Fear of the unknown

anita writes
Image Credit: Anita

So, I was a bit reluctant to share this because it’s slightly personal but over that last few weeks, God spoke to me about vulnerability and how he has been making himself vulnerable since the beginning in his pursuit to have a relationship with us and draw us closer to him.  This kind of hit me hard because who likes being vulnerable?

The funny thing, maybe not so funny was walking into youth meeting a few days later only to be in a state of disbelief because of the topic of discussion. The topic was on challenges young Christian may face. Coincidence much? I don’t think so.

So, how does this youth meeting discussion relate to vulnerability you may ask? Well, that quite yet persistent voice saying “you’ve got to be more vulnerable” a few days prior to the youth meeting was beginning to become more clear.  Maybe, this was the nudge that I needed. So here it goes!

Ironically, this fear of the unknown started from… well, nowhere. I don’t really know how this fear came about but I do think that it might have stemmed from my anxious feeling that I was having at the time. Perhaps, it was the uncertainties in my life during that moment that was a possible trigger or maybe it could be the fact that I’m a jumpy person. Whatever the reason, the root cause could be any or a combination of all these together.

I can’t exactly pinpoint when the fear started but I do think that it started in the summer of 2017. From my perception, I thought the fear was gone by autumn of 2017. This was my mistake. It wasn’t gone as I perceived. It was never gone, it was just lurking around. Only, to come back in the summer of 2018 but this time it was worse than before to the point of affecting my faith.

The difference between the fear in 2017 and 2018 was that in 2017 I didn’t really do much about it. Again, this was my mistake for not doing anything about it. Whereas in 2018, although that had more of an effect, I got a better understanding of what it was and how to deal with it even though the process was tough.

From what I have experienced, the fear of the unknown is fuelled by uncertainties of not knowing what is going to happen next, worrying about worse possible scenarios that may not even happen and feelings of needing to be in control over everything. Meanwhile, it drains your energy and time and leads you to feel helpless. Until I realised how irrational this fear was, it continued to paralyse the way I thought.

For me, finding the balance between not knowing and accepting that I may never fully know or be able to have full control over things brought a source of inner peace and comfort.  And that was okay. It was the start of moving forward.  Now I know that whenever I am faced with this fear I can meditate on these words (“although I don’t know what the future holds, I do know who holds the future) and this brings me instant peace of mind.

Lastly, here are some bible verse that has helped me to manage my fears and although you may know some of these scriptures already since they are common and straightforward, they did prove to me to be more challenging to believe than I imagined.  I hope that as you read these scriptures, that you too will be strengthened and encouraged to continue to trust God despite any fears, challenges or doubts that you may be facing.

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

1But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Matthew 6:34 NIV

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Joshua 1:9 NIV

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalms 23:4 NIV

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honour in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].

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