How to Stop Obsessively Worrying About Your Kids

A few weeks ago I woke up to a 1am phone call from my daughter who was in far off Thailand. I knew before I even looked at her name on my phone, it was her and the news would be bad. She told me 8 bombs had gone off in the last few hours, all targeting tourists very close to her hotel.

Sleep and all other life circumstances ended for me at that moment. I stayed glued to the Internet for the next 24 hours as I watched 4 more bombs detonate far too close to my precious daughter. She finally made it to the airport and safely home.

I don’t think there has ever been a time that I relied on God more, prayed harder, or held my breath longer. Even at 22, she has always lived close to me and this somehow gave me a sense of control over her safety and wellbeing. Those hours between her phone call from Thailand to my beautiful little girl landing at our local airport showed me how false that sense of control has been all of these years.

God is the only one who can keep our kids safe. I couldn’t even reach her by airplane to hold her close and tell her she’s safe before her intended departure from this country under attack. Knowing this made me lean on God and trust Him to do that special comforting that us mommies sometimes think only we can provide.

Do you find yourself worrying about your kids? Here is the one truth we need to cling to in order to stop the worry.

I came to the realization it’s been Him all along. My body may have been there to hold her in those dark moments and my voice to soothe her, but He is the one who truly comforts and protects our babies. He holds power that we could only dream of.

I’m an incessant worrier. This is a trait I’ve sadly passed on to both of my precious kids. Do you struggle with obsessive worry too? We must stop this unnecessary habit and end the suffering for ourselves and these incredible little humans we’ve been entrusted to raise.

In all honesty, I tried to talk my adventurous daughter out of this trip to Thailand. She volunteered there on a farm working with elephants. If she would have listened to me, she would have missed these amazing once in a lifetime moments:

Releasing Our Kids Into the World

But even more than those experiences with God’s gentle giants, she would have missed learning He keeps her safe even when mommy is far away. This realization is especially important today as she will be moving to the opposite side of our nation soon to pursue her dream to become a marine biologist.

My daughter has become the young woman we all hope to raise. She is independent, determined to chase her dreams, and knows when it’s time to just have faith. I think the latter is something we could all use a little help with.

I have watched this girl jump out of a plane, travel to many far off lands, live strong with diabetes for the past 15 years, and fall out of and completely back into love with our incredible Savior. My own faith has waned over the years as worry consumed me with these and so many other of my kids’ experiences. My son suffered from seizures for most of his 14 years of life and he struggles daily with the anxiety I passed down to him.

Here is what I now know to be true. God brings us through all of these life circumstances. My son is healed from epilepsy today, completely weaning off his medication months ago. My worry didn’t accomplish this in any way.

Only God. He always comes through for me.

Not long ago, I adopted the concept of Living As If relating to my health struggles. I’m fully applying this to my lifelong worry issue as well. Let me teach you how to implement it in your own life.

Instead of: “Lord, please keep my precious children safe.” Try praying this: “Thank you for keeping my beautiful babies safe through all this world will throw at them. I trust you, Lord.”

Live as if. As if you know God has this. As if you are certain He can and will carry our kids through the struggles and pain they will inevitably walk through in their lifetimes. Live in the glory of God’s many promises…

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
~Hebrews 13:6

The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still.
~Exodus 14:14

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
~Deuteronomy 31:6

Candace Playforth
Candace Playforth is a wife, mom, Jesus follower, serenity seeker, and writer on a quest for health in body, mind, and soul. Join her in creating a healthier body, emotional well-being, and unprecedented faith at Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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  1. Yes letting go is hard, my eldest went to Tibet for 3 years, and my second daughter just got back from 2 years in Africa so I understand thank the Lord for Skype etc. for keeping in touch ?

  2. Powerful truths here!

    God IS their Father and lives them even more than we do. Hard to fathom, yet so true. We CAN trust Him with them.

    So praise Him with thanksgiving!

  3. Dear Candace … what a beautiful, powerful testimony of God at work overtime in your daughter’s life and in your own heart. I hear you about the worrying about our kids … and it does seem to get worse as they launch into adulthood. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave their sides even though they leave our protective arms.

    And in that constant process of release-and-trust, release-and-trust, He soothes our own frantic souls and whispers peace to those places that churn inside.

    He loves us so …

  4. Oh wow, Candace. I love the idea of living “as if.” I commented on your blog about the lock down my son was in, and it is hard to be on the other side of the world. I’m taking to heart the living as if God has it all under control and is taking care of my kids away from home. Because it’s true! Pinning this!

  5. Ah…. YES! First of all, your daughter sounds AMAZING! Oh, what spirit! What faith! What an incredible passionate woman you have raised with both strength and integrity, Candace! And praise GOD for your son’s healing! WOW.

    Thank you for reminding me WHO is in charge. When I pray with my kids on the way to school every morning, in my prayer I always thank God for giving me HIS kids and in that prayer I am reminded that I am called to raise them and love them and ultimately trust that He created them with His plan in place. Our worrying does nothing but exhaust us and weigh us down –

    Thank you for these biblical truths we can use to minister to our mama hearts!

    1. She is pretty fabulous, Chris :). I’m very proud of the woman she has become. I love that you pray with your kids on the way to school! Such a good mommy. I wish I would have done that with my kids. What an amazing way to start each day.

  6. You are so right it is God who protects our children each and every day. I am so happy that your daughter had the courage to go to Thailand and that she made it back home safely. It’s also wonderful that your son has been cured of his epilepsy. God is good. ☺

    1. God is so good, Sonya. Watching my daughter come down the airport hallway was quite a moment :). I’m still in shock about the epilepsy cure. It was a long, hard road. We are incredibly thankful.

  7. Oh I needed this. I am having a worry session over a few of my children right now and I need a good reminder. Thank you my friend!

  8. What a powerful testimony! I’m sure all moms can relate to obsessively worrying. But I can’t imagine being on the internet knowing my daughter could get hit by a bomb. I’m so glad your daughter was protected and that you got to hug her again. Thank you for the reminder that it’s God who’s in control and we can trust Him with our babies!

    1. It was a horrific experience, Valerie. Unfortunately, my daughter is a wanderer and her travels are something I’ve had to slowly learn to deal with. God has brought me incredibly far. He truly is her greatest protector :).

  9. What a great word! Love this post, Arabah, and Candace!
    This line is so true, “God is the only one who can keep our kids safe.”
    Oh, how we have to entrust them to Him, don’t we!
    Thanks for sharing,

  10. Amazing how God uses these circumstances to stretch and at the same time build our faith. He demonstrates His power to care for us in every way possible. In life , the question is not whether God is able to do all we expect, but it is our ability to yield and trust him.

    1. I completely agree with you, Letisha! These faith stretching and building experiences never cease to amaze me. Each one, as hard as they may be while in the midst of the situation, grows my trust to beautiful new heights.

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