Call me, “Over-Analyzing Amy.” I think way too much, and I’m pretty much always in my head. I get consumed with not only my emotions, but also by what others say, their body language, etc. I focus on what they MIGHT have meant via their gestures/words, and the results? Negative consuming thoughts, a lack of living in the present, and maybe the worst of all—assumptions.
I’ve noticed that I’m not too good at living in the present (as a result of my neuroses), and it’s absolutely destructive to my soul. I’m either living in the past or I’m in the future, but never in the here and now. I came across these verses recently that spoke so much truth to my current situation. In Isaiah 43, verses 18 and 19 read:
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of the old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – ISAIAH 43:18-19
And in Matthew 6, verses 31 through 34, it reads:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’ – MATTHEW 6:31-34
Both of these verses hit me in the face. Hard. The Bible clearly states that there is no use in living in the past, because living in the past inhibits one from moving on and living in the present. And what is the point of being anxious (I say this from such an anxious heart at times)? Yes, we are all human, and anxiety is a common emotion in many people’s lives, but there is a way to “handle” it, and that way is to seek God and his overwhelming peace and comfort. Living in such a way (an anxious, always concerned about the future, holding onto the past, thinking way too much about what people do, say, post, etc.) is toxic to our souls, and can ultimately get in the way of God’s plan for our lives.
This brings me to the title of this post: “Beware of You.” Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, created (said) it several years ago and she explains:
BOY means ‘Beware of You’… Be aware of your power. We have the choice to live positively or in our own destruction. – HAYLEY WILLIAMS
I’ve realized through all of this over-thinking, anxious, constantly carrying around emotional baggage from my past and consumed by the future, that I’m my own worst enemy. My thoughts either make or break me, my mood, my motivation, etc. The moment I start getting in my head, it’s downhill from there. I know there have been times where this toxic thinking has gotten in the way, or made me fearful, and led me to being disobedient to God. However, if I remind myself that I have a God who loves me more than I will ever understand, the over-thinking stops. Thoughts that had once consumed me simply disappear like vapor. I’m reminded of what really matters and my heart is filled with peace.
This over-analyzing of my life and others’ also showed me that it’s selfish. When I am over-thinking about various things, I hold onto things that should be long gone. I carry around baggage that affects me. It affects my ability to be a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, leader, and so on because I’m so selfishly consumed by my own thoughts, putting the needs of others far from my mind. Truthfully, I deeply care for others, way more than I care about myself. But because of this over-analyzing deal, I’ve greatly failed the past couple of weeks. A tiny example would be reading far too into a text message. I myself, think a ton (surprise, right?) about the way I text a person. Am I using proper punctuation? Am I using enough emojis to show my excitement? Some people don’t text as enthusiastically as me, and in return, I think way too much about it. The worst for me? No punctuation at all. Haha, it’s ridiculous, but for some reason if I get a text with no punctuation, I become very concerned about the sender’s feelings about me. Are they mad at me? Did I type something offensive? Do you notice something? I immediately become concerned with ME. The conversation is no longer about the other person, but I turn it into a make-believe issue about ME. So selfish, and so wrong. I do this not only with text messages, but with spoken words, words that aren’t even said, body language, a lack of body language, etc. It’s an awful road to travel down, and I’m working on becoming a better listener, and more importantly, making it ALL about the other person in the conversation.
This selfish, over-analyzing thinking also leads to assumptions. Oh, these are awful. As I spoke about before, I can get caught up on the tiniest things. I guess my personality is one that is pretty out in the open. I try to be as transparent and real as possible. Some people aren’t this way, and I’m totally cool with that. I actually bond with introverts because our personalities are so different that we end up having much chemistry (opposites attract). Back to assumptions, I find myself assuming what a person meant by their lack of punctuation, the words they chose to speak, the way they said those words, their lack of conversation, etc. It’s awful, and again, I make it about me instead of the other person. How about, they’re just busy, or they wanted to talk to another person, or whatever. Stop making it about you, Amy! I really am my own worst enemy and I get so caught up on what “MIGHT” be instead of what it actually is.
So, look out for yourself. Make a choice to find comfort in our perfect Father for any issues, feelings, thoughts, etc. about your present, past, and future. You have the power to choose what “eats at you” or what doesn’t. Choose to think in the light of Jesus instead of in the darkness of over-analyzing thoughts.
Amy Henderson Harris is an ambitious woman with a deep love for teaching, learning, music, and creativity. She currently gets paid to live out one of her passions – teach elementary-aged students! Amy serves alongside her brothers and sisters in Christ at Aletheia Norfolk where she has the blessing of co-leading the Music Ministry with her husband, Jackson. By faithfully using her gifts, Amy encourages and empowers women to seek Christ, to be grounded in His truth and word, and to live a bold life obedient to His calling.