The fear of the unknown seems to be something that I struggle with more than I care to admit but why? Control. That is what I have decided that it all boils down to. I want to be able to control every situation and know the outcome. What if I knew the outcome before taking the action? Would I make a different choice? Perhaps. Maybe not. Who knows. The thing is....I would be able to control what happens.
I remember back to 2010 when I had surrendered and repented of a past sin and knew that I had to go and confess this sin to someone very close to me. The days leading up to meeting with her were nearly excruciating. I knew that I was doing the right thing by getting my heart right with God and not allowing satan to have the stronghold over this area of my life any longer, but I was so afraid of what this might do this relationship. What I distinctly remember in the days and weeks leading up to the meeting with my friend was a prayer that I said anytime I became anxious. I prayed over and over again, "Lord, whatever the outcome, please let me be okay. Please protect my heart, whatever happens." You see, I had no idea what was going to happen and I had no control over the situation. My biggest fear was that she would never speak to me again. That she would decide that she did not love me anymore and that she would simply "write me out" of her life. What I did know for sure was that I HAD to follow what Christ was asking me to do. That was non-negotiable so all I could do each time I thought about it and satan placed that fear in my heart was pray that whatever the outcome, that God would allow my heart to be at peace. During my drive to Canton that day to meet Christi, I just remember a peace like I cannot explain. Sure, I was nervous, but I was okay. The end result is that our relationship today is better than ever. My point, though, is that what God was asking me to do was far better than anything that I was fearful of. My need to be in control of a situation was not the important part, because God was telling me that He was going to take care of it and all I needed to do was be obedient.
I tell that story because so many times today I get caught up in the "what ifs." What if someone gets mad at me. What if I fail at this or that? What if I don't say yes? What if the party doesn't turn out exactly like I planned it? What if my picture doesn't get 45 "likes" on Facebook? What if my words are not received well when they were well intentioned? What if, what if, what if? The fact is that none of can excel or be perfect or get rave reviews about everything every time! Life is not comprised of warm fuzzy feelings every second of the day. We will fail. We will have disappointments. People will fail us. Our friends likely are going to get mad at us. We are going to argue with our spouses. We are going to get complaints at work. Our children are going to say we are not their best friends. The good news is that if our friends are our TRUE friends, they still love us and our friendships will not only recover but be stronger. Our marriages will not only survive but we will grow closer together. We will learn from our mistakes and grow. Our children will realize that we want the best for them. And the best thing about all of this is that we have a God that is bigger than it all who loves us bigger and more than all of it! He loves us more than we can imagine and nothing we can do can make Him love us more or make Him love us any less! What a wonderful promise. That is something that we cannot control but there is also no conditional "what if" attached to it!
What I want is to be able to take all of these things and say, when my friend doesn't respond the way I expect her to during a conversation, "Lord, please help me to be okay, whatever the outcome." When I get overwhelmed at work or receive a complaint, I want to be able to say, "Lord, please guard my heart and let me be okay, whatever the outcome." I know that this may sound a little overly dramatic to most of you, but if you know me at all, you know how sensitive I am. I get my feelings hurt very easily and in the course of a day, I can feel like my world if crumbling due to 4 or 5 of these things all happening within a few hours. I want to be able to have peace in my heart knowing that I am following God's plan and doing what He would have for me. If I am not following God's plan, I pray that He show me that and how I can change that to line up with His desires for me, then whatever the outcome is, that I would be at peace with that outcome.
I want to have peace in my life and make decisions based on hearing from God, not fear of what others will think. It is so important to make decisions with a pure heart and right motivation.
"The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8