Over-analyzing, Over-thinking, and Worry: a Control Freak’s Viewpoint

It didn’t take a lot of soul searching for me to figure this out about myself: I am a control freak. I like everything to go the way I envisioned in my head. It takes a large amount of grace and strength to accept variations. I have never been the “go with the flow” type. This means my brain is constantly in overdrive, working out best and worst-case scenarios, everything in between, and every possible variation I can come up with. That way I’m prepared for anything. One of my high school teachers put it this way: “You live in such a constant state of tension that your level of relaxed would be stressed for anyone else.”
There is a recurring scenario in my life. After many hours and days spent thinking through everything, I’ll get a particular area of my life “figured out,” and stop worrying about it for a little while. I’ll walk around with a smile on my face, and the constant tension in my shoulders and back releases. And then crash. Boom. Bang. My perfectly laid out plan goes up in smoke, and the tension is back with a vengeance. Depending on the seriousness of whatever area of life this affects, tears usually ensue, along with a few plaintive prayers along the lines of, “Um… God… what are You doing? I can’t handle this!”
I can’t handle this. Exactly. There is a lesson here. I can’t handle this. God can. So maybe He’s trying to get that through my thick skull. Keeping my perfectly lined up plans from working every time keeps me dependent on Him.
This has been especially apparent to me this summer. I used to be a voice performance major. I had dreams of the opera. I was going to travel the world singing, but my voice teacher expressed a few doubts toward the end of last semester. It’s not as though I can’t sing, I just wasn’t where a performance major should have been by the end of freshman year. Boom. Bang. Crash. Plan gone. What next?
Long story short, I am now a communication major with a voice minor. This is hard to accept. I don’t think I’m going to hate it, I’ve just had some trouble letting go of my first dream. I have to make a new schedule when I get to school. I have to buy books I wasn’t anticipating having to pay for. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen this coming semester, and I HATE that! I’ve gone through the stressing, the freaking out, the over-analyzing, and finally, the realization that God is making me depend on Him again. Is that really such a horrible thing?
What does God have to say about my worry? He tells me that His grace is sufficient for me, that His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Matthew 6: 25-34 give the idea that no matter how much thought I put into planning my life, it doesn’t matter, because God is in control. My priority must be to seek the kingdom of God (vs. 33), and living one day at a time is enough (vs. 34). He tells me to cast my care on Him because He cares for me (1 Pet. 5:7).
He already knows I can’t handle it. He just wants me to remember that He can. I know this, but I struggle. I’m human. I can’t just stop it all at once. To put it in clich├ęd terms, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” That’s why I need the constant upheaval — the constant reminder that I don’t have things under control. I’m growing and learning to depend on Him more each time He changes my plans.

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