By MomWise Latunde Onabajo
Her body temperature rose to an uncomfortable 101.9 degrees, sending me scrambling across the bedroom towards the bathroom to grab a warm towel while my husband looked for the bottle of baby acetaminophen (Tylenol). She just laid in bed, staring lethargically at the ceiling. My heart skipped several beats as I called upon Jesus and the Holy Spirit to heal my child and lower the temperature. I then whipped my phone out to Google the normal body temperature for a child but that only increased my fear and anxiety when Google said the normal body temperature for a child should be around 98.6 degrees (when taken orally). That night, I was tempted to drive to the ER but our pediatrician advised us to visit the office in the morning if the temperature remained unchanged. My toddler (and hubby) slept soundly while was I committed to a watch-night duty, watching each rise and fall of my toddler’s chest. By morning, she was bouncing up and down the house while I was sleep-deprived!
A few years back, my Toyota Corolla was acting funny on the highway, excreting ‘wonderful’ puffs of black smoke, embarrassing me as angry drivers zoomed past me. “Go fix your car”, one kind driver said to me. “Thank you”, I replied through my teeth and pulled over to the side. As I sat in the greenish beat-up old jalopy, I fought back tears trying to figure out how this will not affect my work (my job required a personal car to complete work-related tasks) and eventually our family income. The mechanic said something minor needed to be fixed and the car was back to its old reliable self.
When my mother lived in Nigeria, she called me a few times to complain about a back pain she’d been experiencing. She also mentioned that my younger sister’s tuition was due—despite several strikes, the school was still expecting tuition payment. I tried not to panic but could feel my heart rate skipping several beats; all I could think was where’s the money to treat my mother and pay my sister’s tuition?
I was a worrier, always anxious about many things, and worrying about solving all the world’s problems. And whenever I felt stressed and overburdened, I turned to my stress- reliever: FOOD!
There are instances when we may feel anxious in situations like preparing for a job interview, an examination, etc. This momentary worry may prompt us to prepare better for the situation and that’s normal but constant, excessive worry tends to lead to negative outcomes on our body.
Some impacts of excessive worry or chronic anxiety on the human body include:
- Physical illness such as headaches, muscle aches or spasms, nausea, increased heartbeat
- Hormonal imbalances and increased blood pressure
- Poor coping mechanisms such as comfort eating, alcohol use, impulsive behavior, and poor financial choices
As I’m getting older, I am learning that God did not create me to be a WORRIER but a WARRIOR. Rather than carrying worry on my shoulders, God has called me to be a warrior—in the prayer department! As women, mothers, wives, sisters, we are called to be warriors–winning the battle over worry. The one who battles on her knees (in prayer) over any situation, small or big, will stand victorious!
As we focus on Nutrition and Wellness this month, consider the negative effects of worry then decide that you will stop the vicious cycle and instead, lift your sword (prayer) and become a Warrior in God’s Kingdom.
I leave you with this scripture, Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT
“6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He had done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.”