5 Ways I Practically Cast My Cares On God and Why It Works For Me
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. - Psalm 55:22
I've struggled with anxiety before I even knew what anxiety was. I've always been a worrier. The only thing that has changed as I've grown up and gotten married is what I worry about. When I was 5, I worried about making friends. When I was 11, I worried about my grades. When I was 15, I worried about what all of my peers thought about me. When I was 19, I worried that I wouldn't find a husband to marry. And now that I'm 25, I worry that this little family that God has blessed me with will be taken away from me, or something terrible will happen to one of us.
I think the most frustrating part to all of this is that I can look back on those things I used to worry about when I was five, eleven, fifteen, and nineteen and see how God worked them all out. How no amount of worrying changed anything, and how everything fell into place the way God planned it to happen. But this does not keep me from worrying about the future and it can be so debilitating at times. I share all of this to show that I do not have it all figured out, and even though God has been good to me, I still struggle with trusting him just like anyone else.
What I want to share with you are 5 practical ways that help me when anxiety threatens to take control of my thoughts. Sometimes one of these things works right away, and other times I need to do all of 5 of them to get through it. For me, the key is to keep seeking Jesus in any way that feels right. This is a practical way to cast our cares on him and show him that despite our circumstances or how we are feeling, we are choosing to trust in him.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7
1 | Read The Bible
This one. This one, if I'm being really honest, I have a love/hate relationship with. When I first started really taking my faith seriously, this was my go-to way to relieve anxiety or worries. As I shared before, when I was 19 I struggled big time with trusting God's timing when it came to dating. For the most part, during those times I opened up my Bible and redirected my attention to learning more about God - and it worked! It wasn't always immediate or even easy, but it really did work.
Nowadays this option doesn't work quite the same as it once did. (But come to think of it, I don't do it quite as often as I did back then either.) I think a lot of this working though has to do with the fact that you have to believe it will work. If we put our faith in God as our comforter, then he can act.
2 | Cry Out To Jesus
Many days this is all I have the strength to do. On the days where my anxiety is really bad, I just do not have the strength to pick up my Bible or actively try to make my situation better. All I can find the strength to do is pray. I literally pour out all of my feelings to Jesus. The good. The bad. The ugly. Doing this doesn't always take away the anxiety completely, (while sometimes it does!), but it opens the door for Jesus to come in and share the burden, so it doesn't feel so heavy. While other days I might have to do this every 5 minutes!
3 | Go For A Drive + Listen To Worship Music
While I'm listening to worship music, I usually sing along in praise. At times, the words of a song closely relate to how I'm feeling and remind me that I'm not alone in this struggle. Sometimes, just the act of getting up and out of the house pulls me out of the struggle I'm in. It serves as a sort of distraction, but I also believe that I am actively seeking Jesus. It is my goal at this time to not be self-focused. Sometimes just sitting alone in my room causes me to just think about what's going on in my own little world, but getting out of the house reminds me that there is so much more going that I don't need to worry about this specific problem.
4 | Talk To A Trusted Loved One + Ask For Prayer
Depending on the stage of life I am at, the person I have done this with has looked differently. When I was nineteen, I had a close friend who was also a Christian who I would turn to when I was really struggling. I would pour out how I was feeling to her and ask for her prayer. Now I tend to turn to my husband and do the same. What I've learned is that Jesus doesn't want us to struggle alone. At times this requires humility, admitting that you don't have it all together, or yes, I am struggling with this again. This opens the door for God to help us because not only are we praying to him for help, we now have another advocate praying for us as well.
5 | Read Through An Old Journal
This one obviously only works if you have written in a journal over the past year or so. If you don't, I would encourage you to start now. I've only just begun writing in a journal over the past year. This is a way to encourage yourself. When I read through old entries about what was going on I can actually see how God had worked through the struggle, it encourages me that he will also work out the problem that I feel stuck on at the moment. We don't always remember all of the small ways God has shown up in our lives. Reading through how we were feeling at the time makes a huge difference, rather than just remembering the circumstance as a whole.
While I recognize that none of these things are complex or hard to think of yourself; they are truly the way that I cast my cares on God. Sometimes when I am feeling anxious, I can't think of obvious things that might help because I am too caught up in my feelings. I hope that these might encourage you when you are feeling anxious and might help to really cast your cares on Jesus.