Overcoming Fear of the Future

Faith is a concept that I’m still learning to grasp. For a Type A person like myself, having faith is almost like trusting in a magical unicorn. It’s hard to believe that it can do anything for me, it’s a struggle just to visualize it—let alone believe that it’s real, that all of my days have been planned out and purposed from the beginning, that my future is in someone else’s hands. It’s hard to believe that everything will just “work out” and it’s hard to relinquish self-control and let go.

At the beginning of senior year, as I was finishing up my undergraduate degree at Howard University, about to set foot into this new “adult” world, I was as stressed as ever. There were many decisions to make and I was afraid of them all—“What graduate school should I attend? Should I take a year off and work? What if I don’t get into graduate school and I have to move back in with my parents?” And even after graduation, similar thoughts still plagued my mind—“What if I quit graduate school to pursue my purpose and it doesn’t work out? What if the money or job doesn’t come through or I move to a new state and I fail? What if I end up disappointing my parents and the people around me?”… the thought succession of a class act worrier.

I could never make a cut and dry decision, and I would turn these thoughts over a million times before I arrived at a decision. Even then it still wasn’t set in stone because I had no peace about my decisions or my future.

I thought that worry was a good thing because I believed my indecisiveness was just a natural part of my ambitious, overachieving nature. I blamed it on my personality not knowing that my indecisiveness was rooted in fear, fear of the future and fear of making decisions.

Subconsciously, I was living my life in fear. And fear is what brought stress, anxiety attacks and digestive issues while I was in college. I was basically a walking billboard for the symptoms of fear, stress, and burnout. I let it control how I thought and approached my future. Fear held me captive because I could never completely let it go. It was like I was wearing a blindfold and cheating, one eye open to steal sneak peeks of my future. How many of us do the same, wanting to be blindly led by God while still peeking?

The thing about the fear of the future is that it takes away the joy of today. You can’t cherish the present when you’re too busy worrying about the details of the future. I couldn’t cherish the present because I was too focused on controlling the future—stressing out about making decisions, worrying about making the right ones, and dreading the outcome. I was trying to draft my life with the blueprint, instead of allowing God to build up my life, wanting to take the wheel myself instead of trusting that God would gracefully guide and lead me down the right path.

But God is the ultimate GPS. He’s always there to lead and guide us despite the lack of faith that we have in Him. I’ll openly admit that I haven’t always been the best when it comes to trusting Him. Yet, He has always led me exactly where I need to be. And despite my lack of faith in His faithfulness, I had enough mustard-seed faith and grace to take the baby steps needed to propel me in my purpose and future.

I’m still growing, receiving grace in the area of worrying. I can’t say that it’s been easy. I’ve gone through some of the hardest trials in this past season, requiring tremendous faith and hope. However, I can say like David,

“I have never seen the righteous forsaken.” Psalm 37:25

I know He is working out everything for my good and I can see His clearly visible hand on every aspect of my life. The more I let go of control, surrender my fear, and submit my plans to Him, I see Him doing immeasurably more in my life than I could ever imagine. He’s prospering me and that gives me solace. I am finally at a place where I don’t have to fear my decisions. I can finally laugh without fear of the future, because I know that it is in His hands.

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