Sit down. Be still. Chill out. Relax. I have been good at none of these.
I have always been – okay not always – but since about age 12, I have been running on high gear. I have been an old clunker of a car that only continues to run if you keep your foot on the gas pedal.
What? You only have new cars and therefore don’t understand the gas pedal pushing of which I speak? I’m thinking back mostly to a car I had in high school. The car would start sometimes and only when the weather was right, if I wasn’t wearing the color blue, and if it wasn’t the fourth Tuesday of the month. Starting it required that I pump the gas pedal continuously, praying that in doing so, I didn’t flood the engine.
Once the (blasted) car finally started, it could never sit idle. I had to rev the engine constantly to keep it from dying.
Me. I have been the car that has a foot on the gas pedal, continuing to rev. And rev. And rev.
I didn’t know it though. I just thought that this was how I functioned. This is my personality, right? That is how I was able to get so much done in a day. This is how I do things. This was just me.
Or so I thought.
I am now learning that revving my engine in high gear should be saved for the few and far between moments when one of my boys flings himself off a mattress and into a metal bed frame, resulting in the need for a fast trip to the ER for stitches on his forehead. That should not be my normal, daily mode. Life is not an emergency, but I lived each moment like it was.
So that was me, and boy did I kick tail every day. I loved everything I was doing all day long. I love being with my kids, and teaching them. (Although I’m not a big fan of grammar lessons because really, why do my kids and I need to care about, much less identify, a predicate nominative?) I love cooking and taking care of my home. I love writing and blogging and keeping in touch with all of my readers. I love Jesus and serving his people.
But somehow, I thought I needed my engine to be revved in high gear in order to do these things. There was no peace. Only a Go!Go!Go! mentality that kept me constantly on the move, constantly working to make sure I was being the best Christian possible, all the time, because this is what He’s called me to be and anything less was just not enough because, well, it just wasn’t.
Hardly anyone around me, even those who were closest to me – and I’m talking about my husband here – were actually very aware of my constantly revved engine. I mean, like I said, I certainly didn’t really recognize it. I thought this was just “me” and how I did life.
As so much of my yuck has been revealed to me by God the past few months and as I have shared it all (in detail) to my (longsuffering, amazing) husband – while he has been thankful to hear what God has been teaching me, he has also been surprised. He feels that I’m being too hard on myself perhaps. “Really Laura,” he has told me, “you have never come across to me as being this anxious. I see you as being driven, hard working, intentional – and yeah, you get a lot done in a day. But you do it all in love and with care. I really don’t see you as the crazy brained woman you are describing.”
Yeah, that’s because my revved engine was all pent up inside. It was in my shoulders that were constantly tight and stiff. It was in my head, which was constantly thinking about the next eighty-three things that “needed” to get done. So much for living in the moment! After all, the moment is just about to be sooo thirty seconds ago. Go!Go!Go! (Wow, get migraines much, Laura?)
I’m so grateful to share that God is helping me let go of the anxiety that has been driving me all these years. Hear the key words in that sentence: the anxiety that has been driving me. How dare I let anything as miserable as anxiety drive or control me, my attitude, and my actions? God calls me to serve Him, but like this?
I needed to let it go. But how?