Last week, I talked with a friend; we shared and commiserated about our kids with anxiety and mental health issues. My friend was telling me how much she worried about her son after he left for school. Would he be OK? Make it through the day? Would the school call? What emotional state will he be in after school? The list could go on and on. But then she said, You know what? Amid all this worry, I realized I still have to be a person.
This sentence has stuck with me all week. Why? I can relate to all the worry and overthinking, all the questions that run through your mind during a challenging season or, honestly, every day! I am an expert in overthinking and worrying. But being a person is a bit more complicated. What did she mean by being a person? She meant that even in her situation, she still needed to eat, walk, drink water, or have coffee with a friend.
I often bypass being a person by overdoing, busyness and worry. I vacillate between this will never get better, and I have to solve it all right now! Between those two extremes is a space for being a person and trusting God for today.
Investing in hope is another path we can take when worrying and overthinking. Not the shiny hope that it will all get better – maybe it will, but the investing in hope is remembering that God is with us in every situation. Ruth Haley Barton writes in the book Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest,
“When we rest from noise, busyness, and drivenness (I will add my two cents here, overthinking and worry ), all that distracts us will hear; this is the way. Walk in it:”
We cannot hear this direction with all the noise of worry, overthinking, and trying to solve.
So how about you? What worry are you holding today? Are you struggling to get disability paperwork filled out or waiting for a doctor to call? Are you dreading the drama and rages that your child has after school? Are you worrying about next week or next year?
Let’s pause and remember to be a person today. What can you do to take care of yourself and find joy?
Make a list of three things. They don’t have to be significant. They can be small life-giving practices that help you to be well-resourced as you go about your day.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What does my body need?
How can I slow down?
What can I do today to bring me joy?
How can I make this day, task, etc., more simple?
Let’s also remember to invest in hope. How do we invest in hope? By recognizing that God is with us, and he is a God that sees you and walks with you.
Reach out to me and let me know how you are learning to be a person this week or how you are investing in hope!