I talk a lot about my faith. I talk a lot about it on my blog. I talk a lot about it in person. It’s something I’m not ashamed of. I am considerate of other people and I know when I should and shouldn’t talk about it. But as it’s a part of my life, I am open about it.
However I also worry a lot. In college my AIM screen name was “I Worry Easily.” I have a lot of anxiety in my life because I keep stressing out about certain things. Actually, it’s really one thing I worry about. The rest of my life, I’m quite grounded and stable, and trust God completely with it. I know that my friends get tired of me doing this because it seems to become a repeat scenario in my life. A situation will arise and I gain confidence, become assertive, and get my hopes semi-up (never too high up because I don’t want to crash really hard) only to find out that it doesn’t come through. And I am left in a state of limbo which leaves me in panic mode. I start coming down on myself, become slightly apathetic, and feel the constant need to get advice from everyone to figure out what to do next.
I’ve been realizing that I have gotten so much advice and opinions from so many people over the past few years. Not because I can’t think for myself or that I constantly need validation. But sometimes I just want to confirm that I’m making the right decision or that I’m not missing out on something that is so obvious but yet I’m still missing it. I think I worry so much about making mistakes that I did in the past, that I want to verify that I AM doing things correctly and I’m not an idiot. I trust my own judgment but at the same time I do want some validity. Basically what am I doing wrong, what is wrong with me, why is everyone else able to handle this but I cannot, what can I do to change in a constructive way that isn’t compromising myself?
But ultimately a lot of that advice is also speculation from people because none of us know the true and final answer. And sometimes I think that even when I do get the answer that I feel like I have been wanting/needing to hear, it still won’t be enough. I want to know WHY and WHAT else could I have done or HOW I could have changed the situation or WHEN would there have been a better time. Pet peeve: when I spend time worrying because of someone else and they don’t have a clue in the world of the worry they have caused. Oh to be so bliss filled and carefree without a worry in the world.
One of my friends, who doesn’t share my faith but has known me for over 10 years, called me out on this the other day. Over the course of those years, he’s seen my life go up and down and knows of the struggles and issues that’s been going on in life. So even though we don’t agree on everything, I feel he’s been a good observer of how I’ve changed and how some things stay the same. During a conversation the other day he said:
For a person with your particular faith you worry too much. You can’t put your faith in God and be a worrisome person. It’s contradictory. I’m the last person qualified to check someone’s faith. But here’s the thing. Aren’t Christians not supposed to worry? Through Christ all is possible and the Lord working mysterious ways and all?
I wasn’t offended at all by what he said to me. In fact, I thanked him for it. Because he made me realize that once again I’m not walking the talk I keep talking.
I claim to have strong faith in God. But it’s not just a claim. I truly believe. But yeah, why do I just not trust that God will take care of it all, and regardless of the outcome that I should just have faith that he has what’s best for me. I’m fully aware of all the verses in the Bible about not worrying. I know what Jesus says about it. And yet I can’t stop myself from worrying.
And I’m going to be brutally honest right now. I don’t know why I can’t stop. I’m not trying to be bleak or negative. I just don’t know. This seems like a cycle that just keeps repeating itself. I worry, I trust, I let go, I see God work in my life only to have a new circumstance come up and I repeat that cycle. Except my worry periods last longer than the others. And even with constant prayer, reading Scripture, and just giving it over to God, I cannot seem to stop. I talk to people until I realize they are tired of hearing about it. I journal til I fill up pages and pages with my thoughts that I can’t seem to escape.
Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have it all together. And I most definitely don’t. I feel very vulnerable admitting this. We always want to look like we have it all together. Anyone reading this blog is probably hiding something that they are struggling with in an attempt to NOT look like they don’t have it all together. And maybe there ARE a few of you who really don’t have a worry in the world. Either way I envy you (yet another not a being a good Christian trait). I have the world’s most horrible poker face and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m risking the fact that you are going to read this and think I have no confidence (which I actually do have a lot of) or that I’m over emotional (that’s not the case either).
I’m asking for your advice here. Can you honestly say that if you are a believer you don’t worry about things? If so, how do you not worry? Do you just accept whatever comes your way? Do you prepare for disappointment or do you just have hope and deal with whatever the circumstances are? How do you not let it overtake you? How do you hide it? Do you just ignore it? Do you just stay busy so it doesn’t enter your mind? Do you get annoyed when someone else is worried over things you don’t think need to be worried about? Do you dismiss other people’s worries? How do you have constant trust and faith ALL the time?
I’m being serious when I’m asking all these things. Because while I’m not going to hide the fact that I am going to have these anxiety and worrisome moments, obviously I am doing something wrong if it keeps happening over and over again. I know that what ends up happening is we look back and wonder why we worried so much. What I want to do is just have to wonder because I never worried in the first place. I want to get to that place. And for ever person that has told me to just not worry, PLEASE tell me how you don’t worry. I honestly want to know. I’m exhausted from all this.