Overcoming Our Fear of Missing Out
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
In my spiritually immature days, I deceived myself into believing others held power over my future. I thought if they didn’t hire me for a particular job, give me a certain contract, or accept me into some program, I wouldn’t achieve my dreams. Then there was all the pressure I placed upon myself, rooted in the same faulty thinking. I worried if I turned something down, I might miss whatever lay at the end of some unforeseen path. This mentality caused me to act from a fear of missing out rather than peaceful obedience to Christ.
I traded the joy and fulfillment of serving Him for stressing and striving.
Early in my writing career, this greatly hindered my ability to say no and caused me to overcommit myself. Rather than prayerfully considering how God might want to use my time and trusting Him to lovingly guide me, I eagerly accepted every opportunity. Whenever a new title released, I packed my schedule so full, I began to hate writing.
My efforts amounted to little more than exhaustion, and in fact, for a while, seemed to be working against me. I suspect God was helping me understand how little control I actually had, and how dependent I was on Him. Then one day it hit me: If God wanted me to success, whatever the endeavor, I would. If He didn’t, I wouldn’t, regardless of all my striving.
After this, I began to live and write differently. My goal shifted off of results and onto obedience as I focused on prayerfully aligning my heart with God’s. I found peace and joy in Him, not my momentary achievements. As I did, my fear of missing out slowly died. In its place arose the godly confidence of knowing I’m walking firmly in God’s will. The satisfaction that brings outweighs anything any potential missed opportunity might’ve brought.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She hosts the Faith Over Fear and Thriving With Chronic Illness podcasts, writes for iBelieve, and is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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