releasing the unimportant

Let it be known that I’m a fairy neurotic person.

I like cutting things when I’m feeling out of sorts and trying to work through the thoughts in my head.  Namely, food.  I like chopping food.  If you’ve got a good knife, the sound and feel of it cutting through vegetables is delicious.

So this afternoon, I went through an entire bag of potatoes, slicing and cutting and slicing again.  Don’t you worry; I’ll put them to good use as frozen hash browns, ready to be coked anytime my heart so desires.  At least my neuroses are typically fairly productive.

I’m about to shut down my Facebook account completely.  There are a whole lot of valid reasons I could expound on, things about Facebook being a time waster, about Facebook breeding comparison and competition, about the growing number of people who are are uncomfortable in actual relationships because the concept of a relationship has been dumbed down so much by social media.  I could go on for awhile with the reasons that I feel strongly about this, the reasons I feel like I’m ready to log off permanently.  But there’s one reason that trumps all the others.

When I think about shutting down my Facebook, I experience actual, legitimate anxiety.  And I am absolutely, 100% certain of one thing: that is not okay with me.  It is not okay that when I think about being disconnected from social media, I panic.  I wonder what will happen to all my relationships.  I wonder how I will know what’s going on in the lives of people I love.  I wonder how people will react to it, what they’ll think.  I wonder what I’ll do with all that time, besides stare at a wall.  I wonder how people will know when I’ve created a new blog post.  I wonder how people will remember how funny and charming and inspirational I am.  Yeah, I’m really this self-absorbed.

Y’all, anxiety is something I live with lately.  In the middle of my search for an ever more unlikely teaching job in August, it is my constant companion.  But all this worry has brought about one good thing, one life lesson that [I pray to God] will stick.

In the middle of the anxiety is a quiet voice that whispers, “If you are experiencing anxiety over something, it has been given a place of too much importance in your life.  It has become, in the depths of your heart, more powerful and real than God Himself.”

I believe that applies to many things in my life, a disturbing number, if I’m to be so honest.  There are a lot of things in my life right now that cause me to live as though they’re so big and so powerful that God just might not be able to hold them in His hands, to work them out.  And if He does hold them in His hands, if He does work them out–He might not do it in the way I want Him to, in the way that makes me feel safe and comfortable.  He might get me into territory that feels dangerous and weird.  He might ask me to be content with what He wants, instead of what I want.

There are several of these areas right now.  Some of them huge, and some of them so unimportant it’s ridiculous.  I’m going through them one at a time, letting God do the hard work of tearing them down and helping me figure out why there are so many things I think I need, why I fill my life up with so much that never fails to disappoint.  Things that, should they disappear, would cause me great anxiety when He’s called me to a life free of fear.

Step one.  Here goes.

My heavens, who knows? Maybe without Facebook, I’ll actually become a musician or a writer or a photographer or a chef or a nutritionist or a personal trainer or something crazy.  Instead of just being an “aspiring” all of the above.


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