I believe I’ve always been an over thinker.
For as long as I can remember, my mind seems to be hard to "turn off." Especially to rest. For me, resting was work and it’s probably the reason I stay up late. Honestly, I haven’t known how to rest. I have spent way too many nights reviewing my day in what I should have done or said. I have felt like a hamster spinning on her wheel. It's exhausting.

When I look back on my life, I believe it was what I learned growing up.
Before I was born, my parents had a child who died at age 3. So when I came along, 4 1/2 years later, my mother was still grieving her loss. I don’t think she ever had an outlet to talk to anyone and heal. As the youngest, with an older sister and brother, I saw things in my mother and how she was to my sister and my daddy. She always seemed to be angry. It sometimes brought outbursts that, I couldn’t see at the time, brought anxiety, fear, and worry in me. Being the youngest, I became the "mascot or clown" to try and distract me and everyone from the bombs that would go off without warning.

I played hard and always wanted to be outside; away from anything that could go wrong.
I could sense something wasn’t right and I learned how to try and fix things by taking care of others from a very young. My parents were parenting the best they could but from a dry well. My sister was like my mom and when she married I was 10 years old so, looking back, I was sort of on my own to figure things out. My mom was a wonderful housekeeper, cook, and sewed many of my clothes when I was younger but I think I was a handful for her. I think I tried to get her attention but she was tired. She kept me close and looking back, I believe it was to protect me but I just wanted to play. I say all this not to blame my mom but to realize what I became as a result of a grieving mother.

I became someone who had to figure things out on my own.
I didn’t know what it was like to be told "I love you" or even "I’m sorry" when things went wrong. It always felt like something was missing. My mother was there but she wasn’t present. My dad took care of her and tried to make her happy; we all tried to make her happy. It didn’t work and I became frustrated. I felt alone and I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I became someone who looked after everyone else and never took care of me. When I did attempt to care for me, the message I seemed to get was that that was not OK. Then came the over thinking of how to make everyone else happy. I thought this would allow me to be OK. This became my focus.

Fast forward and now I’ve had to learn how to focus on what God wants for me and not everyone else.
At first, I felt like that was selfish and that was usually the message that I got. I had to learn to risk people being upset with me for speaking my truth. It was hard to begin to truly value myself and stand firm in my decisions when all I could feel was that I’m supposed to make everyone else happy. It was surely a process of not over thinking or second-guessing myself, of asking God is this "OK." At times, I really didn’t know. Feeling responsible for everyone at a young age set me up for my behaviors. It has affected every area of my life.

Ultimately, it brought me to God for his help.
At first, I was mad at Him and I told Him. The anger, depression, and anxiety that came trying to figure out why I have been here for so long led me on a journey to healing and freedom. Letting the Lord guide me to truth was very humbling. Trust me, at any age you can feel like you should be further along than you are but once I got past all the over thinking, I was truly grateful that I didn’t have to be this person I had always been.

God was, and is, showing me a new way, His way.
No doubt, my footing hasn’t always been steady learning all of this. My mind, still at times, does way too much thinking before I realize it but I know God has showed me all of this not to shame me but to heal me. 
I’ve gotten into the Word to retrain my thoughts when I feel overwhelmed and just to remind myself of His love for me. I am becoming more confident in the Lord and I’m casting my care on him more; letting him be God. (1 Peter 5:7) I don’t have to do it all on my own anymore!

Being aware of how I’ve been over the years and how it relates to now keeps me praying to Holy Spirit when I see old patterns coming back.
I’m letting go and letting God. The little girl inside me is healing. She is maturing into the woman God always knew that I was. God is still writing my story and I look to Him to be what only He can be to me; faithful father, friend, my God and corrector, my way maker.

Oh, and I have forgiven my mom for what she couldn’t be and I’m grateful for what she did show me. I know she loves me. She is 88 years old now and I still take her to get her hair done. It's the highlight of my week.

If you find yourself in any of these similar situations or feelings, turn to the Lord. Don’t be afraid of a new path; His path. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable enough to change; His ways. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been on this path, freedom is better; He is better. He is still writing your story too.