Expectations, Anxiety, And Self-Worth

If you’ve been in or around a church for very long, you’ve heard that your worth comes from the Lord. You’ve heard that you are created perfectly in His image. But hearing them doesn’t make them easy to live out.

I write this, speaking to myself. Because sometimes it’s hard and we need a reminder. We all have tough days, dark valleys, times where we struggle, and no where in those times are you not worthy.

  • Worthy // having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way.
  • Self-worth // self-esteem // confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.

Let me be super honest about this. My name is Lacey and I struggle with all this stuff. In college, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. The overwhelming fear of failing and disappointing others caused my anxiety. The fear of what would happen to my boyfriend/fiance/husband while he was deployed all around the world made me anxious. A lot of discovery happened and part of the anxiety stems from lack of control. I like to be in control. I like to have expectations and I like them to be met. I’m not the spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl. That is not me. I’m the, let’s make a list and a plan type. 

I graduated college and J got out of the military. I worked shift work in an emergency veterinary hospital. I was never in control there, but somehow I was pretty good at my job and could work well under pressure. But I wasn’t happy. I was bitter and angry and tired. Oh goodness I was tired. 

Then I became a mom which is really the most rewarding thing I’ve ever gotten to do. But there are days when I question every decision and my purpose as a mom. I’ve come a long way from anxious college student and bitter emergency tech.

I still have panic attacks but it’s all different now. Never have I had a panic attack that was logical. A wise woman told me a few months ago that she’d been changing her thought process on anxiety. Instead of looking at it as an attack from the enemy, look at it as a nudge from the Creator for a conversation and prayer. It doesn’t stop the attack but it makes it take on a whole new process. 

Anxiety makes me question myself. It makes me doubt myself. I question my abilities and my worth. Each time I’m anxious about a situation I doubt my ability to handle it. This might be a conversation with someone, bedtime with the kids alone, my husband out of town, or whatever. None of this is logical. It makes no sense. But God seriously tells to have confidence because if He cares for the birds and the flowers, then He will care for me. There are so.many.scriptures. to pray on, but during panic mode I need to be reminded of this as an option to deal. 

First step for me is to lower my own expectations of how things are going to play out. I already sit there and play things out in my head and when they don’t go that way, I’m upset. So I’ve had to start having less expectations. This doesn’t help myself or my relationships. Expectations are rarely reality. 

Second step is to remember that my worth is not of this earth. This world is fallen. Thankfully we have a Savior. But like I said yesterday, my worth is not found here. 

Third step, surrounding myself with people that will lovingly speak truth to me and call me out when I’m loosing it. I’m not talking about people judging you or just telling you how pretty you look to boost your confidence. I’m talking about a spouse, friend, whoever that will sit down and chat it out with you. That will tell you when you’re expectations are irrational and that’s what caused an issue. One that will speak truth and point you back to scripture. One that will give you space and time to work things out for yourself. 

I’ve also shared before that there are interesting facts in the Enneagram that can help you work through your thoughts. I think everyone should take the test and learn more about each other and themselves. Over the last 13 months I’ve read more and more about my type (2w1) and it’s very eye opening to have a little self-examination. 

This image is not what I expected it to look like. It’s not pinterest worthy. But I’m prepping dinner with a baby on my hip. A hip that’s probably a little too fluffy. A grainy, out of focus picture. A picture that I will cherish, because this is our life. Without the expectations to ruin it. It’s a messy life that has so much beauty weaved through it. 
So thankful that the quality of this photo doesn’t define my worth or the size of my hip or the bites left on the plates after I served my family. 

Just because our lives are messy, that doesn’t decrease the reality that we are worthy and should be confident in that simple truth. 

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