I am a classic over-thinker. This sounds like such a harmless, somewhat sophisticated term- “classic over-thinker”. It’s just a pretty way of saying my brain is constantly freaking out & blowing things out of proportion at a rapid pace. I am really skilled at taking a normal situation and picking it apart to find 42 different ways how this “situation” is going to be my demise. So often I find myself lying awake at night wondering what “so and so” could have meant when they said “such and such”. I rehash conversations in my mind, wishing I would have responded differently, or I should have said this or I should have done that. When given a simple task, I will come up with dozens of ways I can complete this task- changing this or tweaking that, I want to complete the task perfectly. So often, a task that should take an hour, can take up to 2 to 3 days to complete.
Being a classic over-thinker is exhausting, and quite frankly, it’s pointless. I can not think of one time, my over-thinking fixed a situation or helped me accomplish a task. It’s a time waster, soul-sucker and to be really stinkin’ honest- it’s embarrassing.
I have found only one solution to my over-thinking. When I find myself in this mental cycle of freaking out, I just start praying.
I pray for peace,
I pray for wisdom &
I pray for self-control.
When I am on my knees, giving my thoughts to the Lord, it’s in these moments when I am able to get to the root of what’s really going on. Please hear me- I’m not talking about a time of self-meditation, I’m not on my knees looking for my inner strength to give me “Sarah produced” inner peace. I’m talking about completely submitting my thoughts, attitudes & insecurities to the Lord and asking the Holy Spirit to come and do a supernatural paradigm shift. The definition of a paradigm shift- “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.”
When I give my thoughts & my over-thinking to the Lord, I’m asking Him to replace those anxious thoughts with TRUTH. Let me be super transparent & share the TRUTH the Holy Spirit has revealed to me: the root of my over-thinking is my crippling fear of what others think of me. My constant need of other’s approval and acceptance creates this rush of desire to do things perfectly, to do things for the approval of man and not of God.
Ouch. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Who am I working for? Who am I trying to please? I wouldn’t hesitate to say to anyone, “I am a Christ-follower, I am a servant of Christ.” But that seemingly goes out the window when I spend my days seeking the approval of others. Wasting my hours over-thinking every little thing instead of trusting the Lord and praying for the confidence & wisdom.
Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things.”
It’s so simple, and it’s so the opposite of over-thinking. When your heart is set on things above, you can be confident in God’s love for you, you can allow God’s perfect love to drive out all of those crippling fears & thoughts.
During this Lenten season, I want to challenge all of the over-thinkers out there. Just Start Praying. Set your heart on things above. It’s simple, don’t overthink it. -Sarah