By: Abbie Goldschmid
I come here today to confess to you a dark secret. A secret I have tried years to work through, to pray through, and still so little seems to change. I still continue in my same old habits. Yes, it is a lifestyle that I cannot escape, so I tell you. I tell you in the hopes that by hearing my story, you might somehow be saved from my fate. I am a worrier. I have been called “Debbie Downer,” “worry wart,” and any number of other clever word combinations to describe my natural inclination to fear the future both distant and immediate. I hate it, so I start worrying about my worrying. Worrying that my worry is keeping from being close to God, my family, my friends. I worry that I will never be able to stop, and by worrying about stopping, I just keep worrying more. It’s a never ending cycle that I have attempted to understand. Why do I worry? Why do we worry?
College dorms are haunted by worries and fears. When you are a freshman: what will your major be? When you are a sophomore: is this the right major? Is it too late to change? When you are a junior it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do with that major, time to get serious about internships and jobs, and time to start thinking and worrying about new things. And when you are a senior? Well, that’s the worst. Now it’s time to worry about how you are going to live AND pay off your loans. What are you going to do? What if you can’t get a job? College is the worst place for someone like me, someone who can make a mountain sized deal out of a molehill sized problem.
My worry always seems to correlate with life not following my plans. It’s very frustrating. My plans always seem like really good ideas to me. Shoot.
We just plan, pray, and we don’t really stop to wait, to prepare, to see what God is going to do.
My older sister always said that the easiest way to make God laugh was to tell Him your plans. But I never tell God my plans; I just expect Him to shape His plans for my life to match mine. Everything is great in our relationship, so long as He doesn’t get anything wrong in the master plan. It’s not so much that I treat God like a vending machine, because I don’t really ask Him for anything. I just expect that my plans will be the reality. And that comes out in my prayers. When I don’t get what I think I want, the next time I pray I just expect God to “ruin” everything. He already screwed up my life so why not just throw everything else to hell. I get angry. I still pray because I know I should, but part of me believes it is a waste of my time. Then, when God gets back with the game plan, I still feel like it’s a waste of time to keep praying. Good, God is finally doing what He should have been doing all along. After all, my way is the best way, right? I must think pretty highly of myself to think that I can come up with a better plan for my life than an all-knowing Being.
It seems as ridiculous as it is when I say it out loud. I know that I should trust God, and I can expect blessings from Him. They just might not be the “blessings” I imagined. It’s obvious when we think hard about it, but somehow that knowledge gets lost amid papers and job hunts and student loans and relationships and heartbreak and college and life. We just plan, pray, and we don’t really stop to wait, to prepare, to see what God is going to do. We think we are expecting a lot from Him; we feel we have expected too much when He “fails” us. But really, we are just expecting Him to think like we do—which, in reality, really isn’t expecting a lot. I’m sure He looks down at us, smiles, and shakes His head in loving admonishment. By planning our lives according to what we envision, we have chosen to expect such little input from our Father.
Editor’s Note: Check out the first in Abbie’s series on Control Freaks https://cardboardmagazine.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/confessions-of-a-control-freak-dating/