I woke up this morning and was going to write about the five things I’m currently grateful for, but seeing as I’ve spent the last week feeling more fearful than thankful, I thought that might be a little unrepresentative of the truth. I often get told off by friends and family for making everything seem like it’s going swimmingly well when really I’m onboard a ship that feels more like it’s sinking than sailing. As Christians we hang onto the scripture:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
But that doesn’t mean all of our problems immediately melt away, so here are five of my fears, from the littlest to the largest of problems.
1. My phone battery dying
Don’t laugh, I know you worry too. I think this is the most prevalent fear I have, and there doesn’t seem much I can do about it. I live in one of those awkward locations that doesn’t have a tube station but three semi close national rail train stations with semi-regular buses that I can get home from. Because of this, every journey home is made in sync with whatever live travel app is telling me makes sense. A journey home with a battery under 20% is never enjoyable as I sit on airplane mode praying it makes it home.
If this is you too, we both have to face facts. Taking a little longer to get home because you couldn’t use the bus app to decide which stop you need to get off the train at is not the biggest issue in the world. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, is it worth the worry? Most times the answer is no, in which case you can exhale
2. That the hidden calories in all my food will one day come and bite me on the abs, legs, and everywhere else I am trying to loose weight.
I want to tell you that this is a silly fear and the chances are, an extra banana won’t make you fat, but I think it’s more important to know that being fatter than you’d like is not the end of the world. There’s a hard truth that we should all just accept and that is: you will probably never be 100% happy with your body.
Sorry for the tough love, on a happier note, God made you in his image, God said you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, God’s opinion trumps societies image of beauty. Simples.
3. That I’m not really good at the short list of things I think I am
Every time I come to write a blog post, a small knot forms in my stomach and it doesn’t unravel until I’ve clicked share and decided that there’s nothing more I can do to make it better. It’s not just writing though, every time I have to challenge myself to meet my own expectations and am under the scrutiny of others my forehead starts to sweat and my hands get clammy. The usual thoughts are:
What if I’m not good enough?
What if I fail?
What will people think?
I’m not going to lie and say you’ll be brilliant at all things you put your mind to but I have relaxed in accepting that I may not be able to do things in my own strength but in Christ I can do all things. Yes, that means I’m completely dependent on God, and I am learning to be cool with that.
4. That I’ll never have the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of
There was an article in the Evening Standard that said graduates from my university were the highest paid in the UK and after 10 years, 10% of us earn 100k. Going to a university where everyone wants to be an investment banker/ corporate lawyer that figure is not a surprise, it has however added another stress to the thought ‘where will I be in 10 years time and what will I earn…’ It’s very easy to say that we’re not money motivated people and that we’re driven by less materialistic ambitions, but at the end of the day, the seniority we’ve been able to reach and the pay package that comes along with that will always be a point of comparison.
So what to do?
Sorry to say but having money is quite similar to having a great body. You will set goals and reach them, but you will always want something outside of your budget and you will always want more money to meet all of your needs. That doesn’t mean stop striving because you’ll never be happy, but let the desire to achieve financially fall into place with a tameable level of importance. Learning to be satisfied with being dissatisfied works the best here.
5. That my looming wedding won’t be Vogue worthy
When you go to weddings you internalise all the things you think were nice and everything that wasn’t no nice and vow to learn from the couples mistakes. Then, when it’s time for your own wedding you create a fantastical vision of what you want it to be like before taking into consideration that you don’t have celebrity money and your parents and in-laws will weigh in with their opinion and expect to be heard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want extravagance to the nth degree, I’m just chasing after a wedding that’s close to the vision my imagination has conjured up, and as everyone who has been married will tell you, weddings are pricey. I am so used to being self-sufficient that having to trust God to provide the funds has made me uncomfortable, and hence the battle to combat fearfulness with being faithful commences.
For everyone who is also wondering where the money is going to come from to pay off their next big expense, there is a scripture we can find peace in:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
God’s got a plan, even if you are yet to think of one. Don’t rely on yourself one iota, but trust in him wholly and he will give you the direction you need, bring you into contact with the right people, open up the doors for your needs to be met.
We are so keen to share what we are grateful for, we create an imbalanced picture of greener grass and happier days to the onlookers of our lives. I hope that you’ll be encouraged to shout your fears as well as showcase your faith and that together we can encourage each other through our storms.