Confession of a Recovering Chronic Overthinker

Confession of a Recovering Chronic Overthinker

I’ll admit it, I’m a chronic over-thinker. I spend way too much time overthinking. Sometimes, I overthink about really good things like, “What do these kids need to know about Jesus deep in their beings that will keep them walking with Him forever?” Other times, I overthink about really dumb things like, “If I paint the nursery wall that color what will it look like to the visitor? Does that color yell ‘welcome!’ or ‘germs!’?” 

For years, I was really good at justifying my overthinking. I would call it nice sounding names like “preparation” and “thoroughness.” A number of years ago, I began to realize that the labels I was giving to my overthinking were only serving to help me deceive myself. In actuality, my overthinking was a lack of trust in my Savior and overthinking was a nice way of saying “worry” and “control.” Ouch. 

Matthew 6:30 hits the nail on the head. At the end of the section on worrying, it simply says, “Why do you have so little faith?” My worrying and desire for control was a clear indicator of my lack of faith in my Jesus. I also realized that I had been putting myself in the place of God. I thought if I just worried enough or long enough or in the middle of the night that would help my ministry to my event go better. I was so very wrong.

I have found that asking myself questions help me pause and check myself before I fall back into the cycle of overthinking. 

  1. Whose ministry is this? (It’s God’s ministry and always has been.) 
  2. Can all your overthinking – worries – add anything to this? (Nope.) 
  3. Who can you talk to that can speak honestly into this? (My mentors, husband, co-workers.)

I also remind myself of some simple truths: 

  1. It’s God’s ministry and He’s in charge, not me. 
  2. If I want to lead leaders who depend on Jesus, I have to first depend on Jesus. 
  3. I serve a God who is not worried, surprised, or panicked and that’s good news. 

Are you an overthinker? Check your heart, remind yourself of God’s goodness, and then take a deep breath. He’s got it, He’s got you, and He loves your ministry, and your kids more than you ever will. That’s good news and that’s truth. 

~ Melissa MacDonald