When It’s Hard To Be Still

I’ve never been able to get into the Grey’s Anatomy, House, or other medical dramas. Not because I don’t think they’re objectively good shows, I’m sure they are, but I just could never deal with all of the…well, medical drama.

For the past 15 years, I have been a major hypochondriac. I can’t watch or read any stories about people undergoing medical procedures or contracting mysterious diseases without becoming convinced I, too, have what they have.

In fact, if a series I enjoy has one episode or even a moment in an episode that brings up some kind of disease or condition, I might not go back to that series because I associate the whole thing with one particular mention of an illness I’m now convinced I have.

Whenever I see this content even in passing, I find myself developing “involuntary superstition,” if you will. I’ll think to myself, “If I worry about this, then maybe it will keep it away?” Or on the inverse, “If I stop worrying about this, it will happen! Or something worse…”
I’ve mentioned multiple times before that I’ve had issues with anxiety for a number of years. Something I experience along with this is racing thoughts. Once I get a bad thought in my head, it sets off a marathon of other bad thoughts, all running in a circuit, passing batons to each other in an endless loop, with seemingly no way out.

Of course, logically I know better.

I know there are things that make sense to be worried about. After all, if we didn’t ever experience worry, we wouldn’t have the drive to keep ourselves safe, meet our deadlines, etc. But, it’s when we let this constant worry consume us that we’re inadvertently telling God  we do not trust Him.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You” Isaiah 26:3. I’ve gotten in a terrible habit of letting my thoughts run away with me. I need to retrain myself to keep God in the forefront of my mind and trust in Him all the way. I need to remember He will keep me safe, and even if something bad does happen, it’s all a part of His plan, and He has something better in mind for me.

Of course we all know the Bible tells us we should not fear. You may have seen the classic Pinterest post say there’s a verse for every day of the year telling us not to fear, although that number, as it turns out, isn’t entirely accurate. Regardless, the bible does mention it, and multiple times, so we know it to be true.

That being said, does this mean we have license to go about our lives without a care in the world? Proverbs 21:5 seems to state otherwise: “The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless only becomes poor.” Just because we should not have fear doesn’t mean we should be completely careless. As I mentioned before, some level of concern–diligence, if you will–keeps us on track.

As with all things, it’s not good to be any extreme in this case. It’s all about finding that balance, and asking God for guidance when we find ourselves teetering on either end of this fear/carelessness spectrum.

In other words, we shouldn’t necessarily give up going to the doctor, especially if there is a legitimate concern. At the same time we can’t waste our lives with the weight of worry knowing God has perfect plans for us.

I probably won’t start binge-watching GA or House anytime soon, but at least if I happen to see any scary medical articles pop up on my social media, I know where to turn for perfect peace.

Melissa Ruiz

Old Millenial, Batman and Star Wars fan, Freelancer, New England Grrl, Mom, Christian, Geek.

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