Have you ever read that page-turner book where you promised yourself you’d turn off the light at ten and now it’s quarter to eleven and even if you’d stopped to look at the clock, you’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to force yourself to put down the book–as you’re constantly in the most suspenseful place ever??
I was in the middle of a story like that, keeping me up the other night. It was about a girl who had just graduated and she was trying to figure out what was next. Would she be moving to Washington, 38 hours of straight driving from anyone in the world that she knew? Would she end up much closer to home, living in her roommate’s house for a while? Would she like her job either way? Would something completely unexpected happen on the next page?
I wanted to flip the page to find out, but it’s a lot harder to do when you’re living the story instead of reading it. I know that book doesn’t sound as exciting as some, but somehow the suspense becomes so much more personal when you’re playing the main character.
But, as I was stressing about the unknowns late at night, it dawned on me that this is just part of the adventure. I enjoy reading page-turner books that are suspenseful. What makes me dislike this real-life suspense? I know I can’t beat myself up for not always being excited about the unknowns in store for me. That’s far from healthy.
But at the same time, I can slowly work to rewire my brain to see this as an adventure as opposed to a point of intense worry. Let’s consider some facts: God is in control. Despite all I’ve been through in the past, I’ve always found pockets of joy to keep me going. Going to summer camp was scary. Getting a summer job was scary. Leaving for college was scary. Living at Camp Douglas Smith was scary. But I ended up thriving in all of those situations and being very glad that I pushed through my fears.
As my buddy Pete once said, “Girl, tell me one time when God has not provided for you. THEN you’re allowed to worry.”
In trying to see my situation more as an adventure to discover instead of a problem to run from, I’m not trying to change my feelings necessarily. If I set my goal to always be excited about this next stage in my life, sure as heck, I’d be setting my expectations too high and hating myself for it.
And, having confidence in my readers, I believe you can do the same. What keeps you up at night? What are some things you fear in the future? The next time you realize you’re stressing about something unknown, intentionally step back. Imagine yourself as the main character in the book of your life and image God as the author. You’re living an adventure novel. It is the suspense that makes the book worth reading.
But sometimes the suspense is too much and you need to set the book aside for a minute. Shut the book; take a break. The book will always be there to pick up and continue again. God’s not going to stop writing because you stop worrying.
Leave a comment; I want to hear your thoughts.