I’ve been afraid of a lot of things throughout my life, and it started early. My mom says that when I was very small, I was afraid of the grass and wouldn’t walk on it. I remember going into orbit when there was a fly in my grandma’s house, because I thought it was a bee. Dogs made me climb as high as I could get in my dad’s arms. Speaking or singing in front of people was a mortifying experience. And on top of all the real things I was afraid of, I would let my imagination get the best of me, creating fears that weren’t even real, thinking of all the worst things that could happen (but probably never would).
Anyone who knew me as a child would say that I’ve come a long way! I’m not the same girl whose uncle nicknamed her “Wimpy.” I handle dogs and bugs much better than I used to. I will talk to just about anybody who will listen. I sing in church all the time. And I’m learning to not think up all the worst case scenarios that cause needless anxiety.
I give all credit for this change to Jesus. I did not have the power in myself to take control of my mind and fears, but He gives me the power to be a new creature. When I trust Jesus to be in control, and remember that He is Creator of all things, I have a calm spirit, ready to face whatever challenges arise.
But when I let worldly things take over my thoughts, the fears and anxieties will take over again. This happened when our daughter was born. While pregnant, I was in full on research mode. I’m pretty sure I read everything on Pinterest about babies and how to care for them, what gear and supplies were needed, and what I needed to do as a mama. And after she was born, I would google every question that came to mind. I let this quest for “knowledge” consume me and it did way more harm than good.
First of all, I was seeking advice from sources that were not of God. Knowing that Jesus has all the answers, what sense did it make to be trusting the guidance of someone who doesn’t follow him at all?!
Secondly, I had a case of information overload. All the tips, tricks, must-haves, schedules, and instructions were cluttering up my mind, not allowing me to think clearly. I was so stressed over whether I was doing everything I was supposed to and doing it right, that I was miserable.
Thankfully, the Lord showed me where I was wrong and brought me out of that mess. There’s so much more joy in our home when I’m not trying to be like someone in the world who I’ve never even met! There is so much more to be learned from God’s Word and the wisdom from women in my life who I know are following Jesus. And I can think more clearly without so many worldly things taking up space in my mind.
I still have to be careful to not fall into the same trap. It’s so easy to “fall down the rabbit hole” of the internet and all the information and distractions that are available in today’s world. Simply trying to buy a pair of shoes can turn into a research project that lasts for days. There seems to be an answer, solution, or product readily available to fix anything that troubles us, but nothing is as effective as Jesus. He is the answer to everything.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4:8