Thursday, December 23

Sick with Worry

I've been thinking a lot lately about worrying.

Partially, because I've been swept up in the actual act of worrying....

and because I've been feeling guilty about worrying...

and also because I really have been struggling with where the balance lies
between being a careful, informed person and being a worrier.

So whether I've been worrying or thinking about worrying,
there has been a lot of the "w' word in my house.
poor Dan.

These are the questions I've been struggling with:
Where is the balance?
When do I take something that I'm thinking about
and do something about it, read about it, get informed about it,
and when do I take that thought
and completely surrender it to God?

And can I do both?

I wanted to bring up something today at my doctor's appointment
that had been (and still is) bothering me since Monday.
Pain in my right calf.
The worrier/hypochondriac/compulsive googler in me said
that I probably had a blood clot.

The calm and rational part of me
(which had seemed to be dwindling the past few days)
said it was probably calf pain.
Period.
No dvt. No hospitalization needed. Just some rest and a heating pad.

And so the thinking started..
Those two parts of me were duking it out
and the worrier seemed to be throwing the best punches.

The funny thing is,
the past day or so,
I hadn't even been too worried about the actual pain.
but more worried about what to do about it.

Could I surrender it completely to the Lord
and still go to the doctor with my little notepad of worries
whipping it out and telling him my possible horrible news
and asking what he thinks?

Possibly.
but only if done appropriately and rationally.
(which is hard for me).

But still, even if appropriateness was achieved,
I couldn't help but feel guilty as I contemplated what to do.
I knew everything was probably fine.
And I knew it was the crazed googler monster
whose first love is webmd
that lives in the shadows of my heart
that even allowed me to google "calf pain"
and discover the world of blood clots.

And my mind then wandered. Which was true?
A. Did I find out all about this in sin because I knew it would only make me worry?
B. Or did God allow me to read this on webmd to save my life?

It was probably A.
I knew that.

But these questions
about thinking/proactivity/being informed versus worrying
brought on
a lot of thinking and reading and praying this week.

It's truly hard to know where the balance lies.
When does being proactive in my life...
wanting to be informed...
and take care of myself stop


and worrying begin?

I decided that because I had been having pain,
it was okay to talk to the doctor about it.
I felt like I could still honor the Lord if I asked about it the right way.
Not in a "panicked, high pitch, fast talking, begging for every test under the sun" manner.
but in a calm and rational, trusting the doctor, sort of way.
So that is what I attempted to do.

In the end,
what happened at the doctors could possibly
make a worrier's matters possibly worse...
The doctor that I saw today
may not have been my favorite doctor ever
and didn't really say anything about my leg pain except
"Oh well you know, the leg bone is connected to the knee bone and well, however that song goes. It's probably just pain. I'm not worried."


Well, thank you Doctor Sing-A-Long. 

But still,
because of the time I had committed to prayer about this,
I decided to leave it in the Lord's hands.
I knew it was the right thing to do and I feel peace about it.
He knew the doctor I was going to see
and He knew what the doctor was going to say.
And so, I will trust Him.

And that's my episode with worry this week.

And let me tell you, worry is certainly a constant battle for me,
especially being pregnant.
And when I let myself start,
it becomes a giant creature that eats me.
Scary stuff.

I can think of times in my life
when I surrendered what was going on at that time to the Lord
and I felt so free. so at peace.
and that's where I want to consistently get back to.

It doesn't mean I don't call the doctor when I have a 103.9 fever.
But it does mean I don't call the doctor
because I thought about the flu for too long.

So I think the thing the Doctor prescribes
when I am sick with worry
is to take my stock out of webmd
and put it into God's word and His promises.
And prayerfully ask God to help me get back
into a 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 lifestyle.

It's definitely the healthiest place to be.

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