Anxious Thoughts: A Blessed Redirection
My last post describes my tendency to get swept into the swirl of anxious thoughts that often spew, uninvited, through my mind.
This thought-pattern God is uncovering is one I didn’t even realize as a part of my life. And I am recognizing—even this very moment as I type—that the hands doing this uncovering are those of a loving, gentle, powerful Father providing firm guidance. Guidance my life needs. Guidance my heart craves.
He is continuing to speak truth about my tendency towards anxious thoughts . . . . And I wonder whether I’m the only one who might benefit from hearing what He seems to be saying.
For most of my life, I’ve believed that this experience: the unexpected and overwhelming flood of worried thoughts, the chokehold of worry, the careful, fear-motivated efforts to avoid each “worst case scenario,” the compulsion to make absolutely sure that I am not the failure that these thoughts suggest . . . . For most of my life, I’ve mis-labeled this experience as God’s conviction.
It’s one thing to feel anxious, have worrisome thoughts move through my mind. But it’s another thing altogether to interpret those thoughts as originating from a loving heavenly Father. To understand the frantic, fear-filled flood of worried "what-ifs" as God's way of speaking, guiding, moving me in the right direction is, simply put, wrong.
I think this is why Jan Johnson’s explanation of the “search me oh God” prayer has brought such deep relief to my very core: For years, I have believed these anxious thoughts were from my Father. And that belief has caused me to give those anxious thoughts an incredible (and mistaken) level of power in my life, in my heart, in my decisions.
He is inviting me to see this experience in a new way, to recognize my anxious thoughts as something else altogether. To identify them as not-my-Father’s-voice. To confess them as sin, even. Then to release them into His hands. And to release my mind from their fiery, fear-triggering clutches.
He is allowing me to see my anxious thoughts in an altogether-different light. A light I am trusting to be His.
Even as I’m being released from this long-cultivated, spiritually exhausting pattern, I’m also being invited to something new. To learn a different way of hearing Him, of recognizing His guidance, of sensing His direction.
So I wait. My heart is craving for Him to continue this blessed uncovering, this welcome redirection, this new way I’ve longed for without even realizing it.