Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day Three – Anxiety vs. Anticipation

Why are birthday parties for animals dumb?*  Part of it is because the pet in question has no idea what is going on.  I guess if you want to have a party for yourself for your pet, that’s cool, I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing.

*Official disclaimer, “I don’t mean to offend any animal lovers.” (P.S. Truthfully, I just wanted to use the footnoted *star*)

The point I am trying to make is that anticipation is half the fun.  Looking forward to exciting things in the future is a great part of life.  More than that, it is actually a unique gift of being a human.  Animals cannot anticipate their upcoming birthday party.  Only human persons can anticipate.  Research it if you don’t believe me.  (I am not talking about an animal’s ability to instinctively react to situations or environments.) “Squirrel!”  I digress.

{Photo courtesy of}
God intended each person to have the ability to anticipate and hope for things to come.  Whether it is looking forward to a trip abroad, taking a nap, or, ultimately, eternal life.  God puts hope in our heart to remind us of the journey’s end.  The anticipation of earthly things reflect, in a small way, the anticpation of Eternal Life.  He also gives us hope to keep us going.  It is a great motivating factor in our day to day lives if we stop and think about it.

Since, unfortunately, we have a fallen human nature, anticipation can sometimes get twisted up in our brains.  It stops being fun when the anticipation turns into anxiety.  Anticipation is motivating, anxiety is debilitating.  If we’ve found that looking toward the future no longer gives us joy, but makes it hard to get out of bed, then we’ve got to take a step back.

Anxiety surfaces when your self-worth is attached to the outcome.  Lucy, let me ‘splain.  I am really looking forward to seeing my brothers and sisters on Thanksgiving Day.  I am anxious because I want them to affirm me and I want their approval…still…after all these grown up years.  I just want to be loved.  Here’s the ticket:  I AM ALREADY LOVED.  Even if no one else in this world loves me, God loves me no matter what.  And, I think, my brothers and sisters love me too.  At least they pretend to love me when I’m aroundJ.  Here’s my two cents: You are worthy.  And you will still be worthy at your family get-togethers.  Know you are loved, truly loved, for who you are.  Take that wonderful deep breath of peace and joy.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

We are tempted to start controlling more and more when we are inflicted with anxiety.  What is more beneficial, however, is to let go of control and offer it up to God.  The more you control, the more anxiety you will experience.  We cannot do everything all on our own.  We can do nothing without God.  He is God, after all.  That’s, like, so much, like, better than, like, a human, ya know, like, ya know?

(A-Not-so-)Cliché challenge of the day: Purposely think of “worst case scenarios”.  What?  Yes, you read it correctly.  When anxiety rears it’s ugly head, think about your worst fears.  Think about how you are knotting up your self-worth with future events.  Then think about the things you are most afraid of happening.  My worst case scenario would be if I made a fool of myself and nobody liked me anymore.  Realistically, that’s ridiculous, but it’s my legit fear.  The next step is to think, “SO WHAT!”  So what if no one likes me anymore, that’s their problem.  So what if I make a fool of myself…maybe it will be funny.  At least my husband isn’t going anywhere.  He is stuck with me for lifeJ.  But seriously, the power of “so what” is tremendous.  Forget throwing in the love and instead throw in some “so what” with your cranberry sauce and stuffing.  Taste the best Thanksgiving meal of your life!


  1. Mary I love reading your new blog.
    I followed your link on Facebook.
    Such insight. Hope you are well.

    1. NINA! Thank you! I am doing well. Hope you are well too. I think about you and pray for you often.