Amy Rees Anderson

Anticipation of Things to Come

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

Anticipation is a funny thing. On the one hand it is exciting and fun, like anticipating Santa Claus arrival on Christmas.  On the other hand it is pure torture, like when you are waiting for an answer to something important that will affect your life.

Right now at our house it is a little more on the torture side as my daughter should be receiving her mission call from the LDS church to arrive in the mail any day now and within that envelope will be the location around the world where she will be called to serve as a missionary for a period of 18 months! (Boys serve 24 months, girls serve 18 months).  We have absolutely no clue where she will be going until we receive that letter.  It could be anywhere in the world…it could be Ireland, or Texas, or Hawaii, or Italy or Africa or Idaho or Russia…or anywhere – yeah, YIKES!  She could literally be going anywhere in the world!!  Not knowing where your daughter will be living for 18 months is a little nerve racking, especially for a mother!!  And so with anticipation we wait each day for the post man to arrive, hoping he will have that big white envelope in his hand…but again today, no letter.  Chances are we won’t find out now until next week as the mission calls typically arrive on Wednesday or Thursday of the week, so it looks like we will be stuck anticipating for another week…well shoot……

I believe that the reason why anticipation and not knowing is so hard for us is that in the absence of information our minds will often fill up with every what-if scenario and more often than not we think of the negative what-if scenarios rather than the positive ones. And those negative what-if scenarios cause us tremendous anxiety and stress – yet the funny thing is we are stressing about something negative that may never come to pass.  We literally put ourselves through negative emotions when in actuality we may never have needed to in the first place!  Well, that is just plain crazy!!!  And yet so many of us do that…including me in this current situation.  I have been allowing myself to what-if every horrible place that would scare a mother to have her daughter living in and I have allowed myself to think about every possible danger about those places and it is just plain ridiculous of me to do that.  For heaven’s sake the girl may get called to serve somewhere perfectly lovely and safe.  And if she doesn’t then I will have plenty of time to worry about it once I find out.  So what the heck am I doing worrying about it now??  And my worrying certainly won’t change anything or make it any different…the only thing it will do is cause premature wrinkling and gray hair and who the heck wants more of that?!?  Not me!!

Yeah, so I have decided to stop worrying about it and stop playing negative what-if scenarios out in my mind and I am just going to start breathing again and let my heart and mind be excited for the grand adventure my daughter is going to get to experience and I am going to focus my attention on all the people she is going to be helping during the 18-months she will serve. She will be an amazing missionary because she truly loves to serve people and she will thrive wherever they decide to assign her. So no more negative anticipation for me…it’s going to be all positive and excitement instead.  And to think that all it takes is making the decision to focus my thoughts on the positive rather than allowing my thoughts to obsess on the negative…

Maybe we should all try that today. We should all try focusing your thoughts on the positive today rather allowing them to obsess on the negative.  Then go out and celebrate the fact that you are limiting your wrinkles and gray hair 🙂

~Amy

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