“YOUR FEAR OFTEN MANIFESTS ITSELF IN EXCESSIVE PLANNING”   Jesus Calling by Sara Young

Powerful words don’t you think? I pondered those words this morning, in fact most of the day they have taken up residence in my heart.

I confess I’m a planner, and prior to my illness you could even say I was an excessive planner. I lived by the index card, making lists, leaving lists for my husband, most times I even had a list for the list;  and if you ever needed paper to make a note I was your go to person with a  handy stack of index cards in my bag, and an assortment of colored sharpies! (just in case you needed to color code)

Now I admit those habits were maybe a little OCD, OK a lot OCD. However, I did pride myself in being efficient, but fear? I didn’t think so.  But looking back I’m not so certain. I’m sure I was afraid I would forget to pick up something or forget to be at the right place at the appointed time,or forget something from the grocery store,  and goodness knows I did not ever want to forget a hair appointment, because that would just plain cause a fright in itself!

I’ve come to realize my excessive planning was fear driven.  I surely did not want anyone to realize I was not superwoman or the woman who did not have it all together. Ladies are we not all afraid of that in today’s society?  We are so afraid of what others, especially women, think of us we are driven by fear to get  it “all right”, which in turn leads to excessive planning. Because let’s face it, to juggle all that we juggle it takes excessive planning.

“Comparison is the thief of all joy”, and we ladies are so good at comparing ourselves to one another that we let fear of failure and fear of not being the best beat us down, and yes cause us to be consumed with planning. Because it takes a good plan to pull it all off and look like Superwoman.

Today I can honestly say I’m thankful for a disease that forced me to slow down, shelve the index cards, and rest in a Faithful God’s arms.  You see we can make our lists, and we can make our plans but Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (NLT).

I don’t miss my lists or my index cards, although my sweet husband would tell you he does occasionally miss my efficiency, especially when I leave the sugar out of his coffee, the sandwich out of his lunch, or even worse the coffee out of the pot and all he gets is hot water.

We’re adjusting to a new normal, and I’m adjusting to a slower pace. And what I’ve learned is this; I now hear the birds singing, and smell the fresh cut hay behind our house, and feel the breeze on my face and so many other things I’d really never noticed before.

So today I would challenge you to examine your heart and your life and make sure that fear is not driving you. And just know you are loved by a God who does not expect you to do it all, be it all, and get it all right. He loves you just as you are and HE WILL MEET YOU RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!

Grace Filled

Tammy Mashburn