As my life has changed this year, facing fears of the uncertain future has become my daily companion. Many things in my life are temporary and I don’t know when they will end. At times, I find myself reacting to a situation in a way that’s totally unreasonable, placing unrealistic expectations on others, and anxiously looking ahead. Sometimes I internalize these struggles and sometimes I take them out on others.
When I find myself totally out of sorts, I go for a long walk. I pour out my frustrations to God and I don’t stop walking until my head is clear. A few days ago, anyone who saw me walking down the street might’ve wondered if I needed to be put in a straight-jacket. I was crying, waving my hands around, and huffing up a very big hill. At the top of that hill, when I was totally out of breath, I heard God’s voice break through my fears and questions.
In that moment I realized how (yet again) I was allowing fear and uncertainty to plague me. Hasn’t God taken care of me up to this point? Won’t He continue to do so? And if something in my present circumstances changes, won’t He provide something else for me? Hasn’t He proven Himself faithful to me time and time again?
Letting go of my fears and turning them over to Him felt like peeling off a filthy garment and placing it into God’s hands. I felt His cleansing blood flow over me, washing me clean. It’s God’s job to take care of me. It isn’t my parent’s job, my boyfriend’s job, my friend’s job, my boss’s job, or anyone else’s! God is responsible for my future and I can let those around me be who they are, trusting that my future is secure.
I’ve found that the people in my life who provide a sense of security are often the ones who suffer the most when I get full of fear. I want them to fix things for me. I want them to center their lives on me, take care of me, meet my needs… Then I get disappointed and hurt when they don’t measure up to my unrealistic, often unspoken, expectations. When I trust God to take care of me and meet my needs, the people I care about have the freedom to be themselves and respond to me in their own way. The tension on the relationship eases and everyone is happier.
Isn’t that the heart of things when I get anxious and afraid? I’m not really trusting that God has my life in His hands and won’t let me fail. It’s a huge mistake to force things to happen when I think God has forgotten about me, to struggle and strive and fret. If I cast all my cares upon Him, He will take care of me.
Oh, and here’s the most frustrating part of the equation for a planner like me: God probably won’t take care of things in the way I think He should. His ways are better, even when I can’t understand. But they are HIS ways and not mine.
Maybe my next post should be about giving up my false sense of control?