If there was ever a worrier, I am she. For as far back as I can remember (which is about the age of 3…yes 3) I have been a worrier. As a small child, I would sit quietly and think of random scenarios of something horrible happening to my parents, and then I’d cry. There was never any indication that my parents were in any danger…but I had to prepare my mind just in case something did happen to them.
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of it’s troubles, it empties today of it’s strength.”
As I reread what I’m typing, it looks so crazy that I was doing that. What’s even more crazy is that I still do this today…30 years later. Any idle time I have where my mind has an opportunity to wander (I’m a masterful multi-tasker and daydreamer, so this is quite often) I’m usually thinking about all kinds of things that aren’t true, and probably never will be. Not always necessarily bad things…but also not necessarily healthy either.
I spend a great deal of time thinking up scenarios that I wish would be the circumstance of my current life, or thinking forward in what-ifs and the possibilities of what could bes. Oftentimes I’ll go so deep into this, that I get extremely irritated when real life people interrupt my thoughts by engaging me in conversation. The other thing I do is think up something so imaginative and ideal, that once I do snap out of it, I’m immensely disappointed at what actually is.
This is so counterproductive to living a happy life full of gratefulness. I cannot enjoy and be grateful for what is, if I am constantly existing in what if.
Though I still struggle with controlling my thoughts, I will say that over the past few years I’ve learned to counter these thoughts with scripture. When I catch myself and actually exercise my mental muscles, I’ll stop and remind myself of scriptures like Isaiah 6:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” and Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Everything we do, everything we experience, everything we are begins in our minds. I can’t really afford to waste mental energy on unhealthy thinking patterns. I’m missing out on what’s right in front of me. I’m not saying don’t dream or have goals. What I’m saying is worrying and wishing that life was different or better in some way that you honestly and truly don’t believe will happen for you shouldn’t be common practice.
When we seek God’s will for our lives, it doesn’t matter too much what we wish could be, because we will never be able to imagine anything better than what He has planned for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The truth is, sometimes what God has blessed us with is actually better than what we want, but we can’t accept it because He didn’t give it to us the way we wanted it. It’s hard to appreciate the greatness of a blessing when we are so focused on what we didn’t get or what isn’t happening.
“Never let the things you want, make you forget the things you have.”
My goal is to be present. Present in every moment of my life, appreciating where I am, what I’m experiencing, and what I have. Looking forward to what will be, but not in an attempt to dictate or fabricate a future outside of what is really meant for me. How do I do this? By trusting God.
Isaiah 49:23 “…Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
I encourage you to do the same. Mind your thoughts…easier said than done, but absolutely doable. God bless!