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Why I’m Giving Up Worrying For Lent

Lent starts in just a couple of days! It sneaks up on me every year, but this year I’m ready.

I’ve put time, thought, and prayer into what I’m going to give up this year.

After going through a million different options, I’ve finally decided what to do.

This year, I’m giving worry up for Lent.

This is why and here’s my action plan for how I’m going to defeat the stronghold of worry in my life.

This year, I'm giving worry up for Lent. This is why and here's my action plan for how I'm going to defeat the stronghold of worry in my life.

Why Am I Giving Something Up For Lent?

No, I am not Catholic (this is one of the first questions I’m always asked when I talk about Lent!), but I think it has been a really helpful practice for me over the years in my relationship with God.

I went to a Methodist church growing up and Lent was something we always just did. Back then, it was about the rules for me.

It was legalistic in every aspect.

There was no spiritual growth happening on my end. When I gave up desserts for those 40 days (well, technically 46 days), it was hard. It took self-discipline.

Inwardly, I moaned and groaned about missing out on delicious celebrations…and that was it for me.

That was where the experience ended. I didn’t really grow or mature or have a more intimate relationship with Christ.

I made the decision to live for Jesus when I was 15 and since then, I have been steadily growing in my relationship with God. And that’s what Lent is about for me now – relationship.

It’s about making a sacrifice for the One I love most, remembering Him every time I forgo that precious thing I decide to give up. 

Why Am I Giving Up Worry?

I tend to choose tangible things to give up during Lent, usually something food related. I’ve given up chocolate, desserts, and other things along those lines.

But this year, when I was trying to decide what to give up for Lent, I asked myself this one important question,

“What is the biggest thing holding me back from a deeper relationship with God?

And the answer for me is worry.

I unconsciously try to take the weight of the world on my shoulders every morning.

I really like feeling like I’m in control of things (which is dangerous, because I’m definitely NOT in control).

When I can take action steps to change things and check things off of a to-do list, I’m good!

When things are out of my control, I’m not so good.

  • I worry about finances and the future.
  • Because I am a people-pleaser, I am constantly worried that I inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or they are upset with me for some reason.
  • I worry I blog too much and also not enough.
  • I worry I work too much and also not enough.
  • I worry about being a good friend, daughter, sister, and fiance (now wife!).
  • I worry about what will happen in 6 months, a year, and a decade from now.
  • I worry I’m hearing God’s voice wrong.

Last month, I let worry attack my wedding planning.

Will Adam like this dress? Will the wedding party be upset if we ask for their help in setting up? How can I make the decision that will make everybody happy?

It’s ridiculous. And I don’t want to do it anymore.

One of the biggest gifts God has given me is my joy. On my good days, I am bouncy and excited and can’t keep a smile off my face.

But worry steals joy.

And when I get sucked into that stressful world of hypothetical what-ifs that are completely out of my control, I am not trusting God.

I’m telling Him I don’t believe He is in control, that I don’t believe that He is working this all out for my good, that my way or my timing would be better than His (I cringe even writing that!).

That’s why I am determined to give up worry for the 46 days of Lent (and hopefully far, far beyond!).

How to Stop Worrying

This is where things get trickier.

It’s easy to come up with an action plan for giving up desserts – you just don’t eat them.

For something abstract like worrying, I had to get a little bit creative, but here is what I’ve come up with so far.

#1 – Memory Verse

I am going to memorize Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I believe in the power of Scripture.

I have seen it change hearts and lives and I believe I can retrain my brain to shift from automatically defaulting to worry to choosing to believe God’s truth in every situation.

Bible verses have helped me overcome emotional eating, find my identity again after my divorceimprove my healthy eating, make exercise an act of worship, and lose 100 pounds.

And I believe Scripture will help me defeat the stronghold of worry, as well.

Every time I catch myself getting tempted to worry, I am going to say Philippians 4:6-7, gradually cementing its truths into my thoughts and making trust my default response.

#2 – Prayer

I am going to commit to pray about my struggle with worry every day for 46 days.

I journal prayers almost every morning in my quiet time with the Lord and I also pray my way through notecards I’ve made with the requests I have for the core people in my life.

Worry is going to get its own notecard and I will pray over it every morning, and hopefully even more throughout the day.

Not just praying about worry as a whole, but getting really specific about asking God to help me trust him in every decision of my life – big, small, and everything in between.

This year, I'm giving worry up for Lent. This is why and here's my action plan for how I'm going to defeat the stronghold of worry in my life.

#3 – My Support System

Worry can sneak in without me even recognizing it and I know I can’t do this alone, so I’m going to ask people to hold me accountable to this.

  • I’m going to tell all of the people closest to me about my goal and ask them to point out when they see signs of worry in my life.
  • I’m going to ask my prayer partner to ask me how I’m doing with worry in our daily emails so that I can always be on guard against it and catch it in its earliest stages.
  • I’m going to ask for their encouragement. When worry DOES creep in, I need people to ground me, reminding me how big God is, how much worrying is just a waste of time and energy, and reminding me to stay present in the moment (not worrying about tomorrow). I need my people to help get me unstuck and moving forward, recognizing the things I can change and surrendering the things I can’t.

And you’re allowed to hold me accountable, too! Do you want to give up worrying with me this Lent? Leave me a comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to go through these 46 days with you, supporting and praying for each other!

Cynthia Coates

Thursday 18th of February 2021

You have been confirmation for me. I would like to release the worry to Him. If you would allow me to join me I would be thankful. Worry has been a key factor in my emotional eating.

Dianne Marlowe

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

Yes, worry and extreme anxiety are very much a part of me that is not from God. I want them gone. I want Him and His Word to fill the void. I’d love to go through this with you.

Be encouraged, Dianne


Wednesday 17th of February 2021

I completely agree. It's so easy for worry to feel rational, like it's the "correct" response, but God gives us a much better way.

cynthia sullivan

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

I would love to join you in giving up worry for Lent!!


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Awesome, Cynthia! I'll be praying for God to help you break the habit of worrying during this season of Lent!


Saturday 17th of February 2018

Becky, First let me say, you are awesome! I commend you for your accomplishments. I can relate to so much of what you have said. I am 46 yrs old, I have a 6 yr old daughter and my husband and I will be married 17 years in May. I need to lose about 120 lbs because I am an emotional eater and I worry about today, tomorrow, 10 years from now. What if, what could be......constantly. My mind worries constantly. I try to pray about it, worrying and eating, maybe not hard enough. I have written down the Bible verses you use and have listed and I will start writing down prayers to refer to. I have to do something because the eating and worrying has sort of taken over my life. I work full time and I am very involved with my daughter but the eating and worring never leave me. I am really looking forward to reading some of your stories and using this info to help me take my life back. I ask you pray for God to help me and thank you!


Monday 19th of February 2018

You are so sweet. Thank you, Cindy! It is SO hard to break away from living in the middle of worrying about hypothetical situations! I completely understand the struggle with emotional eating. I have been there more times than I'd like to admit! If you haven't seen it, check out our Victory Over Emotional Eating course (https://faithful-finish-lines.teachable.com/p/victory-over-emotional-eating/) and see if it seems like a good fit for you. I've added your name to my "Worry" notecard, so I will be covering you in prayer every morning of Lent!

Sherri Bassham

Saturday 17th of February 2018

Thank you for this timely article. I have been married to a minister for almost 45 years and I still worry ALOT! Some nights I don't even sleep, I go to bed tired and ready for sleep but then worry creeps in and I worry about things that during the day I never even think of!

You inspired me to take control of this joy stealing habit. Thank you again, I will look forward to your posts. I struggle with my weight as well and my blood sugar is not doing so well right now which is frustrating. I need more discipline and encouragement.

Blessings, Sherri


Monday 19th of February 2018

You are so welcome! As much as I wish the end result would be completely worry-free at the end of this, I just don't think any of us can be immune to worry! I can only hope that the more I practice using these tools to fight it, the more I will be able to intentionally choose to trust the Lord in the midst of it all when it strikes in the future. I am so excited that you are joining me and I've added your name to my "Worry" prayer notecard, so I will be thinking about you and covering you in prayer every morning of Lent! Fighting worry can sure help weight struggles, too. I'm so glad you're here, Sherri!