For a large part of my life, I struggled with negative thinking. It was my theory that when I thought of the worst thing that could happen in any situation, I was preparing myself for hurt and disappointment.
I remember thinking the worst after my son was born. When the doctor notified me of concerns, I allowed myself to think of the worst possible scenario. I wanted to prepare my heart for the unexpected, leaving no surprises.
While raising Nate, I did the same. When I received a phone call from his teachers or his doctors, I always assumed that the conversation would be bad. I prepared myself for them telling me something was wrong, when at times there was nothing.
When I became of believer, I learned that I should not allow myself to think the worst. I needed to trust and have faith in God. Yet, knowing this and putting this into practice was a problem for me.
Recently, I had my first mammogram. I stood in pain and anger, hating every second of the procedure. As I drove home, I inwardly sobbed, telling myself that I was not doing that again. When I arrived home, I received a phone call from the office, telling me that I needed to return for more X-rays and an ultrasound.
I hung up the phone, and sat in anger, irritation, and annoyance, as I let my mind go on a journey of the worst things that could happen.
First, I imagined the doctor telling me that something was wrong. Then my mind flashed to all the people I knew that had breast cancer, those whom survived and those that did not. I wondered what I would do and who would take care of me. I didn’t want to burden my family.
I then began to think about my son. Who would take care of him? Who would go see him and spend the with him on the weekends and holidays?
Next, I began thinking about work. How would I work? I needed my health insurance. How would I pay my bills, since I would have to stop working?
All of these thoughts came barreling through my head in a matter of seconds. Thinking the worst made me sad and tired. So, I went to bed.
The next day, I awoke feeling horrible. I needed to pray. It was during this time that I remembered that the problem with thinking the worst was that it caused me stress. It made me angry at a problem that didn’t exist. Yet, most importantly, thinking the worst took my mind, my eyes, and my heart off of God.
On the day of my appointment I felt better. As I drove to the office, I noticed that my weariness was gone. It was all because, I had replaced the negative thinking with trusting God’s outcome, believing that He would get me through anything, as long as my eyes stayed on Him.
Focusing on God is a constant battle of the heart. It is normal to think about a problem and try to work it out in our own mind. Yet, when we keep our eyes on God, He will comfort us and give us the peace we need to get through any situation.