“Fretting” doesn’t have a nice ring to it. There’s not much pleasing about “fretting”.
I don’t hear people use the word “fretting” much these days. Worrying is far more popular. “I can’t help it, I’m just a worrier” is understandable. But, “Gosh, I’m such a fretter”. Seriously?
When all is done, and everything is over, my hope is that neither will describe me. That may be far too lofty a goal, but such as it is. I’m aiming.
I truly LOVE this prayer, and although I know it’s overused, it is simple and wise:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.
Simple requests. Simple acknowledgement of dependence on God who exceeds my understanding. Simply a plea without fretting.
There is much in my life, in all of our lives, that we can’t change, although we wish we could. There are things we don’t understand, pain we wish would go away, situations we wish we could understand, aches we want to stop. Fretting over them makes me feel like I’m doing something, but the circumstances can’t be changed by the fretting.
I did not get the fretting gene when they were doled out. I had a temporary fretting spell a few years ago, but it never became part of my DNA. That’s not to say I don’t get worked up. I do. I’ve been known to freak out at work, at home, at the dogs, the kids, even, I’m ashamed to admit, at a drive through window. But I’m more of a blow-up girl and it’s over. I don’t incubate feeling bad.
In the last few years I’ve made it a practice to pursue peace. Peace in my thinking, peace in my relationships, peace in my home, embracing quiet time if I need it. I’m learning about surrendering the things that hurt me to God, who cares for me and is far more capable than I am to carry what is too heavy for me.
And I’m learning to listen. I ask for serenity. Look for it. I ask for courage. Accept it. I ask for wisdom. He gives it.