I tried to look calm. I really tried to shut the racing thoughts in my mind up. I just needed them to be quiet. I just needed peace. I didn’t want to think and at that point, it felt like my thinking faculty was an external box that was not within my control. But it was within my control and I was letting it have control of me. My thoughts were weakening me and nothing I tried to do to put my mind at rest was working. So I opened my mouth.
‘I am worried,’ I said to my friend. She instantly dropped what she was doing and looked at me. She didn’t smile and give an inspirational speech like I would have. She only said I worry too much and she reminded me of some of the words I have said to her in times like this. I knew my own words and at that point, I couldn’t apply them. What really struck me is the fact that she said I worry too much. And I knew it wasn’t a lie. I do worry too much. I don’t know when I became this person cause growing up, I was more carefree. Thoughtful, but carefree. I didn’t allow fear and worry cripple me as much as I often let them these days. Perhaps it’s one of the curses of growing up. Life becomes so real and the future becomes unfortunately daunting.
‘You over think,’ I have heard many say to me. But when they say it, it’s often in admiration. The other day, I told a friend that I was broke and she said she didn’t believe that. I was always too careful and calculative to be broke. I was actually broke, but it’s the word calculative which she said that got me thinking. Yes, I am very calculative and most times, it borders along the line of ‘over thinking’ for me.
I think too much about the past, present and future. I think too much about what has already happened and I dwell too much on that, that sometimes I fear I live in the past. I think so much about the future that while it sometimes brings anticipatory smiles to my face, it also clouds my heart with fear. I think about the present and ask if I am doing enough. It’s not bad to ask if I am doing enough, but mine can be obsessive and in an attempt to do enough, I miss out on the joy of living in the present.
This year, I asked God to help me to lean on him. To help me to just enjoy today and fight the battles of today knowing that each day has sufficient troubles. It worked to a good extent, but I think I also found myself worrying far more than I ever did. How did that happen? I really don’t know, but I know it hasn’t been pleasant. The times that worry bangs on my whole system and invades my heart and spirit, it’s crippling. So crippling that I can even find it hard to run to the presence of God or acknowledge his soothing voice.
Pardon me for this disjointed post and it’s not meant to be this long. I am just pouring my heart out in case there is someone out there that is like me.
When my friend told me that I worry too much I remembered what I once said to a friend. I told him that God has not called us to worry. He has called us to trust and obey. Those times like now when worry tries to cripple me, I remind myself of that truth. I remind myself of the fact that when my heart and my flesh fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 76: 26). God is in the midst of me and I will not fall no matter what worry might make me think (psalm 46: 10; psalm 31: 15). Also, I have to constantly remind myself that Paul wasn’t joking when he said I shouldn’t be anxious about anything. I should use prayers and thanksgiving to channel my worries, anxieties, fears and the likes (Philippians 4: 6). Why be anxious when you can cast your care on God?
I don’t know what words you will say to yourself when fear and worry want to overpower you, but please find words to say to yourself. What really is the point of worrying? Like my mum says to me, worry adds nothing to your life. Absolutely nothing. I don’t know if it’s wrong to worry, but I do know there is a problem with dwelling on whatever it is that you are worried about. So always consciously turn to your prince of peace before and when you are dwelling Oluwamayowa and other beautiful souls.2