Saturday, January 22, 2011

Worry Wart?!

Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.  ~Author Unknown

I worry, ALL THE TIME. About all different kinds of things. Right now? My class schedule (UGH! I can't even get into that whole dilemma!), which has spiraled into whether or not I'll graduate on time (and if not, when?), if I can get into medical school, if I should change my dream and career path (yes, yes, I did have a professor/advisor tell me I needed to make a back-up plan and start focusing on that because he didn't think my dream was feasible... HA! I'll show him!), boy(s), my health, sorority crap, friends, family, finances... Just to name a few, right?

Anyway, I was just thinking about it and I was looking for some kind of consolation, peace, any kind of hope, or glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I started reading the Bible and, honestly, it wasn't anything in particular, but just generally, I realized that Satan is so moment-focused. He will do whatever he can to get us to sin in this moment. And sometimes sin's have immediate repercussions and consequences; sometimes those consequences and punishment won't be right after the sin is committed. God, on the other hand, He is so much more focused on the bigger picture. He understands that we will sin in the moment, we will do wrong, hurt Him, hurt ourselves, hurt those around us, make mistakes, mess things up... in the moment. But He looks so much wider and deeper than just this moment, and He sees that with all those mistakes and sins and mess-ups, our lives can still be something so beautiful and majestic and pleasing to Him.

As I was thinking about this, I started to realize that, if I call myself a Christian, I am striving to live a life that is more like Christ's... So, wouldn't that mean I'm trying to be less momentary and more "bigger picture" focused? Sure does! In that case, why am I losing hours and hours of sleep and getting sick to my stomach about my class schedule that really will only last for the next four months? Why am I getting so upset and so bent out of the frame about a sorority that I will not be a part of a few years from now? Why am I crying and dwelling on this boy that broke up with me? Why am I consumed by how much money I don't have and how much I "need"? 

My best answer? Because I'm a sinful human being. Which is such a crock. I mean, it's honest, but what a cop out. I choose to dwell and consume myself with things that, if I just let go and let God, He'd take care of it. It may not be on my schedule or even with the outcome I want, but He's got the bigger picture. Who am I to tell Him what to do or how to do it? Some days, I can even keep track of what I'm doing in the next six hours, let alone the next day, week, month, year, lifetime! I'm a control freak, and a blue, which is probably the worst combination in the world! An emotional control freak?! Yikes!

I'm confessing that I have not given all of myself over to the Lord, like I should. And I'm ashamed, and I will work on it, but I can say that I think this will be something I struggle with for a long time. I am still very prideful and selfish and controlling about a lot of things. So, I hope and pray that He softens my ever-hardening heart and works in me to be able to trust someone other than myself enough to let Him do the work in me and my life that He wants to do. He wants me to see the beauty of my own, personal bigger picture. And sometimes I feel like He's giving me little glimpses, little hints, trying to bribe me maybe into just letting go and giving my life over to Him. And it looks good, my bigger picture, I mean. 

I'm also confessing that, in some areas, I don't want to give myself over to Him yet. I think it's mostly out of fear that I don't want to give those parts to Him. It's mainly situations or things where I've been really, really hurt by other people, and sometimes myself even. And I guess I feel like since I "have control" (or think I do), I can blame myself, and it'll make it hurt less, or justify the hurt. But if He's in control, it's a lot harder to blame God than it is to blame yourself, especially when you know He's right and just. I'm afraid to be hurt again and simply say, "it was God's plan". I don't know if I'm mature enough yet to be able to rest in His plan completely. Hurt terrifies me... And it terrifies me even more to think that I could be hurting to eventually come to something so much better and greater than I ever thought I could have. Sometimes I just want to hurt to hurt. I want to sob - nasty, mascara running down your face in your tears, runny nose, uncontrollable breathing kind of cry. And that's my immaturity in Christ and in general. I'm trying to work on it and grow and let go of those things, people, situation, events, but, confession: there are times when I really don't want to work on it and I just want to wallow in my depravity. Afterwards, I'll know it was not for my good to do that, but when I'm there, when I'm in that place, it's like I can't hear anything else, especially words of reason.

I've just come to the conclusion that I cannot do it on my own. I need Him. And not in a "you give a little, I'll give a little" kind of way... In a "Brooke, you give it all and I will then give you My all" way. I'm not ready for that; I don't know if I'll be able to handle it. Things'll probably get messy and pretty ugly, but true Christianity isn't supposed to be pretty all the time, right? I think messy and pretty ugly are steps to the breath-takingly stunning bigger picture. I'm working on it... letting go (these two words are harder to put into action than... well, almost anything), letting God (another two words that are indescribably difficult to put into action), growing up, seeing the bigger picture rather than dwelling in the momentary crap, resting in God's plan and will for my life, truly believing that's what's best for me. He's been doing this a long time; His success rate is looking pretty good. It's about time I believe in Him and get my act together.

Hey, enough of my crazy babble! If you're feeling worried or stress or overwhelmed, check out these quotes. They helped me out, gave me some perspective, encouraged me.

  • Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  ~Leo Buscaglia
  • I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.  ~Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"
  • You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.  ~Pat Schroeder
  • People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.  ~George Bernard Shaw, "Family Affection," Parents and Children, 1914
  • We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it.  But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.  ~John Newton
  • You can never worry your way to enlightenment.  ~Terri Guillemets
  • Don't chain your worries to your body.  The burden soon becomes heavy and your health will give too much of itself to pick up the extra load.  ~Astrid Alauda,Dyspeptic Enlightenment
  • I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow.  It is the dark menace of the future that makes cowards of us.  ~Dorothy Day
  • Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear.  ~Author Unknown
  • Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
  • Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.  ~Theodore N. Vail
  • Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff.  Rule number two is, it's all small stuff.  ~Robert Eliot
  • Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down.  ~Toni Morrison
  • No human thing is of serious importance.  ~Plato, The Republic
  • Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.  ~Philip Gulley

Good stuff, right?! I hope any one or all of these make you feel better, less worried, less stressed, give you a little bit of perspective, and leave you thinking BIGGER PICTURE!

"Sun Comes Up" by John Legend. I could marry this man's voice!


  1. I am also a worrier. So much so that I wrote a book on it to see if doing the research would help. Indeed, it does. But I'm a work-in-progress. You may want to check out my book; I still do. It's called THE WORRYWART'S PRAYER BOOK. It's filled with Scripture, affirmations, anecdotes and prayers to help worrywarts get off the worry-go-round and trust God more. My favorite: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." Psalm 46:1, 2. I also love a phrase my husband coined,
    "Let there be no crisis before it's time."

    I also have a blog (and I worry that I don't keep it current enough), called THE WORRYWART'S CORNER, which might help worriers. Meantime, remember, God's in charge so give all your worries to Him. He's the only one Who can make any sense of them.

  2. Thank you SO much! I appreciate your kind words and will definitely check out the book!