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How can I stop worrying?

How can I stop worrying?

An old gray-haired woman sits in her bedroom. On top of her suitcase. It just won’t close. She can’t stop worrying. The suitcase is so crammed. With her full weight, she sits on it and then she hears *click*. The suitcase is finally closed. But now she has to get the suitcase down. The old lady stands at the top of the steep stairs. She tries to stop fretting, takes a deep sigh and takes her first step. Behind her she hears *click* again. This time the suitcase does not open, but bursts at the seams. Her belongings find their way out. The suitcase throws her off balance. And then…

Suitcase full of worries

Have you ever had such a full suitcase? A suitcase under high stress?Sometimes your heart and your head can feel like that too.Like a suitcase full of worries. You worry about your job, your relationship, your income, your appearance, your health, your children, etc. Worries about tomorrow’s day. And that full suitcase keeps you from really moving forward.

You know… you’re not the only one. Everyone’s suitcase is filled differently but you can bet there are many people who recognize your feelings. Corrie ten Boom certainly does. She is also an old, gray and especially wise woman. And she has very practical tips for you to empty your suitcase, stop worrying…and keep it that way. 

Corrie ten Boom on stopping worrying

If anyone has the right to worry it is Corrie ten Boom. In her life she has been through an awful lot. She has seen the horrors of World War II up close. Together with her family, Corrie is in the resistance. In their house in Haarlem more than 800 people have been hiding temporarily. But then they are betrayed and arrested. Her father soon dies in prison, her sister dies in the concentration camp where they are together.

Talk about a suitcase full of worries….

But that’s not what draws Corrie’s life. What draws her is her faith and trust in God. After the war, Corrie decides to travel to tell about her faith in Jesus. Her message of forgiveness touches people worldwide. And even now that she has passed away, she still inspires many people. Thousands of people still visit Corrie ten Boomhuis in Haarlem every year and her books are still selling well. You can find several of her speeches online. Listen to this speech about worrying, stop worrying and the miracle of prayer. 

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Corrie’s tips for praying

Corrie ten Boom’s big tip for stopping fretting and worrying: pray to God. And she gives you these tips:

  1. Talk to God as you would talk to your friends or family.
  2. Don’t use difficult words. Pray from your heart. God will understand you.
  3. Pray specifically. Tell God what is on your heart and ask him what you need.
  4. Keep praying, even if you don’t get an answer (yet).
  5. Listen for the answer. Prayer is not a one-way street. 
  6. Pray together. Prayer creates unity.
  7. Read the Bible

Let this Bible passage inspire you to stop fretting: 

“So do not worry about the next day. The next day will bring its own worries again. Each day has enough of its own problems.”

Matthew 6:34

Keeping the suitcase empty

Therefore, when you have prayed for the empty suitcase, you must also stop fretting. You may confidently leave everything with God. Or let God carry your suitcase. Corrie ten Boom also once shared a story about when she was traveling in New Zealand and they went deep into the interior. “Our driver drove carefully and when we came to an old bridge, he checked if the bridge was sturdy enough. Meanwhile, I prayed in the car for a safe crossing. And yes, the driver believed it was safe to go over it. The bridge was indeed strong enough and we reached the other side in one piece. Now I ask you: did our faith get us safely to the other side or was it the bridge itself? For it is not our faith that keeps us safe, but God who, like a bridge, carries us.”

Happy ending…?

You may be wondering how it ended with the old woman and her suitcase from the introduction. With Corrie’s wisdom in mind, she lets go of the suitcase and grasps the railing with both hands. She holds on tightly and sinks through her knees. At the top of the stairs she sits down. For a moment she recovers from the shock. A small tear of relief. She looks down and realizes that this could have ended very differently. Does she really have to carry such a heavy suitcase? And going down the stairs was just the beginning. Gently she walks down the stairs. She makes a cup of tea, grabs her phone and calls: “Honey, do you want to come and help with the suitcase? I can’t do it anymore on my own.”

Do you also want to get rid of your overweight suitcase? Can’t manage on your own anymore? You may worry all day long. But maybe it’s time to empty that suitcase, stop worrying… and keep it. And really stop fretting. We’d love to help you get started. Send us a message here and our e-coaches will help you further in your quest. Our prayer team is also ready to help you. Send your prayer request here

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