Fear of the Unknown

     Lately this has been my greatest struggle. I’ve found myself afraid of the future which is the unknown to me. I’ve found myself worrying about things that are beyond my control. I’ve been over processing in my heart and mind all the what if’s. Just allowing the noise in my head to become louder and louder. Right now the unknown makes me feel unsafe and a little out of sorts. As this world is changing and I see things happening around me, I feel like I can’t trust the things in my world that use to feel stable and safe for me. It feels so overwhelming at times as I consider  what the future holds. I think I’ve believed that Christians are not suppose to  be afraid but we’re human and as humans we are going to experience human emotions. I’m learning how to place my unknown future into the hands of an unseen God who has great plans for my life.

      I want to know all the details of what is ahead of me. I find myself trying to plan out the unknown when all I need is to trust God who created me and knows the details of my future.  I find my heart being overwhelmed and anxious about not being able to see how this world will continue to unfold . Are you like me wanting to know every single detail before it happens? You want to know every step you will take and how those steps will work for you or against you. You don’t want to trust in what you can’t see. You would rather see it all and then trust because only then will you know how it all works. Oh how we wish the world was simpler just like that. Unfortunately that is just not how it all works in this earth. You may never know all the details of what’s next. You can plan and plan and plan and it still not go as you planned but, it’s ok, it really, truly is ok. Fear can paralyze us and keep us from the beauty of what’s in our futures. I will be honest with you, it can’t possibly ALL be ugly, it’s just sometimes we can’t see the beauty because we’re so focused on the ugly.

Fear if allowed can cripple us and keep us stagnant in places that no longer serve us well. Fear is only powerful when we allow it to rule and reign in our lives. Now, you might say fear does not control me…..ummmmm. ok, so make the phone call, go on the interview, write the book, prepare the message, make the connection, start the blog, do the podcast, just stop overthinking it and letting fear decide for you. When we know there are things we need to do and we struggle with admitting the truth, we’re really just afraid of the unknown. Would you do what’s in your heart if you knew it was going to be successful? If you knew the blog would be amazing,would you would do it? If you knew the book was going to be a bestseller,would you be writing it right now? A healthy amount of fear is natural but fear that cripples you into not moving is very unhealthy and needs to be dealt with. Sometimes to face our fears is simply to just admit that they are real. Explore the reason we’re afraid, take time to understand what is it that we’re really afraid of in our future or concerning our future. I will tell you that oftentimes the true reason we’re afraid is not surface level reasons, it’s more in-depth than we’re often willing to go👀. I chose the picture above because it looks like the face of courage and fear at the same time. My motto I adopted from Joyce Meyers years ago is,”Do it Afraid”.

I’m encouraging myself with this one. Fear is natural but letting it keep you stagnant is harmful. Go for it, give fear a punch in the face. Step out in that dream. Write your plan to accomplish that goal and ask God for courage to do it. Write the book, make the call, create the resume and don’t sell yourself short in it. Fill out that application, go to that counseling session( it might just save your life), make that friend connection, join the church you’ve been visiting, have that conversation. You know what it is you have been so afraid of. Only you know the fear of your unknown. I know the unknown to you is known to God. If he said do it, DO it. If he said go, GO. As we are approaching 2023 more quickly than ever, let’s do the thing we’ve been wanting to do. Maybe it’s an art class, a pottery class, maybe it’s a writing class or a branding class for your new company. Let’s go for it. Let’s walk boldly into the fear of the unknown trusting a God that knows.

God I thank you for the person reading this. Give them the peace they need. Help them to not allow the fear of the unknown to keep them stagnant. Help them to know that you are with them in all of of it. Amen.

Rest

I know you might be wondering why I would choose this image with this title. Well, for one thing this picture invites all of me into a space of rest. It brings my heart to calm, it slows my thoughts, it quiets my spirit, it soothes my mind and I feel it inviting my weary body to sit and embrace all of the beauty that comes with rest. If we would be honest the recent pandemic called all of us into a place of rest, most of us were unwilling to do it but the invitation was certainly there. We were called into a place to slow down and see those who we love in a deeper way. We may never admit it, but before pandemic a lot of us lived on auto pilot. I myself would do things but not remember doing them because it was what I was use to doing. I didn’t even have to be mentally present to do it because it was embedded in my mind because of repetition. I didn’t even know how desperately I needed REST, till I got injured at work and had to be out. Sometimes we are forced into things that our necessary to save us from self destruction.

I will never forget how long it took me to give myself permission to actually rest after the accident. I was home and laying in bed but I wasn’t truly resting. My mind was constantly going with the why and how questions. I was sleeping at night but my body wasn’t resting. Did you know that mental well being works together with your physical well being. When I finally let myself REST mentally, I noticed my physical body begin to rest too. Rest is not an indication of laziness. Slowing down in your life is not an indication of laziness. It actually is self care at its best.

So the quote below pretty much sums up my thought about rest. It takes mental and physical rest together in order for our bodies to reap the benefits it brings. You feel better and you think with more clarity when your entire being embraces REST. Rest has a way of soothing tired muscles and relieving stress. Rest has a way of bringing new fresh perspective about situations that have been troubling our heart. Rest is like deep restoration to our souls. There is one other kind of rest I want to talk with you about. This rest is a rest that we can enjoy in Jesus. Did you know that he loves to give us rest. Those times when everything seems to be falling apart and you don’t know what to do, how to feel, where to turn or even how to take the next steps, you can rest in knowing that Jesus has you. Please stay with me here in this next paragraph as I share with you a more excellent way to rest.

Rest in Jesus is more like trusting in him. To trust in anything it has to be tried and proven to be worthy of our trust. When we trust Jesus we find that we can confidently rest in him. We have an assurance that he is going to work it out for us. Now be reminded working it out for us does not mean he will always give us what we want but be assured that he will always give us what we need. When we find rest in Jesus, we can rest from striving knowing that if Jesus is in it, everything is going to be alright. I notice that when I finally rest in Jesus there is this peace that floods me. Now the situation may not change but I change in the situation. Peace overwhelms me and I remember that Jesus delights in me resting in his strong arms of mercy. There is safety in the rest that Jesus offers to us.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I want to invite you today to rest from all the things today. You know the things that have been weighing your heart down. Those things that you have absolutely no control over. Rest in knowing that Jesus created you and he knows the very numbers of hairs that are on your head. He knows you from the inside out and he loves you unconditionally. You are always on his mind, just because he loves you that much. Rest knowing that you are seen, known and loved.

Father thank you for the one reading this. I thank you that they will find rest in knowing that you are always at work. Let them rest in your everlasting love for them. Father help them to stop striving but find sweet rest in all that you are. We praise and thank you for being God. Amen