Sunday, December 15, 2013

future worry

When I was a kid, I lived in a world of anxiety.  There was nothing traumatic (that I can recall) that made me that way.  I think that's just the way I was wired! I had numerous stomach problems.  I was very shy and often nervous.  There were great things about being a kid, but this anxiety was almost always there either in the background or right in front of me. 

This followed me in various forms through high school where my anxiety disorder surfaced. I had a great support system in my family and friends but it still felt lonely.  A disorder is not something that can just be turned off.  You often feel as though you lack any control over your circumstances or emotions.  I was fortunate enough to fight through and find techniques and mindsets that allowed me to overcome the anxiety. Plus I had loved ones praying for me all the time.

One thing that was a huge struggle was worry.  In Matthew 6:34 it says: "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."  This concept was nearly impossible for me to grasp.  If I had a dentist appointment two days away, I'd be nearly sick to my stomach for two days.  If I had a piano recital the next day, I'd be awake off and on all night, I wouldn't eat a thing beforehand and would be shaking with nerves.  If I had to get shots, if I had an important game coming up, a big test, a speech; whatever it was I was a mess for one to two days beforehand. 

I can't tell you the exact day that I stopped worrying so far in advance, but I'm sure it was after I had my first child.  Suddenly, with a baby, there are enough worries and stresses for the day, the hour, or even the minute that you can't even think about tomorrow!! Their needs are more important than yours and if you can get through this day then you can go to bed, breathe and start it all over again tomorrow!

There are plenty of things to worry about today.  There is no need to pre-worry about tomorrow when your plate is already full with today.  And tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it today or not!

Nowadays when a future worry pops into my head, I simply tell myself that it is assigned to another day and that I will do enough stressing on that day for it so there really is no need to start yet.  And then I get back to today's bucketful of stresses....


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