Conntecting the Dots

How to Avoid Stress When Facing Uncertainty

The majority of us face uncertainty occasionally, and it’s an uncomfortable place to be. Ask me how I know.

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For the past few months, I’ve sensed God doing something new in my life. A significant clue is that my spring 2015 speaking itinerary is blank for the first time in many years.

Part of me feels scared. I ask myself questions such as, “Is this season of my life coming to an end? If so, what will happen to my writing ministry? Doesn’t anyone like me anymore? What am I doing wrong? Should I make cold calls to churches to see what work I can stir?”

The other part of me says, “No way. Just relax. God is either in control of all or not at all. The calendar’s clear for a reason. Maybe I’ll have a book contract and will need concentrated time to write. Perhaps my family will need my focused energy. Then again, maybe this season is coming to an end because God’s opening other ministry doors. Maybe my role with International Messengers will expand. Perhaps it’s time to get serious about developing my coaching business, or to expand my mentoring program for writers. Or get more involved in my church’s women’s ministry. Or maybe it’s simply time to rest after going so hard for so many years—a sabbatical of sorts.”

I could easily panic and try to “fix” things. I could choose one of the above options and throw myself into it, but I sense a caution in my spirit: “Wait.”

When I look back, I recall specific instances when personal circumstances shifted in preparation for change. One example is when God moved us from Gene’s engineering career and our home in Washington state to enter fulltime Christian camping ministry on Quadra Island (BC). Another is when God moved us from that camping ministry on the coast into launching International Messengers Canada in 2007.

In both cases, Gene and I walked through weeks and even months of uncertainty. We wondered why things were happening to us as they were and what might become of us in the future. We had to intentionally focus our thoughts on God’s proven faithfulness and choose to believe His promises to guide us and to never forsake us. Doing so alleviated the fear that often partners with uncertainty.

Psalm 32:8-11 have become very meaningful to me:

“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD. So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”

Facing uncertainty is never comfortable, but we can rest assured that God is with us and will guide us to where He wants us to be.

Our job is to follow where He leads, listen to His voice, and trust Him. We’re also to practice praise—rejoicing in Him even though we might not always understand what He’s up to.

I’ve written these verses on a recipe card and am memorizing them so I can recall and pray them each time angst rises in me. I’m choosing to trust that God will direct my path. And I’m choosing to rejoice and be glad because my life rests in the hands of Almighty God whose purposes cannot be thwarted.

How about you? Are you facing uncertainty? How do these verses offer encouragement to you?

2 Responses to “How to Avoid Stress When Facing Uncertainty”

    • Grace Fox

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Amy. Interestingly, I now see those empty months on my calendar as a God-given gift. This year’s been filled with other things (moving to a different house, developing a one-day women’s conference, speaking in Moscow, etc). If my speaking schedule had been filled as in prior years, I would never have survived. Learning to rest in God’s sovereignty over my calendar has become very freeing.

      Reply

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