By Joy Moton
As I entered my final semester of college in January, I noticed increased anxiety in my friends and in myself. Most were stressed about medical school interviews, LSAT scores and graduate school applications. Meanwhile, I didn’t even have a plan for what I want to accomplish in my life.
While many consider constant anxiety a normal part of life, I beg to differ.
Constantly stressing over the uncertainty that comes with life can be damaging because uncertainty is guaranteed. I’ve found that many of us tend to wrestle with God because we become frustrated when He won’t give us more information about where our lives are headed.
This leads to us exerting more pressure on ourselves to get answers. Even though we don’t feel the need to know everything, we feel we should know more than what He’s given us.
I want to offer a few consolations to my fellow worriers by sharing a few things I learned from my own struggle with anxiety.
Do not compare your journey to anyone else’s.
Sometimes you’ll be tempted to compare your journey to others. You might find yourself thinking, “Why do they know more about their future than I do?” Know that your story is intricately written for you, not anyone else. God only created one you. For you to attempt to be a replica of someone else would be tragic. This world is in need of the uniqueness you have to offer.
Let God be God.
Unanswered questions and frustrating situations position us to confront our beliefs about God. We ask: Do we really believe God has this whole thing mapped out or should we panic and take it into our own hands when things get scary? If we really believe God is sovereign and knows what He’s doing, we have to relax and stop trying to take control of the wheel. God has never explained Himself to anyone, and I don’t think He’ll start now. We have to be patient and know that His timing is best. He knows what we can and can’t handle.
Uncertainty is necessary.
Uncertainty is inevitable. We will all have to face it at some point, and it can be very uncomfortable — but perhaps shifting our perspective of the unknown could help us deal with it better. What would happen if we looked at the unknown as a cause for excitement rather than fear? What if we even viewed it as a necessity?
Maybe it’s our view of uncertainty that needs fixing. Sometimes it takes unpredictability for us to look to God. Often, it takes unusual circumstances for us to appreciate the journey. And then there are times it takes detours for us to discover new things we hadn’t planned on including in our lives.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God says:
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Even though God didn’t specify how He will carry out those plans, trust that He will reveal the things you need to know when you need to know them, so you can achieve your purpose in perfect time. It’s okay to be nervous about the unknown, but don’t allow it to consume you and keep you from enjoying the journey.