I like to keep a journal. In fact, many of my blog posts here are directly taken from my journal entries. I don't write every day, but on some days I fill pages and pages with my thoughts and musings.
I wrote an entry on the same day that my post titled The Gentle Voice of Love came out. I think that it contrasts nicely with the rest of my series on fear by showing the steps I have to take to conquer even the smallest worries.
I've edited the original journal entry just a bit to maintain some privacy, but the vast majority of it is what I wrote almost exactly one week ago today. This is a glimpse into what I have to do on a very regular basis to keep anxiety at bay:
from tate's journal: 2021-09-21-1600
today and all its worries
- Yesterday, I struggled to finish my homework on time.
- Today, I failed to post to my blog on time.
- Today, I didn't play very well in front of my new organ teacher.
- That I don't have enough time to do everything (I'm already remembering all the things I've written about faith and worry).
- Specifically that I won't have enough time to practice organ.
- That my new classmates are already getting tired of me and that we're already growing further apart.
- That I'm not able to check my email as often as I need to.
- That taking an entire Sabbath day of rest is too much time to take off.
- That I spend too much time exercising, playing the organ, and going to church.
- That I will have to make a decision between my favorite things: does one of them have to give?
- That my homework will be too hard.
- That my new church isn't the place I really want to be (I would very much prefer a different denomination).
- That I'm not representing myself very well to my new campus ministers
- That I spend so much time complaining about the wrong things.
- That I'm not doing the same kind of daily mission work that I got to do at Rice.
Responses to each worry (I will pray as I go here). Here's a prayer to cover everything generally:
Lord, please show me where I'm ignoring you. Show me the places where I still think that my own actions (without your help) will be able to make my life better. Show me where I'm still refusing to trust that you're taking care of me in every way.
(The numbers in this list correspond to the numbers in the list above. For example, item 1. in this list is the response to worry 1. That I don't have enough time to do everything.):
- You're right, Tate. You don't have enough time to do everything. Ask me every moment how to use your time. And when you think you're doing the wrong thing (or you think you've already done the wrong thing), remember that I'm caring for you every moment of every day. All things work together for your good.
- Who cares!? The organ is for you to enjoy! If you stop having fun with it, just drop it and play in your free time just like you do now. Never let it become a chore. Remember that it's optional.
- They're not. Also remember that you can't maintain a close relationship with everyone, especially if they don't want to.
- Then check your email more often! You have a phone and time; however, remember that email is a ball and chain. Never make sacrifices to it or it'll become a false idol.
- It's not. Remember my promises. I will care for you even if you don't sow and toil every single day of your life.
- Reread response 2. With exercising specifically, remember that physical health is of some use, but don't let it become a vain obsession.
- Remember that these are fun things! They only make your life better than it already is.
- It won't be too hard. You always thought it would be too hard at Rice, and it wasn't. Further, turning in one half-complete homework will maximally harm your grade by 1%. You've already done the math and it's not worth worrying over.
- The church is fine, Tate! Enjoy where I've put you. Have you thought that maybe I want you in that church? Think about it: I could have put you there as a missionary (but in reality you'll learn many things from them and they'll also learn from you).
- You've already gone above and beyond to impress your new campus ministers and they would love you even if you were the least impressive person on the planet. Remember that they have dedicated their lives to following me. If I want them to listen to you with love, they will because they listen to me and hear me when I speak.
- Yep! You are. In fact, you're not only complaining about the wrong things: you entirely misunderstand what's going on. Remember what I said about your church? I want you to be exactly where you are, both for the benefit of all the people around you and for yourself. Change your mindset! You are a missionary: be good and loving to my children. Do not judge them, only love them. Rejoice that I'm using so many amazing people to care for you. Rejoice that I'm using you to care for so many amazing people.
- You are doing exactly the work I want you to do. You can't see the results now, but they will be amazing. Also remember that making a lot of money or fame isn't why I've put you here. You will always have more than enough of both. Instead, focus on the mission work, every day and in every way. I will handle all the rest. Nothing rests on your shoulders. You cannot fail because the victory is already won!
This post was very personal. It came out a little late because I wanted to make some final edits before it got sent out. If you had any thoughts, feelings, or learned anything, please let me know! I love hearing from the people who read this blog!
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