I tend to worry, I tend to over think things - a lot. My parents are both worriers and I have struggled with worrying my whole life, even as a child. Because I expect a lot out of myself, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right and frankly I fail more times than I care to count. Somehow I have the thought in my head that it's up to me to get it right and I struggle with that lie more often than any other.
I put all this pressure on myself to accomplish things that at the end of the day aren't really all that important. I find myself having panic attacks from the needless stress that I put myself through. I get so tired of the pressure and the sinking feeling in my stomach that it causes. It affects my moods, my relationships and my spiritual life. Are you starting to see the pattern here?
Some people are so laid back and tend to go with the flow much more easily than I do. They rarely, if ever, seem stressed and never seem as disappointed as I tend to get. So many times I catch myself envying that personality trait and wishing I were more like that, but I'm not and I can't make myself be someone I'm just not. But then again every personality has it's flaws and we all struggle with something.
The Holy Spirit recently led me to see that the pressure I feel is pressure I put on myself and it isn't about what I can do, who I can be or whether I get it right - it's about less of me and more of Him. It's not even about whether I get anything right. It's about whether I'm willing to surrender what I want, who I am and the life I live to Jesus Christ no matter what feelings I might battle in any given moment. No matter what I feel, being a Christian by Christ's standards means I surrender it all - both the things I can and cannot do.
The pressure to get it right is gone when I realize that all I have to do is surrender. Surrendering isn't giving up, it's giving our life to Him. But if we look as surrendering as a loss, we miss out on the love and the mercy He is offering us. If we overlook the importance of surrendering everything, we miss out on opportunities to grow our faith and to grow closer to Him. Lack of surrender equals lack of faith. Lack of faith equals loads of pressure, loneliness, useless striving and an unrewarding life in general. We greatly underestimate how crucial surrendering is in our society.
We can each believe in ourselves and our abilities for so long, but eventually we all have to come to see that we just can't do as much or as well on our own as we originally thought...then what? Then we're supposed to surrender to Him, who can.
Ah ha! It took me 35 years to get that...but it took so long not because of Him, but because I am so hellbent on doing it my way so much of the time. Please pray for me on this matter. And if you struggle with this too, please leave me a note or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do the same for you.