"And all ya gotta keep is strong...
And even when your hope is gone,
Move along, move along
Just to make it through."
--"Move Along," The All American Rejects
I haven't heard that song in a long time. I used to listen to it a lot when I was in middle school, screaming out the words with my friends on band trips, dancing to it at my grandma's house after school. So when it came on the radio today, it was a blast from the past that instantly brought a smile to my face, and a stronger message that I see clearly now:
Emotionally, I'm a bit of a "runner." My friends see it when I take to odd periods of solitude, my ex-boyfriend did when things would get especially tricky and I'd just shut down and try to pretend as if nothing was wrong. Even my confessor becomes a victim of it now and then. Sometimes, I avoid him like the plague. Not that any of that has ever done me any good ... sooner or later, my loner ways get the best of me and I end up breaking down. I thrive and am happiest when I surround myself with people that can share the journey with me. So when I push everyone out, it's very foreign.
Between my cat, my grandmother, recent bad luck on the road learning to drive, an issue at work and a particularly painful visit from "Aunt Flo" complete with hot flashes, I've had the week from hell. The other day, I burst into tears at nearly midnight, curled up on the couch while I poured out nearly a year's worth of troubles to my mother.
I am always quick to deny it, but I always end up admitting with sheepishness and humor that she really does know best.
She told me that I am way too worried about my future. In fact, I get myself so wrapped up in the future that instead of enjoying the present, I have been walking around with no appetite, a stomach full of angry knots and a heavy heart. And for what?, she asked me. What good does sitting around and crying about a future that is entirely out of my hands going to accomplish?
"Nothing," I told her in a watery voice.
She's right about me. I have wasted so much time, more than she might ever realize but you folks who read this blog will know well, on concerning myself with things that I have no power over. I have mourned for the ill in my family for months on end, and it's starting to affect me physically now. And for what?
That was such a lightbulb moment for me, and while it's taken me several days to process it, the relief has been palpable.
I spent a lazy morning in bed, my kitty tucked safely behind my knees. Then, I spent the entire afternoon with my Mom-Mom, chatting about school and laughing until our sides hurt. Not a drop of worry in it...and how much happier I've been!
I don't know what the future holds. But Matthew 10 rings out over and over again in my mind: Do not worry about tomorrow. As the Lord provides for the birds of the air who do not reap or sow, He will provide for you.
For me. No matter what. As David says in my favorite psalm, "You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High . . . say to the Lord, 'My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.'" (91:1-2).
WHY do I worry so? It's needless. And in that realization, I can move along in relative peace.