Overcoming Our Fear of Rising 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. As a result, my fear of missing out often negatively influenced my actions.
When this occurred, I traded the joy and fulfillment of serving Christ 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, rather than trusting Him to lovingly guide me and to perfect all that concerned me, I eagerly accepted every opportunity.
Whenever a new title released, I packed my schedule so full, out of fear, that I began to hate writing.
My efforts amounted to little more than exhaustion, and in fact, for a while, they 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 any emotion any potential missed opportunity might’ve brought.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, hosts Life Audio’s Faith Over Fear podcast, is the author of eight contemporary novels including her recently released Building a Family and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. 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.
Visit WhollyLoved.com for more inspirational messages or to book them for your next women's event