It takes impossible work to make the world spin. But that didn’t keep me from trying. My try-hard life was made up of either trying to manage outcomes of things that would happen in the future, or trying to make up for things in the past. Fix and prevent, fix and prevent.
Regret pulled me into yesterday while worry pushed me hard into tomorrow. I lived a lot of life stuck between two competing anxieties, pulling and pushing. There is always a jerking in worry, a restless moving from one thing to the next, ever stuck in the past or the future. But what about the blessed now?
I am believing more and more that we are called only to the holy right now. Because this is the only time we have to either live the dream or wish it away, to rejoice and be glad or fear and be bitter. We can will the world to spin faster or stop, or we can rest in the one who holds the world in his hands.
And so that tug-of-war between yesterday and tomorrow can only go on as long as we hold on to the rope. If you stop playing the game, Worry and Regret have to find somewhere else to play.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Eph. 3:20 MSG)
By Emily Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl, and the blog, Chatting at the Sky.Leave a Comment
Shannon Wheeler says
I love that you point out that living in the now is a way to combat anxiety. That is so true! Bringing the past into today and investing precious energy in worries about tomorrow is a perfect recipe for anxiety. Your posts are so beautiful and so inspiring!
Beth Williams says
How very true, especially for women!!! We need to let go and let God take over. Live in the here and now — Please God as best we can & give Him all our problems & anxieties – even about past failures, etc.
This is such a great reminder. So often when we focus on past regrets and future worries we rob ourselves of the joy that He has provided us today. It takes great trust and faith to leave the future in the future and acceptance of grace and mercy to leave the past in the past. Praise God that he provides both. Thanks for sharing!
Cara @ WhimsySmitten says
“I lived a lot of life stuck between two competing anxieties, pulling and pushing.”
Thank you for these words and the reminder of all that we are missing when not in-tune to the ‘blessed now’. Beautiful. <3
oh how I could have penned this very thing… I so get this battle Emily. Beautifully stated…
Jan Udlock says
Beautiful words that weave the truth.
If I had one prayer, it would be that younger women would take hold of this truth.
And live peacefully in HIm.
mmmm….. sweetness….how He works “within” us… And…how He allows those tendencies of ours…to work within us and draw us ever nearer to Him…giving us eyes to *see* that there’s a way of living that’s better for us.
Yes! You’ve captured the fight perfectly. Congratulations and the Lord’s blessing on your book.
Holley Gerth says
I can’t wait to read your book. Can. Not. Wait.
Living the Balanced Life says
“Regret pulled me into yesterday while worry pushed me hard into tomorrow.”
Love that line. It is so true. We forget to live in the now.
Great post, Emily!
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Oh the constant tug of worry! What a great reminder! Thank you for this, looking forward to your book! 😉
If I didn’t know better, I would have thought you were writing my biography. I appreciate the fact that I am not alone in the tug of war and am even more grateful for your reminder that we don’t have to hold on to the rope. There is something so liberating about focusing on God’s greatness instead of my regrets from past mistakes or worry for future ones. Because let’s face it the “fix and prevent” lifestyle is a trap to rob us of the joy of the abundant life God means for us to have. Thank you for this post.
Ah Emily – this one hits me right in the heart. I have been slooowly learning this lesson. Sometimes He just puts me in a place where I have only one of two choices – despair or trust. As it turns out…..despair is really not the place I want to live.
Thank you so much for this. I can’t wait to get my hands on that book!
Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies says
“Fix and prevent, fix and prevent.” YES…this describes why I fret about the past and the future instead of living in the now. Why I try hard to control what I can’t, shouldn’t. I cannot wait to get my hot lil hands on your book. It’s gonna be da bomb!
Southern Gal says
Oh, I needed this. I was unable to sleep a few nights ago for the very reasons you listed here. Worry and regret. I prayed for the Lord to take it away. And though sleep didn’t come that night He has been giving me rest as I trust Him with it all.
I love the line: “Regret pulled me into yesterday while worry pushed me hard into tomorrow.” I want to live my life so I won’t regret what I’ve done, and so I won’t worry about what *might* happen in spite of my best efforts.
As always, you’re awesome!
Jamie @ Six Bricks High says
I all too often find myself right between those competing anxieties. Your words were refreshment and encouragement for my anxious heart today. Thank you.
Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight says
This, right here:
‘Regret pulled me into yesterday while worry pushed me hard into tomorrow.’
This is the hard truth I’m so often blind to. Loving the idea that I can simply choose to stop ‘playing’ the regret/worry game.
Now, can I?
“Fix and prevent”…Lord have mercy! Girl, that certainly has been ME! 😉
Michelle Derusha says
I second what Holley said — can’t wait to read the book…it’s pre-ordered! 🙂
Emily, I totally loved this today. You are pretty amazing! It is just such a hard game to stop!!
Kimberly naranjo says
Beautifully put… I am on a similar journey.
Amy Sullivan says
How often is all of the precious now stolen by preoccupation or regret? Yes, give us this day.
You have painted a picture with your words. I have been playing that tug-of-war game lately until my spiritual hands are sore from hanging on to that rope so tightly. I could feel the rest flow over me as I read your words.
what a wonderful post. it is so true that it is so easy to not just live in today. this was such a great reminder …one i need to really live in!
Thank you for the words you have posted Emily. You have helped me more than you know!! I am so delighted to have your blog to turn to and I can’t wait for your book to become available!!
“I am believing more and more that we are called only to the holy right now.” This is exactly what God is teaching me right now. This very moment. It is not easy, it never is. But I wholly put my trust in Him. Thank you for your words today!!
pushing and pulling and tugging and aching. all within my heart. if only to just let go and live now.
I can so relate to this post….”fix and prevent” and “pulling and pushing”. Thank you for the gentle reminder to let God work within me right here, right now.
Kevyn Sarmiento says
As a full time student and wife working full time, I find I waste a lot of time worrying as well. I also spend a great deal of energy planning things out and then getting worried or disappointed that they won’t or didn’t go as I expected. Don’t get me wrong, planning is great and a necessity in a busy life, but fretting over what you planned and worrying that it won’t/didn’t go right is unhealthy. A verse I constantly remind myself of is Matthew 6:27 “And which of you by being anxious [worried] can add a single hour to his span of life?” (ESV). It always helps me to put things in perspective.