I don’t know about you, but I am the kind of woman who loves to overthink things. Was that right? Why didn’t I say that? Am I really doing what I was called to do? Am I worthy? Should I be here?
My thoughts have sub-thoughts and even my sub-thoughts have sub-thoughts. My wheels will be spinning so hard that I think that my ears resemble smoking gun barrels. Give me something to obsess over and watch me run with it. I will return with statistics, fun facts, worst case scenarios, and probable endings. I am like the Rain Man of overanalyzing.
Most of my anxiety comes from wondering if I am fulfilling my purpose. I worry that I am not doing my very best or that I am settling. I push harder in hopes that through sheer panic, I will find real answers. Overthinking certainly has not given me peace and it also has not brought me any understanding.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
I am going to let that sink in. I admittedly live my life as though my purpose, my solutions, God’s will is somehow hidden. I wander around in all of my obsession and look up as if to ask, “Am I getting warmer?”
I play this hot or cold, temperature-checking game as if God would purposely hide His will, my purpose from me. Is it over here? Am I hot or cold? I mean, really? What would be the point? Why would He do that? It’s a silly way to live, but I rock at it.
I panic and worry and obsess and overthink about things that are in plain sight. Wherever God brings me, that is where He wants me. The new job, the difficult parenting moments, the rewarding mama times, the breakthroughs, and the heartbreak. It is where I am supposed to be in that moment.
The scripture reminds me that life in all of its unpredictable beauty is playing out the way it should. The things that feel as though they are happening to me are really the things that are happening for me. When I allow myself to have that change in perception, my gratitude overflows. My peace and acceptance become bountiful.
Unless something is wrong or dishonest or absolutely sinful, I can trust that God placed me there. But, usually, I don’t. You know what happens when I don’t? You guessed it. I overthink it and, therefore, miss out on the joy completely.
While I am calculating my statistics, a little girl has perfected her back flip. While I am weighing out pros and cons, two little boys have told the greatest joke of their lives. While I am scouring the internet for recent studies, a teenager has just hit her highest high note. If I am analyzing the latest economic trends, I could have totally missed out on my husband killing it in those Wrangler jeans. Man, I love those jeans.
I would miss out on a lot.
Am I saying be careless and flippant with your life choices? Am I claiming that we don’t have responsibilities or consequences? Am I suggesting that the right way to live is without intention or warranted caution? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
What I am saying is that it is ok not to panic. I will not miss the mark by choosing not to stress over the process. I’m saying that overthinking, second-guessing, and worrying about where I am at or what I am supposed to do is, well, pointless. I am already on my way.
According to recent studies, those who live without obsessive, anxious thoughts are statistically happier people who do not miss out on their own lives. I think those odds sound pretty solid. Worst case scenario: more smile lines.
You, Lord, give perfect peace
to those who keep their purpose firm
and put their trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever;
he will always protect us.