I think we must be careful, with others of course, but also with our own selves, that we don’t let one trait or word that occasionally describes us, completely define us. I’ve described myself in times past as a bit of a worrier.
In fact, as I started writing this post, the first sentence was something like, “I tend to be a worrier”. But I paused before continuing, then backspaced and started afresh. It felt a little unfair to myself -- to my growth, to the faith I have exercised, to how far I have come, to the help I constantly receive from our Heavenly Father; to simply continue with my own idea of myself placed squarely in the “worrier” category.
It is true that, from a very young age, my thought processes have tended to lean in the direction of worry. I’ve struggled often with the “what ifs”. I’ve mentioned the time, as a child, when I stubbed my toe; how terrified and overwhelmed I felt by the idea that I would have more injuries ahead – countless more moments of pain. I’ve probably also told of my dad’s concerns about how I would function in life when I could hardly enter school for fear that the other kids might have a pencil sharp and at the ready while mine might have a broken tip. Or how I couldn’t really contemplate the joy when taught of the wonder of the resurrection because I was busily worrying about all these resurrected folks wandering about – making it difficult for me to find my parents.
But I haven’t mentioned that I’ve come a long long way since then. While I do get anxious, while I suppose that bouts of major anxiety could loom in my future, while initial thoughts of mine might tend to be of the nervous nature, that is not where I stop and stay. It is not who I am. I have learned a great deal about hope and faith and trust. I’ve been able to, if not fully overcome, then, at least, grow and learn as I’ve dealt with my concerns; as I’ve managed, time and again, to place my little doubts and burdens at the Lord’s feet and climb upward past them rather than sit -- crippled by them.
The other day I was feeling some stress over several upcoming things. It is, I’ll admit, rather ridiculous, how quickly stress over a few details of a children’s Primary Program can somehow, in my hands, turn into: My feet will never heal well enough to run again! I will probably have lots of other church callings that will stress me out in my life! What if something happens to my Mike? What if Jesse’s asthma always stays this bad?
BUT, then I reground myself – a little whispering from the Spirit reminds me that my self, my life, are more; are bigger than just a jumble of little problems and possible major catastrophes. Yesterday, it was a small article at the back of The Ensign that did it. It was just a page written by a fairly young girl who had been reminded, as she sadly watched happy times come to an end, that “Good Things Keep on Coming”.
Silly me. I already know that. I forgot though. . . . Again. For a little second. But that reminded me.
There is not just the stubbed toes -- that might keep happening for the rest of our lives -- that we have ahead of us. Why, who would even bother to think about how many of those there might be, when, instead, they could think about all the Christmas mornings with little kids ahead, and all the moments of their spouse saying things that make them burst out laughing ahead! There are more trips to Bear Lake, and Thanksgiving dinners, and sitting around in happy conversation with our siblings ahead. There are more moments of everyone erupting in cheers around here when Anders accomplishes some small new feat, more late summers of seeing my Zinnias in full bloom.
There are surely more days ahead where the weather will smell like happiness and I can be out running in it, more days of Christmas music on while it snows outside, more days of kids coming home from school to tell me something grand they accomplished. There will be more taking pictures in perfect lighting, and writing blog posts that make me and maybe even a reader or two happy. There are still people I haven’t even met who will become my close friends. Still times of kissing Mike when no one else is around. There are songs that haven’t been written yet that I will love to replay and replay. Why, there might even be a day when I have paid someone to come and wash all my windows perfectly for me so they will gleam and shine with out my having lifted a finger! Imagine!
And there are big things ahead! Tremendous things that I don’t yet even know anything about! There are huge things my kids will learn and become and do. There are happy marriages and homes they might make. There are unknown adventures and vacations and experiences and surprises in store. Goodness! I could go on and on thinking of all the things that will yet come – times of sleeping while it rains outsides, unexpected notes and compliments that will make my day, game nights with my older nieces and nephews, etc. Yes, there is plenty of struggling still to be done. I know it. My weaker self is always trying to bring that to the forefront of my thoughts. But truly: good things will keep coming. So so many good things will keep coming and keep happening!