Overthinking… am I not the queen of this too? *sigh
The other day, my son lost his first tooth. (Yay, Trace!) Leading up to this moment, he was so worried that it would hurt when it came out. It’s been loose for a few weeks now and every day when it’s time to brush his teeth, he flinches because he doesn’t want it to hurt. Mind you, he doesn’t seem to be worried about the tooth or the pain that would occur when he’s stuffing his face with food.. but the minute he has to do something he doesn’t necessarily want to do or I bring the loose tooth to his attention and remind him to wiggle it with his tongue, the thoughts start rolling in.
The day that his tooth would eventually fall out of his mouth, he came to me and asked if his tooth will hurt when it comes out. Maybe in this moment, he knew that it was much looser, and it had the potential of falling out very soon. He also asked, “when it’s already gone, will it hurt?” I told him that it will only hurt if it has to be pulled out.. but if it comes out naturally, it will be just fine. I also shared with him that it won’t hurt when it’s gone because it will be gone – the pain is only temporary because the tooth is loose and pulling on his gums.
Trace felt relieved in that moment… so he goes on about his evening. About 20 minutes later, Trace runs in the living room (being the hyper 5 year-old that he is), falls into the couch, and then yells “my tooth is out!” Sure enough, his tooth is in one hand as he’s cheesing and showing me his toothless grin. Me and my husband start cheering and shouting but Trace wasn’t feeling that.. he felt like we were too dramatic. But we were so excited for him (and maybe a little for ourselves too) and we wanted to share in that excitement. I was also smiling on the inside because he had just asked would it hurt, but when he finally stopped focusing on the tooth and what might happen, and instead allowed life to happen naturally, the very thing that he was anxious about came to pass – in a way that would be painless and full of peace.
How many times do I find myself in these same situations? I think myself into the ground, eventually causing so much worry and anxiety all because I’m thinking too much. Thinking about the future before it even gets here.. worried that things will hurt, be uncomfortable, or not go as planned. Better yet, that things won’t go how I want them to go. But if I can just stop and stay in the moment.. not think so far into the future but stay grounded in what is true and what is right now, I will not walk myself into a dark tunnel of worry. Not only that, but the very thing that I worried about would be taken care of.
God knows the plans he has for us, before we were even placed in our mother’s womb. God has also told us time and time again that his thoughts are not our thoughts and our ways are not his ways.. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Any thing God has said will come to pass will come to pass. Any word that God placed on the inside of you is true and will prosper. We have to remind ourselves not to get so caught up in the possibilities of failure, disappointment, hurt, or anything in between – and stay grounded in the hope that is in Him.
All overthinking does is waste our time overthinking. But what does that change? Not a thing. God knows us. God sees our thoughts from afar. His hands are upon us and he is always leading us in the way that we should go. And if we go away from him, he is right there to gently guide us back. He created our inmost being. And all of our days were written in his book and planned before a single one of them began” (Psalms 139). So instead of overthinking, let’s rest in the truth that God is God and he knows our beginning and our end. No need to think of what’s going to happen. Let’s keep our eyes on him. And know that his thoughts and ways are much higher than our own. And no matter what may happen, if we just allow our life to flow naturally, he will prove to us that – everything will be just fine.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways." This is the Lord's declaration. "For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do." - Isaiah 55:8-11