No Peace at the End of Anxiety

So I signed a book contract this week.

I don’t want to share the details widely (yet) but I do want to tell you that the book came before the blog.

[If/when] you read it, you won’t be all “but this is all stuff I’ve already read on the blog!”

At least, I hope not. But I’m trying not to worry about that.

I’m trying not to worry about all of this.

Because I think I’ve learned something important this week:

there is no peace at the end of anxiety and worry.

I’m basically a happy person. I want to ‘live with joy’ all the time.

But even though I’m happy, it’s easy for me to fall into worry-traps–and worry is a trap.

I get a contract with the perfect publisher for my book…and then I’m thinking:

“what if I can’t finish this book?”

“what if my sales numbers are bad and I can never publish another book?”

“what if I never have another idea for another book?”

But the ability to read, to think, to write? Are they really mine, anyway?

Are the things I do merely a product of my own efforts?

No: my life–right now–is a gift.

There’s no peace at the end of a worry-strewn journey; there will always be more to worry about.

(Ha! Because just a short time ago I was worried I’d never get a book contract!)

So I’m trying to be grateful in this moment, and the next, and the next.

Because how much more does the God who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds delight to care for us?
{Um, readers? I didn’t suddenly turn into Rob Bell, although I realize that the style of this post might’ve confused you on that point.}

5 thoughts on “No Peace at the End of Anxiety

  1. Thanks for these reflections. I have very much enjoyed your blog recently. I have also been thinking about this relationship between anxiety and contentment. Doing a PhD is, among other things, anxiety producing and I continually find myself asking things like “am I good enough” and “what if I had done something different”? Like you, I have become convinced that the only answer to these questions is the recognition that life, right now, is a gift. My thinking about this was focused and helped by watching the movie “Another Year.” I believe it came out in 2010. It is a fascinating reflection on the relationship between anxiety and contentment.

    The movie also prompted me to go even further and conceive of life as a gift that keeps on giving, or a gift that gives more than it has. Sometimes I wonder if my anxiety and discontentment are manifestations of a blindness that I have: an inability to see the deep riches and possibilities so graciously placed in the people and things around me.

  2. Come on Rachel pull up your boot straps and march on for the Lord , you are thinking to far ahead and you will most certaintly get your book finished in due time. Look at all we have enjoyed just on the blog with lots of good stuff and lots of writting went into just that.The Lord will smooth it all out for you and he will be right by your side through it all. We are rootin for you.

  3. How exciting! I feel like this year has been such a year to teach me about what worrying really means. I have to keep asking myself, how big is your God? The answer usually brings things back into focus. I will be praying for you as you embark on this adventure. May God give you the strength, words, and continued joy through this process.

  4. Someone recently posted this Tina Fey quote on FB, and I very much relate to the first half (thankfully not so much on the chin acne):

    “My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.”

    It’s so easy to let good news turn into anxiety! But this quote has helped me to laugh at myself, and I’ll add to my arsenal your good word to be grateful for the gift that is NOW.

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