes us act in our own self-interest, in an effort to soothe ourselves. It compromises our health, distracts us from what’s important, and keeps us focused on the unknowable future rather than the present moments God has given us.

While the world around us is convinced that being worried is a sign of being responsible, engaged, and important, we are called to live differently. That leaves a mark on this world. We are called to be people of peace as well as purpose.

simpson

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to our email updates, or follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, or Instagram.


{MORE ABOUT AMY SIMPSON}

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 12.49.19 PMAmy Simpson is author of Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry. She also serves as editor of Gifted for Leadership, Senior Editor of Leadership Journal, a speaker, and a Co-Active personal and professional coach.

You can find her at AmySimpsonOnline.com and on Twitter @aresimpson.

Comments

  • Patsy H. says:

    I love the saying you put in this article. God didn’t put us here to waste what he has given us. That makes me want to do more for God. I have to say that I worry also. I had medical bills around $20,000 . I just about made myself sicker thinking about this. However, after some time it just hit me that God is so much bigger than $20,000! That’s when I finally gave it all to Him. And guess what-it all worked out!

  • “Worry gets in the way of living intentionally, responding to the Holy Spirit’s direction.” Love that. Sounds like a book for me!