Our lives are full of uncertainty. Pick up a newspaper, watch your evening news! There’s change and challenge all over the world. Weather, finances, government policies, and global conflicts swirl around our lives every day. For some, uncertainty at this level has left them paralyzed with anxiety and fear of the future. Uncertainty is so uncomfortable; our minds want clarity and good closure. Certainty is almost always preferrable to the unknown!
Yet, we all experience uncertainty in our lives in a more personal way; health diagnosis, job changes, relational challenges, and financial transitions just to name a few. Times of uncertainty are really challenging to navigate because our head and emotions tend to respond negatively to the discomfort; thus anxiety can set in and hold us captive.
So, how can we find a way to thrive amidst uncertainty? Is it even possible? In her blog on uncertainty, Katherine McHugh says “disorienting storms of life are not just about survival, they are about learning to thrive. It is not in spite of daunting circumstances that we grow, but because of them.”
Scripture puts is this way:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
There are many moments of uncertainty in life. There always have been and there always will be. Sometimes things turn out the way you want them to, sometimes they don’t. Yet, accepting the uncertainty rather than trying to fight it, trusting God to guide and lead you, remembering that you cannot predict the outcomes, and watching for opportunities to grow and learn in the middle of uncertain times really helps.
My life has been full of seasons of uncertainty. I’ve moved 11 times in my marriage, lived in 5 different cities, we pastored in 5 different churches, served 9 years in a non-profit organization, and have built our own Coaching Company from the ground up. We have faced physical challenges, family changes, and relational transitions. Many of these seasons of uncertainty left me anxious, fearful, and discouraged as I walked them out. However, now that I’m older I am able to look back and see how all these situations have played a big part in who I am today. Some situations turned out as I’d hoped, some disappointed me, and some were a complete surprise to me!
If I could speak into the life of my “younger self” amidst a season of uncertainty I would encourage her to catch her breath, spend time with God, look for the good that can be gleaned, spend time with life-giving people, and fight the urge to need to know NOW! If I had consistently made those choices I can only imagine that my experience would have been a bit different!
Are you sitting in a season of uncertainty? If you are then it is my prayer that you will begin to walk in greater confidence that there will be a resolve and that there will be “nuggets of wisdom” to pocket in the days ahead.
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6