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Sing Your Anxieties Away

Mother’s Day is Sunday.  A day to celebrate all the mothers in the world.  As I’ve said many times, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”  In honor of this day, I want to share a story about how my wife, Marilynn, and I taught our children to sing their anxieties away. Our daughter Bethany is the wife of a church planter - perhaps the most difficult task a person can undertake.  She’s a talented writer and artist.  When she speaks and teaches, she does so with authority.  She’s also the mother of five children under the age of 11.  But there was a time when, as a child, her heart was beset with gnawing anxiety. Marilynn and I came up with a name for Bethany’s worries: fret flies.  Every time a worry arose, we would try to draw Bethany’s attention to it so we could confront it.  We wanted to help her see the danger of letting these fret flies dominate her life.  We hoped that somehow the act of recognizing the problems would help her to overcome them. But nothing seemed to work.  Anxious thoughts dominated her life.  Finally, Marilynn and I had a breakthrough.  We discovered what was able to help set her free: singing God’s Word.  Bethany enjoyed singing, and we would find songs for her that were set to Scripture.  We would sing those songs with her throughout the day.  Sometimes I would even dance with her hand in hand, as we sang the song together - sometimes for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Eventually, Bethany memorized the words to almost all the songs.  They became a part of her vocabulary.  She would sing them to us as she danced for us or when I danced with her.  And over time, Bethany’s fears diminished.  The stronghold was broken.  She learned how to conquer her fears.  Whenever a fret fly would appear, she would sing it away. Does that sound familiar?  We’ve learned that singing songs with others has transformative power, especially when the songs are from God’s Word.  Find a song of faith and sing it until you memorize it.  Sing it over and over again.  Songs you love to sing, the ones straight from Scripture are the most powerful songs to fight anxiety. When anxiety knocks on the door of your heart, or your child’s heart, sing a song of praise from God’s Word together.  Over and over again.  Maybe even dance a bit! And for all the mothers who we honor on Sunday, thank you.  May you spend this Mother’s Day singing worship songs with your children, as you show them how to sing their worries away.

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